How to Stop My Computer From Going to Black Out

By Erin McManaway

If you leave your computer sitting for a long period of time, you may come back to find the screen blacked out. If you move the mouse, the computer's screen should light up again. This is caused by a Windows power setting on the computer, known as "Standby," that is used to help conserve power when the computer is idle. You can change the power setting to make it a longer wait or turn it off completely from the Windows Control Panel.

Step 1

Click on the "Start" button to bring up the Start Menu.

Step 2

Click on "Control Panel" and choose "Power Options."

Step 3

Navigate to the "Power Schemes" tab if you are using Windows XP. Windows Vista and 7 users will need to click the "Change Plan Settings" next to the currently used "Preferred Plan."

Step 4

Choose the amount of time you want your computer to wait before turning off the monitor, shutting down the hard drive or putting the computer in standby mode. Windows Vista and 7 users can choose the amount of time the computer waits before turning off the display or putting the computer to sleep. If you never want the computer to shut down the display or go into standby, choose the "Never" option.

Step 5

Click the "Apply" or "Save Changes" button to change your power settings. Your computer screen should no longer black out when you leave the computer sitting idle.