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How to Stop Windows 10 To Wake Up At Night?

ProSmile / Pixabay

Don’t want Windows 10 to wake up for no apparent reson in the middle of the night? This tutorial will help you. Windows 10 is nice. I don’t yet think it is that much better that 7 – but it is ok, at least for the design. There is just one major thing that bothers me since the launch. It is the fact that Windows 10 keeps on waking up from sleep at night. Some weird task always forces a boot and for months I struggle to find out what it is. I searched the web, inspected forums and still, there are more ideas that actual solutions. But I am not alone. This seems to be a major issue in Windows 10.

Anyways I might have found all ways to eliminate possible causes and I present you the major roundup of all steps to take to fight those unwanted bootups. Consider: This tutorial adresses erratic waking from „sleep mode“. If you just properly shut down your PC, no problems should accur anyways – just as a hint for your last resort if nothing of the following works!

The Roundup – What Can Wake A PC from Sleep or Hibernate?

There are several reasons but these are the major ones. Check the following steps to help narrow the options dopwn and possibly eliminate the cause for that annoying wake up phanomenon. The first step of our examination is entering the command prompt with elevated privileges. The following commands are the same in Windows 7 on to Windows 10.

  • Click in the Cortana search bar
  • Enter „cmd“ (without quotes), wich stands for command
  • Right click on the resulting programm icon and select „open it with administrator rights“

Enter the following commands to gain some insights:

To find out what caused the latest wake-up just paste this command in the command prompt (pasting in the command prompt only works with the mouse, not the keyboard). The last source that woke up the system will be shown. Mostly you’ll see something like an USB device or a specified task.

    powercfg –lastwake (sometimes without the dash, dont know why)

Then you might want to check if there are any timers set, maybe by update oder scheduling tasks. Use this command, to see if any auto restarts are already planned. For me this was most interesting, because it showed the exact dates and times, when my PC was scheduled to wake up – They were set to something in the midle of the night.

    powercfg -waketimers

If you suspect that any device is the culprit, then simply check which are at all able to wake your PC up. To generally find out, which devices are enabled to wake up the PC, enter the folowing command. Remember those entries. If „High definition Audio“ is listed as well, then you might also want to consider it in the next step!

    powercfg -devicequery wake_armed

It is possible to disable devices in the command prompt, although the next step using the device manager seems more intuitive. If you want to use the prompt, follow the steps mentioned in this article about waking devices.

Windows 10 command prompt with elevated privileges
Windows 10 command prompt with elevated privileges

Some more options for additional information:

If you are good with data, you might scour the complete active and scheduled  tasks list. To create such a list in d:\tasks.txt, enter the following command:

    schtasks /query >d:\tasks.txt

You might want to check the available system statuses at all. Simply use this command. If some are unavailable there might be the reason stated.

    powercfg -a


Basically devices are able to wake up the PC, which might be ok. But sometimes it is enough if the mouse unwantedly moves just a milimeter to wake the PC up, especially if it is a cordless mouse. So it is better to make sure that the PC only wakes by pressing the power button alone. Network activity can also cause the network hardware to wake the computer, especially when the network is always on or the router permanently working .

Those devices could cause the problem:

  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Networks adapater
  • Rarely „High Definition Audio“

To check if any of the devices has the privileges to wake the PC from sleep. Simply go to:

  • Type “devices” (without quotes) in the Cortana Search and open the “Device Manager” (Gerätemanager)
  • Expand the sections for „Mouse and pointers“, „Keyboards“ and „Network Adapters“
  • Double click on each of these entries to open the „Properties“
  • In the popup dialog that opens, click the tab “Power Management”
  • Uncheck “Allow this device to wake the computer”
  • Click “OK” and close the dialog
Windows 10 Device Manager - Prevent devices from waking up the PC
Windows 10 Device Manager – Prevent devices from waking up the PC

Additional steps for the network adapter in the properties window. It needs to more options to be deactivated to disable waking on LAN activity. You find those in the same window in the list under „Advanced“:

  • Search for any „Wake on…“ Options such as „Wake on LAN“, „Wake on Magic Packet“, or „Wake on pattern match“ – and choose „Disabled“ in the dropdown
  • Don’t forget to disable the general setting “Allow this device to wake the computer” in „Power Management“ as well.
Windows 10 Device Manager - Prevent Network Adapters from waking up the PC
Windows 10 Device Manager – Prevent Network Adapters from waking up the PC

Disabling the „Maintenance Activator“ in Windows 10

For Windows 10 in my case a service or task called „Maintenance activator“ seems to be the problem. As it was clearly listed in the powercfg -devicequery wake_armed result. Here is how I got rid of it. The next step further looks into those tasks and schedules that can wake your PC. I had the following output:

 C:\>powercfg -waketimers
 Timer set by [SERVICE] \Device\HarddiskVolume2\Windows\System32\svchost.exe (SystemEventsBroker) expires at 6:11:40 AM on 01/01/2016.
   Reason: Windows will execute 'Maintenance Activator' scheduled task that requested waking the computer.

First deactivate Wake Timers generally in your current Power Saving Profile:

Go to:

PowerOptions > Advanced Settings > „Sleep“ > „Allow Wake Timers“ > Setting: Disabled
Energieoptionen > Energiesparplaneinstellungen bearbeiten > Erweiterte Einstellungen > „Energie sparen“ > „Zeitgeber zur Aktivierung zulassen“

Windows 10 Power Options - Disable Wake Timers
Windows 10 Power Options – Disable Wake Timers

And even more important: Disable the scheduled maintenance at all!

Go to:

Control Panel > System and Security > Security and Maintenance > expand „Maintenance“ section > click on „Change maintenance settings“
Systemsteuerung > System und Sicherheit > Sicherheit und Wartung > Bereich „Wartung“ erweitern > Bei „Automatische Wartung“ – „Wartungseinstellungen ändern“ anklicken

In the popup uncheck the option that allows the PC to wake up!

Weird fact: I had to change the time first, to really take effect. Otherwise the option stayed unchecked but the task was still armed!

Windows 10 Maintenance Options - Prevent Scheduled Maintenance to wake up the PC
Windows 10 Maintenance Options – Prevent Scheduled Maintenance to wake up the PC

Scheduled tasks and updates

Sometimes a task or Windows Update is scheduled for a specific time and will wake up the computer. To change these rights and settings find the „Task scheduler“ in Cortana search (you can type the english version in german windows versions as well [need to fully type it, or use „Aufgabenplanung“]).

Windows 10 Scheduled Tasks - Prevent Scheduled Tasks and Updates to wake up the PC
Windows 10 Scheduled Tasks – Prevent Scheduled Tasks and Updates to wake up the PC

If none of these settings work for you. A BIOS Update, or other Firmware updtes might work. Sometimes even some apps such as Teamviewer are rumored to create tasks that might fail and keep waking your PC. The above mentioned command „schtasks /query >d:\tasks.txt might help to further narrow down the sources in such situations.

Still stuck? Read more:

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