By default, Windows comes with a power plan setting to manage how long you want to keep the system and display awake. You can customize the actions when the system is running on battery as well as connected to power cable. However, did you ever wonder how to keep your system awake for specific time? In this article, we will explain how you can do that in Windows 11.
Keep System Awake for Specific Time
Let us say, you are downloading a large file or app from a website in Edge and estimate it may take 20 minutes to complete the download. It means you should keep the system awake so that the internet connection is active. If you have setup 5 minutes duration for sleep in your power settings, then the system will go to sleep in 5 minutes and terminate the internet connection. This will result in failure of file download and you need to start the download again.
This is just one scenario and there could be many other situations you want the system to be awake for specific time. What you can do is to manually go to power settings and extend the sleep time. After finishing your task, you need to again manually change the power settings to save your battery. Unfortunately, there are no automatic settings available in Windows to keep the system awake for specific time. However, you can achieve this using the free PowerToys app.
Change Power Settings in Windows 11
Before explaining PowerToys app, first we will explain how to manually change the system’s sleep settings in Windows 11.
- Click the Start menu icon and select “Settings” app from the pinned apps. If you are not finding “Settings” in the pinned apps, click on “All apps” button to find it.
- When you are in Settings app, go to “System” section and click on “Power & battery” option.
- On the next screen, click “Screen & sleep” option under “Power” heading to expand it.
- Here you can set the idle time after which the screen will be turned off and the system will go to sleep mode. You can set the time when the system runs on battery as well as connected to power. The available time varies from 1 minute to 5 hours or you can select “Never” to disable the power settings.
Let us say, you want to keep the system awake for 30 minutes. Click the dropdown against device sleep options (last two items) and set the timer as 30 minutes. If you also want to change screen turn off time, then set the time for that using the first two options.
Make sure to select the same time for screen turn off and device sleep for battery mode (option 1 & 3). Otherwise, you will see a warning that power will be consumed during that time difference.
Using PowerToys Awake Tool
Though the above method will work perfectly, the settings will be retained permanently unless you manually change it again. This will be a tedious task to change it manually every single time when you want to keep the system awake. In addition, the longer time for device sleep and screen off will affect your battery and privacy. Someone can access the system when you are away as the system will not go to sleep automatically till the set idle time is reached. The best way to manage the situation is using PowerToys app. This is a free app from Microsoft comes with packaged tools.
- Go to Microsoft Store to search and install PowerToys app.
- After the installation is finished, open PowerToys app.
- Go to “Awake” section from the left sidebar and turn on the switch against “Enable Awake” option on the right pane.
Enabling Awake will not change the sleep time unless you change the behavior mode. The “Mode” setting under “Behavior” section has three options:
- Keep using the selected power plan – this is the default option and hence the system will follow you default power settings as explained in the above section.
- Keep awake indefinitely – this will always keep your system awake and is same as “Never” option in the power settings.
- Keep awake temporarily – this is the option you should use to keep the system awake for a specific time.
So, select “Keep awake temporarily” option from the dropdown to open a timer. Enter your time in hours/minutes boxes to keep the system awake only during this time. After expiry of the set time, system will automatically go back to your default power settings. If required, enable “Keep screen on” option to keep the monitor display turned on during the set duration.
PowerToys Awake option will NOT change your default system power settings. Therefore, this is the best option to keep your system awake for specific time when you are doing testing, installing a program or downloading a large file from internet.
The best part is that when you enable Awake option, PowerToys will add an icon in the taskbar’s system tray.
You can click on the cup icon to toggle the awake mode and screen on options. From here, you can only select the temporary time as 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours. For entering custom time, you need to go to PowerToys Awake settings page as explained above.
You can also find the PowerToys app icon in the taskbar system tray, right-click on it and select “Settings” to open the app.