How to Wake Up Sleeping Computer from Sleep Mode in Windows 11

Windows 11 offers a sleep mode to help conserve battery life and energy usage when you are not actively using your computer. When a Windows 11 computer enters sleep mode, it appears to be “turned off” – the screen turns black, the fans stop spinning, and the lights turn off. However, the computer is still on in a low-power state. Here are some tips for waking your Windows 11 computer from sleep mode.

Check Basic Hardware Components

Before trying anything complicated, check your basic hardware:

  • Check video connections – Make sure your monitor video cable is still securely plugged into your computer. A loose cable can cause a black screen.
  • Check power connections – Ensure your computer is still plugged into a working power outlet. Accidentally unplugging the power cable will turn off the computer completely.
  • Check peripherals – Verify your mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals are still connected properly. Unplugged devices cannot wake the PC.

Wake the PC Using Keyboard or Mouse

If everything is connected properly, try using your mouse or keyboard:

  • Move the mouse – Any mouse movement should wake a sleeping computer.
  • Press any key – Hitting any key on the keyboard should also wake up a sleeping PC. The spacebar is a good key to try.

If your mouse or keyboard are wireless, make sure they have charged batteries. Dead batteries mean they cannot communicate wake signals to your computer successfully.

Use the Power Button

If your keyboard and mouse fail to wake the PC, use the power button instead:

  • Briefly press the power button – Press and quickly release the power button. This sends a wake signal to the motherboard.

Holding down the power button for 4+ seconds forces a shutdown instead of wake. So tap it gently.

Update Device Drivers

Outdated or corrupt drivers can prevent your mouse, keyboard, or other devices from having permission to wake the computer.

To update drivers in Windows 11:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Click Windows Update
  3. Click Check for Updates
  4. Install any available driver updates

Updating drivers may require restarting your PC.

Disable Fast Startup

Windows 11 uses a “Fast Startup” feature that records your PC’s state to quickly resume later. This can sometimes prevent wake signals from peripherals:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Click Hardware and Sound
  3. Click Power Options
  4. Click Choose what power buttons do
  5. Uncheck Turn on fast startup

Change Device Properties

You can enable your keyboard, mouse, and other devices to specifically permit waking your PC:

  1. Type “device manager” into the Windows search bar
  2. Expand the Keyboards list
  3. Right-click your keyboard device and select Properties
  4. Go to the Power Management tab
  5. Check Allow this device to wake the computer
  6. Click OK and repeat for your mouse and other devices

Run the Power Troubleshooter

Windows 11 has a built-in power troubleshooting tool that can automatically fix common wake issues:

  1. Type “troubleshoot” into the Windows search bar
  2. Click Run Troubleshooter
  3. Select Power from the list
  4. Follow the on-screen steps

The troubleshooter will analyze your system and attempt to correct any problems preventing wake abilities.

Reset the Power Plan

Resetting your computer’s power plan to default settings can resolve incorrectly configured sleep and wake behaviors:

  1. Right-click the Start button
  2. Select Power Options
  3. Click Choose what the power buttons do
  4. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable
  5. Check the boxes for relevant sleep/wake abilities
  6. Click Save Changes

Perform Clean Boot

Sometimes background software can interfere with waking from sleep. Performing a clean boot prevents non-Microsoft services/programs from loading at boot, isolating the cause:

  1. Open MSConfig (type “msconfig” into Windows search)
  2. Go to the Services tab
  3. Check Hide all Microsoft services
  4. Click Disable all
  5. Go to the Startup tab
  6. Click Open Task Manager
  7. Disable all startup items except security software

Test waking from sleep after clean booting. If successful, re-enable services/startup items one by one until the failure recurs.

Additional Troubleshooting

Further steps if previous solutions are unsuccessful:

  • Boot into Safe Mode to determine if third-party software is the issue
  • Check Event Viewer for relevant error logs
  • Test with a new user profile
  • Try updating BIOS/firmware
  • Replace CMOS battery on motherboard

If nothing succeeds, there may be an underlying hardware failure needing professional repair.

Preventing Sleep Wake Issues

Follow these tips to avoid sleep problems occurring in the first place:

  • Keep Windows 11 updated automatically
  • Don’t disable sleep mode completely
  • Use a UPS to prevent power interruptions
  • Ensure proper ventilation around computer
  • Check sleep settings/timers in the Power & Sleep tab
  • Close programs before sleeping to prevent background activity


Waking a Windows 11 computer from sleep should be as simple as moving your mouse or pressing a keyboard key. If your PC remains asleep, methodically try the wake solutions above. Check hardware connections, update drivers, change device properties, run system troubleshooters, and boot cleanly to isolate the cause. With some diligent troubleshooting, you’ll have your computer waking happily again.