Completely disable automatic waking from Sleep or Hibernate on Windows 10

Completely fix wake problems on Windows

A well-known feature of Windows 10 and its predecessors (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1) is the wake timer, which when triggered, is responsible for waking your Windows PC up from either Sleep/Hibernate in order to perform scheduled tasks for system security and stability (e.g. System Maintenance, Windows Updates, Windows Defender Scanning).

While this feature might be useful for the average Windows user, it might not be so great for the bit more tech-savvy users who might actually want Windows to remain in Sleep or Hibernate without automatically waking to perform tasks.

The Solution?

Part 1: Disable the most common Wake Timer setters

1 Disable Wake Timers in Power Settings

1.1: Right-click on Start and select Run. Type powercfg.cpl and hit ENTER:

Right-click on Start and select Run. Type powercfg.cpl and hit ENTER:

1.2: In ‘Control Panel’s Power Options’, to the right of the bold power plan, click ‘Change plan settings’:

In 'Control Panel's Power Options', to the right of the bold power plan, click 'Change plan settings':

1.3: In ‘Edit Plan Settings’, click ‘Change advanced power settings’:

In 'Edit Plan Settings', click 'Change advanced power settings':

1.4: In ‘Power Options’ Window, Expand ‘Sleep’ option, Expand ‘Allow wake timers’, and change the ‘Setting’ option to Disable:

In 'Power Options' Window, Expand 'Sleep' option, Expand 'Allow wake timers', and change the 'Setting' option to Disable:

1.5: Finally, click OK to save changes to the power settings:

Finally, click OK to save changes to the power settings:

1.6: Repeat Steps 1.2 – 1.5 for each Power Plan (e.g. ‘High Performance’, ‘Power saver’) if you use them:

Repeat steps 2-5 for each Power Plan (e.g. 'High Performance', 'Power saver') if you use them:

2 Check for and disable currently set Wake Timers

2.1 Right-click on Start and select Command Prompt (Admin):

Right-click on Start and select Command Prompt (Admin):

2.2 In Command Prompt (Admin), type powercfg -waketimers and hit ENTER:

*Explanation: This will list all currently set wake timers.

 In Command Prompt (Admin), type powercfg -waketimers and hit ENTER:

2.3 If the message lists a Wake Timer called ‘Maintenance Activator’,  you will have to disable System Maintenance Wake Timer:

*Explanation: System Maintenance is enabled by default in Windows 10, for system security and stability.

If the message lists a Wake Timer called ‘Maintenance Activator’,  the solution: disable System Maintenance Wake Timer.

2.4: If the message lists a Wake Timer called ‘UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot’, the solution will depend on whether you prefer automatic Windows Updates or not:

*Explanation: Whenever Windows Updates are manually or automatically installed, a Windows Update Restart Wake Timer is created.

If the message lists a Wake Timer called 'UpdateOrchestrator\Reboot', the solution will depend on whether you prefer automatic Windows Updates or not.

Solution if you prefer Automatic Windows Updates (the default setting): Reboot your system, and the Wake Timer will disappear.

Solution if you prefer manually installing Windows Updates, and not to have Automatic Windows Updates that create pending restart wake timers that wake your system: Disable Automatic Windows Updates. From now on, once you manually install updates, immediately reboot your system to extinguish those Wake Timers.

2.5 If the message says ‘There are no active wake timers in the system’, all currently set Wake Timers have been disabled!

If the message says ‘There are no active wake timers in the system’, all currently set Wake Timers have been disabled!

With the above steps, all current Wake Timers will be disabled and your system will remain in Sleep or Hibernate without automatically waking up, at least for now.

However, from time to time you might still get wake surprises.

This is mostly due to system updates (e.g. Windows Updates, driver updates, new hardware, applications) that create wake timers.

Three are four categories of Wake Sources from my experience:

  • Device drivers – E.g. Razer mouse/keyboard driver creates wake timers:

Device drivers - e.g. Razer mouse/keyboard driver creates wake timers

  • System services – E.g. ATI graphics ‘AdaptiveSleepService’ system service for power-saving:

Software / System services - e.g. ATI graphics 'AdaptiveSleepService' system service for power-saving

  • Scheduled Tasks – E.g. Windows Update’s Reboot Scheduled Task:

Scheduled Tasks - e.g. Windows Update's Reboot Scheduled Task

  • Applications – E.g. Spotify, VirtualBox

Now let’s move on to identifying out the responsible Wake Sources.

Part 2: Deal with uncommon wake timers

1 Begin by tracking down that Wake Source. This is done by checking the Event Logs of your system that give valuable information.

1.1 Right-click on Start and select Event Viewer:

Right-click on Start and select Event Viewer

1.2 In Event Viewer, in the left pane, Expand Windows Logs, and Right-click on System log and click Filter Current Log:

In Event Viewer, in the left pane, Expand Windows Logs, and Right-click on System log and click Filter Current Log

1.3 In Filter Current Log, enter ‘1′ as the Event ID to filter by and click OK:

In Filter Current Log, enter '1' as the Event ID to filter by and click OK

1.4 Click through all Information entries with ‘Power-Troubleshooter’ as the Source with 1 as the Event ID. Repeat this until you find an entry you are certain was when your PC woke itself up. If your PC had just woken up, it should be the latest entry:

Click through all Information entries with 'Power-Troubleshooter' as the Source with 1 as the Event ID

1.5 Take note of the Wake Source under the bottom pane’s General Tab:

If the Wake Source is a Device (e.g. Wake Source: Device – Razer Abyssus’), the wake timer was due to a Device Driver:

If the Wake Source is a device (e.g. Wake Source: Device - Razer Abyssus), the wake timer was due to a Device Driver

If the Wake Source is A Message (E.g. Wake Source: S4 Doze to Hibernate), the wake timer was due to System Services:

If the Wake Source is ambiguous (e.g. 'Wake Source: S4 Doze to Hibernate', the wake timer was due to Software/System Services

If the Wake Source is Unknown (e.g. ‘Wake Source: Unknown), the wake timer was due to a Scheduled Task or  Application:

If the Wake Source is unknown (e.g. 'Wake Source: Unknown), the wake timer was due to a Scheduled Task

2 If the Wake Source is a Device, move on to Step 3.

If the Wake Source is A Message, jump to Step 4.

If the Wake Source is Unknown, jump to Step 5.

3 Assess whether to disable wake for, or uninstall, the faulting device driver.

NOTE: Most device drivers should not wake the system, but occasionally device manufacturers may introduce bugs that wake the system.

If the device requires vendor-proprietary drivers, continue at Step 3.1.

If the device doesn’t require a vendor-specific driver (as in the case of a mouse/keyboard), continue at Step 3.2.

If you don’t know whether your device requires vendor-specific drivers, simply continue at Step 3.1.

3.1 Disable wake for that device driver

3.1.1 Right-click on Start and select Device Manager:

Right-click on Start and select Device Manager

3.1.2 In Device Manager, look through the item groups until you find the device with the same name as that found in the Event Log entry. Right-click on the device and click Properties:

In Device Manager, look through the item groups until you find the device with the same name as that found in the Event Log entry. Right-click on the device and click Properties

3.1.3 In Properties, click the Power Management tab, and uncheck the box “Allow this device to wake the computer”, then click OK:

In Properties, click the Power Management tab, and uncheck the box "Allow this device to wake the computer", then click OK

3.1.4 Congratulations, Wake events are now disabled for the problematic device. Remember to file for a bug report to your device manufacturer to correct the issue.

3.2 Uninstall the problematic device driver

3.2.1 Right-click on Start and select Device Manager:

Right-click on Start and select Device Manager

3.2.2 In Device Manager, look through the item groups until you find the device with the same name as that found in the Event Log entry. Right-click on the device and click Properties:

In Device Manager, look through the item groups until you find the device with the same name as that found in the Event Log entry. Right-click on the device and click Properties

3.2.3 In Properties, click the Driver tab, click on Uninstall, check the box ‘delete the driver software for this device’ and click OK:

NOTE: This step ensures Windows won’t reinstall those problematic drivers automatically.

In Properties, click the Driver tab, click on Uninstall, check the box 'delete the driver software for this device' and click OK

3.2.4 Reconnect the device to reinstall basic drivers from Microsoft.

3.2.5 Congratulations, with the default driver, no Wake events should occur for this device.

4 Disable any power-related service.

4.1 Right-click on Start and select Services:

Right-click on Start and select Services

4.2  Look through the services until you find a Service suspected to be related to Power-saving. Right-click on the service and select Properties. In Properties, change the Startup type to Manual, and click Stop to stop the service:

Look through the services until you find a Service suspected to be related to Power-saving. Right-click on the service and select Properties. In Properties, change the Startup type to Manual, and click Stop to stop the service

4.3 Congratulations, you have successfully stopped Service-related Wakes.

5 Find out which Task woke your system, and disable wake for that scheduled task.

5.1 Copy all of the following code. Now we’re ready to use Windows Powershell to uncover those pesky tasks.

5.2 Right-click on Start and Click Run. Type powershell and hit ENTER:

Right-click on Start and Click Run. Type powershell and hit ENTER

5.3 Right-click only in the Powershell window to paste the code and press ENTER:

NOTE: This will show you a list of Tasks that occurred within the same minute as the wake event. You should most often see only a few Tasks.

Right-click only in the Powershell window to paste the code and press ENTER: NOTE: This will show you a list of Tasks that occurred within the same minute as the wake event. You should most often see only a few Task

5.4 Read the TaskPath and TaskName for the responsible Task(s):

In my case, the Scheduled Task’s TaskName is “Reboot” and is located in folder “\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\”.

We’re almost done, we just have to disable the wake for this Task.

Read the TaskPath and TaskName for the responsible Task(s): In my case, the Scheduled Task's TaskName is "Reboot" and is located in folder "\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\".

5.5 Right-click on Start and Click Run. Type taskschd.msc and hit ENTER:

Right-click on Start and Click Run. Type taskschd.msc and hit ENTER

5.6 In Task Scheduler, in the left pane, based on the TaskPath earlier navigate to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Task > Path, and in the right pane,  right-click on TaskName and click Properties:

For instance, in my case this would be Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > UpdateOrchestrator, and right-click on Reboot and click Properties:

In Task Scheduler, in the left pane, based on the TaskPath earlier navigate to Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Task > Path, and in the right pane,  right-click on TaskName and click Properties: For instance, in my case this would be Task Scheduler (Local) > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > UpdateOrchestrator, and right-click on Reboot and click Properties:

5.7 In Properties of the Task, click the Condition tab, and under Power section, uncheck the box “Wake the computer to run the task”:

In Properties of the Task, click the Condition tab, and under Power section, uncheck the box "Wake the computer to run the task"

5.8 Repeat Step 5.6 for each Task you find in Step 5.4.

5.9 Congratulations, you have successfully disabled wake for problematic Scheduled Task(s). However, if you are still getting Wake issues, move on to Step 6.

6.0 Find out the responsible Application, by closing / restarting them.

6.1 Unfortunately there’s no easy way for this one. Because Event Logs don’t give us any information as to which application woke the system, we have to resort to the process of Elimination.

6.2 Try closing the Most Suspicious Applications.

There are two from my experience: Spotify and VirtualBox.

6.2.1 Spotify

6.2.1a From my experience (Happened on 23rd November 2017, on version 1.0.68.407.g6864aaaf), Spotify seems to set a wake timer when it has an update, but you haven’t restarted it to update it.

6.2.1b Solution? Close it, reopen it to update it. Pressing the X button to close it might minimize it to the Tray Area on the Toolbar (depending on settings) , so make sure to close it fully. Then reopen it to update it.

Exit Spotify on the Tray to make sure it is fully closed.

6.2.2c That should stop Spotify from waking your PC every minute.

6.2.2 A running VirtualBox VM

6.2.2a From my own usage of Virtualbox, a running Virtualbox VM instance might randomly set a wake timer.

6.2.2b Solution? Shutdown / Save state the running VirtualBox VM(s).

6.2.2c That should stop the VirtualBox VM from waking your PC every minute.

Explanation / Discussion: I am still unsure about the cause for this one. My suspicion though is that it might be related to VirtualBox’s network adapter settings, because it often happens to one of my VMs that uses an Internal Network. Yet again, it also happens on regular bridge network VMs, much more rarely though. So there might just be a bug in the interface between the VirtualBox Hypervisor and the PC’s physical network card. Maybe someone has a better idea.

6.3 Sleep your PC as usual.

6.4 If it wakes up again, repeat Step 6.2 until you identify the suspicious application. After all, that was how I found out that one of them was Spotify.

Conclusion

If you have followed the guide entirely, you would have learnt a great deal about the variety of Wake Sources; who would’ve known it would be so complex.

The good news is that you will now be able to deal with any present wake problems and future gotcha wake surprises  all to keep your system is wake-proof.

I hope this helps you all.

8 Comments on
Completely fix wake problems on Windows

Join the Discussion

  1. R-P says:

    Hi, thanks for one of the most comprehensive instructions on how to handle this!

    I think I followed this in detail, but I end up at a junction that your instructions don’t cover: I have no reason known for the waking up (Event Viewer, powertroubleshooter reason for waking up: none), so I skip to “5”. But unfortunately, Powershell also returns nothing.
    Is there anywhere to go from there?

    Seconds before the computer wakes up, there is a notation in the Event viewer that claims “system time was synchronised with hardware clock”. Same minute, but also not mentioned by the Powershell-routine.
    (I do have issues with the clock being days or hours out of sync, tried everything that sounded plausible on the net bar me measuring the bios back-up battery in my <1 year old laptop, but I never fixed this).

    Links to screenshots:
    Event viewer (partly in Dutch) http://i.imgur.com/MRKZ66Z.jpg
    Powershell http://i.imgur.com/N7yScKe.jpg
    i5 Medion laptop on WIN10. Teamviewer 11.0.65452 Mentioning this as version 10 was supposedly identified as the culprit for waking computers sometimes. Wake-on-LAN is off and not connected via cable anyway. Waketimer query results in 'none'.

    Thanks,
    R-P

    1. Leo says:

      Hi R-P, appreciate the detail in your reply; I suspected my article to cover most but not all grounds pertaining to wake issues on WIndows 10.

      Regarding the hardware clock message, ignore it, it’s a normal message.

      You mentioned your PC has a weak bios battery. But that doesn’t matter, since both the Event logs and the PowerShell script use the within-Windows time. Based on your 2nd screenshot, there’s no Scheduled Task problem.

      You also said TeamViewer 11.0.65452 has an issue with waking computers. Where did you get that info? Because if it’s from the TeamViewer forums, then it is likely to be the issue of specific applications (e.g. Spotify on Windows 10 used to create Wake Timers), in which case have to wait out for a patch. And for now the best way would be to close TeamViewer before sleeping your computer.

      You are right that Wake-on-Lan will not be triggered without an Ethernet cable connected to your PC. Just to be sure, disable wake for network card and all other suspicious devices (follow Step 3.1).

      Just to mention that sometimes a reboot can fix these wake issues. Recently on my other PC, I was seeing repeatedly random waking 1 minute after sleeping. I went through my entire process of tracking, finally concluded that it might be a bug with WIndows 10 (likely caused by Windows Updates without rebooting my system yet). I rebooted it and the problem went away.

    2. Vet says:

      Yes thank you sOOOOOO much!

  2. mike says:

    HI, I did all as suggested however with the command prompt, all it says is: “wake history count -1. Wake history (0) Wake source count -0
    What does that mean?
    I also disabled devices from waking up computer, I have went under scheduled tasks and tried to remove all I could….it still wakes up from hibernate. Sometimes within a couple minutes of going to sleep or several days but it will always wake up. no matter what I try. Need help.

    Why can’t hibernate and Sleep just perform their purpose until I wake it up? Is Microsoft so afraid that I’ll never wake my computer again that they feel the need to force it? I promise Microsoft, I’ll wake up my computer again and then feel free to update or whatever you fear is so immensely important.

    1. Leo says:

      Hi mike, whenever your PC wakes up you can try checking the event log (Right click on Start button > Event Viewer. In Event Viewer, Expand the left pane Windows Logs > System, And look for under column ‘Source’ for Kernel-Power. Click through the few entries corresponding to the time of the PC waking. That might give you a hint to the source of the waking, you might try googling the exact log message etc.
      Example of how the event log looks: https://theohbrothers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/01.png

      Post back if you need help.

    2. Leo says:

      I have updated the article with Steps to diagnosing Surprise Wake Sources. I’m pretty confident that will help you track down and resolve the problem. My apologies for the slow update.

  3. Fabio says:

    How to disable a service? In Brazil we have an obrigatory program to access banks that cannot be disabled or closed, but the last version keeps waking windows 10. In powercfg -waketimers: “Timer set by [PROCESS] \Device\HarddiskVolume3\Program Files\Diebold\Warsaw\core.exe expires at 20:04:37 on 06/06/2016. Reason: generic”

    1. Leo says:

      Hi Fabio, I’ve never heard of such a system implemented across machines as a service, my guess from what u tell me is that the machine is part of a Windows domain and it is locked down to domain policies if your pc is a part of a commercial company. If that is the case, it won’t be possible to disable it, but since you told me the problem only began recently, it’s possible that the recent patch introduced a bug – a wake timer – so you’ll just have to wait out for the newer version that (hopefully) fixes it and report if it doesn’t.

      That was what happened on one of the versions of Spotify on Windows 10 when I first upgraded from Windows 8.1. I remember trying to file for a bug report when I noticed others had already opened one reporting the same issue. The wake timer bug was fixed in a week or two.