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Power Options overview

Using Power Options in Control Panel, you can reduce the power consumption of any number of your computer devices or of your entire system. You do this by choosing a power scheme, which is a collection of settings that manages the power usage by your computer. You can create your own power schemes or use the ones provided with Windows.

You can also adjust the individual settings in a power scheme. For example, depending on your hardware, you can:

  • Turn off your monitor and hard disks automatically to save power.
  • Put the computer on standby when it is idle. While on standby, your entire computer switches to a low-power state where devices, such as the monitor and hard disks, turn off and your computer uses less power. When you want to use the computer again, it comes out of standby quickly, and your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. Standby is particularly useful for conserving battery power in portable computers. Because Standby does not save your desktop state to disk, a power failure while on Standby can cause you to lose unsaved information.
  • Put your computer in hibernation. The hibernate feature saves everything in memory on disk, turns off your monitor and hard disk, and then turns off your computer. When you restart your computer, your desktop is restored exactly as you left it. It takes longer to bring your computer out of hibernation than out of standby.

Typically, you turn off your monitor or hard disk for a short period to conserve power. If you plan to be away from your computer for a while, you put your computer on standby, which puts your entire system in a low-power state.

Put your computer in hibernation when you will be away from the computer for an extended time or overnight. When you restart the computer, your desktop is restored exactly as you left it.

To use Windows Power Options, you must have a computer that is set up by the manufacturer to support these features. For more information, see the documentation that came with your computer.

To automatically put your computer on standby

  1. To open Power Options, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Power Options.
  2. Open Power Options in Control Panel.
  3. In Power Schemes, click the down arrow, and then select a power scheme. The time settings for the power scheme are displayed in System standby, Turn off monitor, and Turn off hard disks.
  4. To turn off your monitor before your computer goes on standby, select a time in Turn off monitor.
  5. To turn off your hard disk before your computer goes on standby, select a time in Turn off hard disks.

You might need to save your work before putting your computer on standby. While the computer is on standby, information in computer memory is not saved to your hard disk. If there is an interruption in power, information in memory is lost.

To automatically put your computer into hibernation

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.

  1. Open Power Options in Control Panel.
  2. Click the Hibernate tab, select the Enable hibernate support check box, and then click Apply.
  3. If the Hibernate tab is unavailable, your computer does not support this feature.
  4. Click the APM tab, click Enable Advanced Power Management support, and then click Apply.
  5. The APM tab is unavailable on ACPI-compliant computers. ACPI automatically enables Advanced Power Management, which disables the APM tab.
  6. Click the Power Schemes tab, and then select a time period in System hibernates. Your computer hibernates after it has been idle for the specified amount of time.

To manually put your computer into hibernation

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of either the Administrators or Power Users group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.

  1. Open Power Options in Control Panel.
  2. Click the Hibernate tab, and then select the Enable hibernate support check box.

If the Hibernate tab is not available, your computer does not support this feature.

  1. Click OK to close the Power Options dialog box.
  2. Click Start, and then click Shut Down. In the What do you want the computer to do drop-down list, click Hibernate.

When you put your computer into hibernation, everything in computer memory is saved on your hard disk. When you turn the computer back on, all programs and documents that were open when you turned the computer off are restored on the desktop.

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