Ever since I first installed Windows 10 on my computer, there has been one niggling, recurring problem– it won’t go to sleep! By searching various forums on the internet and spending countless hours with search engines, I have over time “fixed” this annoyance several times, but it keeps coming back to pester me some more like an itch you can’t quite reach.
The biggest problem is that once I got it “fixed”, it would work long enough that when the situation happened again, I had long forgotten how I “fixed” it and would have to return to the mundane task of drilling through forums and search engines. Arghhh!
Well, it happened again about a week ago and this time I was determined to fix it, for sure, forever, this time around.
The title of this article contains the word “Solved”. This must be taken with a grain of salt. What works for me, on my computer, may or may not work for you on your computer. So-called identical computers are not truly identical. Just as identical twins have differing opinions, tastes and desires, so too, it would seem, do computers.
Why Windows Won’t Sleep
To be able to fix anything, you first must know what the problem is. Here is what I did:
- I opened an Administrative Command Prompt. To do so, use the Windows Key + X hotkey and choose Command Prompt (Admin)
- In the Command Box, type powercfg /energy and hit Enter
This will run in the background for about one minute. When it has finished, there should be some results shown:
In this scan it showed 8 Errors, 11 Warnings, and 21 Informational messages, pretty useless until you read the file it created. There will be a path to an HTML file which can be opened in any browser.
- Open that file and you should see something like this:
Your results will most likely be different. In my case, it was a Realtek sound driver leading to pulling hair out. This has caused grief in the past, and I have “fixed” this problem before by installing new drivers. Doing that solved the problem, but only temporarily. This time, things were going to be different!
Giving Windows Sleeping Pills
My final act was to uninstall the offending Realtek sound drivers and, heaven help me, let Windows install its own generic Microsoft (MS) sound drivers instead. Believe me when I tell you this is, for me, a desperate act. I never use dedicated Device Drivers from MS unless there is no way around it. The reason is that Microsoft’s drivers are oftentimes outdated and they hardly ever provide all the bells and whistles the original manufacturer’s drivers do.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Sweet Dreams, Windows
Using my favorite hotkey, Windows Key + X, I chose Device Manager from the menu
As you can plainly see in the above image, Realtek is nowhere to be found.
- In Device Manager, Double-click on the driver you want to Disable or Uninstall
- In the Properties Sheet that opens, choose the Driver Tab
- Click the button labeled either Disable, or Uninstall (depending on what you want to do, of course)
- Respond to the Frantic Warning Message in a positive way (read: click OK)
Note: If you really want to get rid of everything related to the driver, then check that little box to delete the driver software. Uninstalling a Device is not the same as getting rid of the software that drives it.
If you have chosen to uninstall a driver, it might be a good idea to re-boot your computer. This will guarantee that Windows will replace the driver with one of its own.
I have no idea whatsoever why a sound driver would have anything to do with Windows sleeping. It makes no sense to me. All I know is that eliminating it works for me. In this particular case one would have to choose between an ill-behaved Windows going tuck-tuck when it is supposed to, or having a more controllable sound system.
My biggest source of frustration with Windows 10 is that it misbehaves in simplistic ways that its predecessors did not. I see it as taking one step forward and two steps back. I wish Microsoft would get all the basic stuff working before embarking on huge new “improvements”. Don’t you?