Finding your computer turning on by itself after shutting down can be creepy. Imagine leaving your PC turned off after your workday, then finding it turned on when you get back in the morning. Don’t worry, it’s not a ghost.
A lot of users have also been experiencing the same scenario where their computer boots up after shutdown without them doing anything. It can be confusing at first, but this issue has something to do with your computer’s power management settings, causing involuntary startups.
The users who encountered this issue reported that their computers would boot up randomly in the middle of the night and the only way to keep it turned off is to cut off the power source (remove the battery or unplug from the wall). Doing this every single day has made a lot of affected Windows 10 users frustrated.
Why Does My Computer Turn on by Itself After Shutdown?
When a computer boots up after shutdown for no reason at all, the first thing you need to look at is the device’s power settings. The default settings might have been changed or they might have been tampered with.
Pro Tip: Scan your PC for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.
A lot of users who reported this error noted that the problem started after installing some updates. It is possible that the updates have changed or affected some of the power-related settings on the system, causing the Windows 10 computer to turn on by itself.
It is also possible for the user to accidentally make the changes without even knowing about it. For example, when the system prompts you to edit the power settings while you’re playing a game to maximize the gaming experience, you might be unknowingly affecting the overall system settings and the changes translate outside the game.
Other elements that might cause these changes to the computer’s power settings include malware and junk files.
What to Do When Your Computer Turns On by Itself After Shutdown
If your computer keeps on waking up or booting up by itself, what you need to do is understand what triggered it. To find out what woke up your computer, you can run a few commands using the Command Prompt.
To do this:
- Press Windows + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
- Type in the following command, then press Enter: powercfg –lastwake. This command will show you the last device that woke your computer up.
- Next, type in this command, followed by Enter: powercfg –devicequery wake_armed. This command will show you a list of all the devices that can wake up your computer.
If your computer is turning itself on because of your mouse or keyboard, the quickest solution is to disconnect these devices after shutting down your computer. But if your problem is caused by a software issue, the solutions below will hopefully resolve this for you.
Fix #1: Turn Off Fast Startup.
The Fast Startup mode is a Windows feature that allows Windows 10 computers to wake up faster than the traditional startup process. This mode does not totally turn off your computer and keeps it in a sleep-like state, so you can turn it back on faster. Disabling this mode can help resolve the problem with your computer turning on by itself.
The Fast Startup feature is enabled by default in Windows 10. To disable it, follow the steps below:
- Click the Power icon in the notification area of your taskbar.
- Choose More Power Options. This will open the Power Options window.
- Click Choose what the power buttons do from the left menu.
- Under Shutdown settings, you will notice that the Turn on fast startup (recommended) is ticked off.
- Uncheck this option and restart your computer.
Fix #2: Try the Power Troubleshooter.
Windows 10 has a built-in troubleshooting utility to fix common Windows problems, including power issues. To run the troubleshooter, follow the instructions below:
- Click Start and type troubleshooting in the search box.
- Click Troubleshooting from the search results.
- Click View all from the left menu.
- Scroll down and look for Power options, right-click on it, and choose Run as administrator.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to run the troubleshooter and fix any power problems your computer might be experiencing.
Fix #3: Set Windows to Ignore Scheduled Tasks.
Sometimes, power problems are more of a software issue than a hardware issue. If you are using Scheduled Task to run some of your tasks at a scheduled time within the day, it may be causing your computer to wake up to be able to complete these tasks.
You can either delete those tasks or set up Windows to ignore those tasks when the computer is in Standby or Hybrid mode.
To change your settings:
- Open Power Options by following the instructions above.
- Click Change Plan Settings.
- Choose the power plan you want to use, then select Change advanced Power settings.
- Look for the Sleep category and expand it.
- Find the Allow Wake Timers option and disable it.
Restart your computer to apply the new settings. This fix will make sure that none of your apps can wake your computer up when it is in sleep mode or shutdown mode.
Fix #4: Turn Off Automatic Restart.
When your computer crashes, Windows, by default, is set to automatically restart by itself. So, if you left your computer on standby and a problem occurs, your computer will restart until the issue has been resolved.
To disable Automatic Restart, follow the steps below:
- Click Start and type System in the search bar.
- Click on System Properties from the search results.
- In the System Properties window, choose Advanced system settings from the left.
- Click on the Advanced tab.
- In the Startup and Recovery window, click Settings.
- Uncheck Automatically Restart.
- Click OK to apply the new settings.
Fix #5: Prevent Your Keyboard or Mouse From Waking Up Your Computer.
Some pieces of computer hardware, such as your keyboard and your mouse, are often designed to wake your computer up. A single keystroke or a slight movement of the mouse can bring your computer back to life.
You can individually edit the power management settings of these devices, to make sure they won’t wake up your PC unintentionally.
To edit these settings, follow these steps:
- Press Windows + X, then hit M to open Device Manager. This will show you a list of all the hardware on your computer.
- Choose the device you want to configure.
- Right-click on the device, choose Properties, and go to the Power Management tab.
- Uncheck the Allow this device to wake the computer option.
Repeat the steps above for all the devices that are causing your computer to wake up.
Fix #6: Disable Scheduled Windows Update and Automatic Maintenance.
Windows Update and Automatic Maintenance mode are usually set to run during your downtime hours. To prevent these tasks from waking up your computer, you can either change their schedule or disable some settings.
To do this:
- Open the Settings app, then click on Windows Update and Security > Windows Update.
- Choose Active Hours.
- Search for Automatic maintenance in the search bar.
- Change the time beside Run maintenance tasks daily at.
- You can also uncheck Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time.
- Save your settings and restart your computer for the changes to apply.
When your Windows 10 computer turns on by itself, don’t freak out because it is a common problem. If you don’t like your computer waking up all of a sudden after shutdown, simply follow the fixes outlined above. You can also try unplugging your computer just to be sure.