Why Does My Monitor Keep Going To Sleep? (And How to Fix It)

by John Sanderson
Why Does My Monitor Keep Going To Sleep

Most of us don’t pay much attention to our monitors unless they malfunction or something we see catches our eye. But if you spend a lot of time using your computer, the monitor could very well have become your new best friend. It’s also a potential enemy if it serves as an interface with your computer and its various programs and services. After all, that little sleep timer built into various operating systems is programmed to make sure your monitor gets at least a brief break after being on display for a while. That way, you don’t end up staring at the same screen all day (and who knows what lurks in an electronics store? The possibilities are endless.) So why does your monitor keep going to sleep? And how do you fix it so the next time it goes to sleep, it stays awake until you want it again? Read on to learn more.

Why Does My Monitor Keep Going To Sleep?

There are a few possible reasons why your monitor might go to sleep:

  • The monitor’s power cord may be plugged in incorrectly or not firmly plugged into an outlet
  • The monitor may have a power-saving feature turned on
  • The monitor may be overworked and need to take a break after being used for an extended period of time

What Is Screen Sleep?

  1. Screen sleep is a power-saving mode for LCD monitors, designed to save electricity.
  2. When screen sleep is activated, the screen will turn black, but the power light will still be on, and the computer can still be used.
  3. The monitor can be woken up by moving the mouse or pressing a key on the keyboard.

Screen sleep is a power-saving mode that many LCD monitors use to save electricity when they’re not in use. It’s also known as standby mode because it puts your monitor into a low-power state and makes it easy to reactivate quickly when you need it again. The monitor enters standby mode automatically after a set amount of time (either 30 minutes or an hour) of no activity on the monitor; the exact amount of time depends on your display settings and whether you’ve adjusted them to extend or shorten this “screen-off” period. On most monitors, it takes less than one second to wake up from standby mode; simply move your mouse or press a key on your keyboard and you’re back in business without having lost any data from what was displayed before you hit standby mode. The screen may flicker for about two seconds upon waking up from standby, although some monitors don’t do this anymore; newer models come out of standby mode quickly than older ones do as well–sometimes within just two seconds–and some newer monitors even have an instant-on function that wakes them instantly at any time without flickering (although this can be a little disconcerting if you’re not used to it).

How to fix a monitor that goes to sleep?

Check Your Settings

The first and most obvious thing you can try is to check what settings your monitor has been set to. If you’re not sure, open the Control Panel and look in the ‘Appearance and Personalisation’ section where you should find a screen specifically designed to adjust your monitor settings. On Windows PCs, you may find the same settings under ‘Appearance and Personalisation’ in the ‘Display’ tab. Mac users may find the same settings in System Preferences or at the very least in their ‘Display Settings’. If you’re not sure what your settings are, you can always change them. Change the ‘When the computer is on’ option in the ‘Power saving’ section of your monitor settings to ‘While on,’ ‘When in Sleep Mode,’ or ‘Never’ and see what happens. You can also try a less drastic change, like ‘while plugged in’ or ‘when on battery.’

Make Sure Your Monitor Is Set To ‘Power saving’ Mode

On most monitors, you can change the ‘when on’ setting to ‘power saving’ mode. Since you’re here, let’s just be safe and make sure that’s what you’re doing. To do this, you can either navigate to your monitor’s settings as above or you can open the Control Panel and navigate to the ‘ Appearance and Personalisation ‘ section where you should find an option called ‘Power saving mode’. With this, set the mode so that when your monitor goes to sleep it does so in a power-saving state. If you’re still not getting results, try toggling the settings above. If that doesn’t work, try toggling the settings below.

Reset Your Display Settings

If you’ve tried adjusting your settings and still can’t get your monitor to come out of sleep mode, you may want to try resetting the settings. This will often do the trick for people but you’ll need to reset the settings yourself. On Windows machines, open the ‘Display’ section of the Control Panel and find the option to reset your display settings. Click this button and wait for your display settings to be reset. On Macs, open System Preferences and select the ‘Displays’ option. Click the ‘Screen Saver’ tab and select the ‘Off’ option. Finally, on Macs with a built-in display, select the ‘Off’ option under ‘When the computer is on’.

Turn On Display Refresh

If your monitor goes to sleep as soon as you stop using it, try setting the monitor to refresh. This will cause the screen to be redrawn and the image on it will appear as soon as you turn it on again. Open the Control Panel or navigate to the ‘Appearance and Personalisation’ section on Windows machines and select the ‘Display’ tab. Check the box next to ‘Have my display refresh when it is on’. On Macs, open System Preferences and select the ‘Displays’ tab. Check the box next to ‘Redraw the screen when it exits sleep’.

Add An Extension Cord and Mouse Mat

If you have an extra USB cable lying around and a mouse mat, you can use these to connect your computer to an external monitor. You can then use the cable to power your monitor and connect it to your computer. This is not a permanent solution but will give your computer a secondary screen to show off while you’re not using it.

Add a Second Monitor

If you have a spare monitor lying around, plug it in and use it as a secondary screen. This will allow you to set your computer up with two screens meaning you can keep one screen on while the other is sleeping. This may be overkill for most people but it can be a useful solution for those with high-end PCs. If you have an extra computer lying around and want to use it as a secondary screen, you can do that.\ If you have an extra monitor lying around and want to use it as a secondary screen, you can do that. This will require a USB extension cable to connect your computer to the new monitor.

Use Some High Contrast Modes

If you’ve tried everything above but are still having trouble, you can try some high-contrast display modes. These will make text and images stand out more against a dark background than normal display modes would. Turn on the ‘Darken Colors’ option under the ‘Display’ section of your monitor’s settings. Alternatively, you can try the ‘Dark’ mode.

What Are The Ways Your Computer Can Go To Sleep?

  • When you close the lid on your laptop, it automatically goes to sleep.
  • If you have an external monitor connected to your PC, it will go to sleep when you close the lid or disconnect the monitor.
  • If you press and hold the power button for a few seconds, it will go to sleep.
  • If you are using a desktop PC and your mouse or keyboard stops moving for more than 10 minutes, then it will go to sleep.


If your monitor is going to sleep without your consent, you can either adjust the power settings on your monitor to keep it on longer, or you can wake your computer up so it doesn’t go to sleep and shut off your monitor. If those work, then great, you’re off to a good start. If not, it’s worth checking if your computer is accidentally sending a signal to your monitor, or if your computer may be having issues that need to be resolved.

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