Climate Savers Computing – Power Management Instructions

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Recommended Power Management Settings

When enabled, power management places your monitor, hard drives and computer into a low-power “sleep” mode after a period of inactivity. A simple touch of the mouse or keyboard “wakes” the computer, hard drive and monitor in seconds. Power management features are standard in Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

The use of power management can reduce energy consumption and cooling costs, reduce noise, and prolong the battery life of laptop PCs. And when your PC consumes less power, you reduce your impact on the environment.

To improve the power efficiency of your PC, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative recommends the following power management settings:


  • Monitor/display sleep: Turn off after 15 minutes or less
  • Turn off hard drives/hard disk sleep: 15 minutes or less
  • System standby/sleep: After 30 minutes or less

Instructions for enabling power management vary by operating system. Click below for detailed instructions by operating system:

Note: Windows NT 4.0 Workstation operating system does not support monitor power management. EZ Wizard and manual enablement will not work for a computer running Windows NT.
You can also download a printable PDF with instructions for enabling power management in all of the above operating systems.

For information on power management on Linux-based systems, please visit , a community project created to address power saving on Linux.


In addition, here are some other helpful power management tips:


  • Limit screen-saver use. A screen saver does not save energy. In fact, more often than not, a screen saver not only will draw power for the monitor, but also will keep the CPU from shutting down. Instead, set your computer to turn off the monitor first, then go into standby mode after a longer period of inactivity.
  • Keeping your Virtual Private Network (VPN) connected may limit your system's ability to enter standby mode. We recommend you disconnect your VPN when not actively using your corporate network.
  • Many popular computer games and other third party software packages that run in the background will not allow the computer to go to sleep – even if they are paused or the active window is minimized.
  • Some web sites or pages that have active banners and or animated advertisements will not allow the computer to sleep on its own and must be closed, or the computer put manually into a sleep state.
  • Advanced users may wish to establish multiple power schemes to address different usage models. For example, you can create a power scheme for playing music CDs that shuts off your hard drive and monitor immediately, but never puts your system into standby mode.
  • To maximize the battery life of your laptop computer, consider setting even more aggressive monitor, hard drive and standby/sleep settings for battery mode.
  • To further reduce power consumption, turn off computing and peripheral devices that are not being used or being used for an extended period of time such as overnight.
  • Plug all your electronics into one surge protector, so you can easily switch them all off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Most power supplies (such as your cell phone charger) continue to draw power and generate heat even when not attached to a device.




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