How to View Apps Preventing Sleep on Windows 10 - Windows Basics


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

How to View Apps Preventing Sleep on Windows 10

If you leave Windows 10 system idle for a while, whether you are on the desktop or your screen is locked, then it will eventually go to Sleep mode. This is a system preset where you don't have to set anything up though you can customize the idle timeout or schedule when the system sleeps. For Windows 10 system to go to sleep, inactivity timeout is important but user activity is not the only thing that can stop that. Background apps and processes may prevent the system from going to sleep. Unfortunately, there is no simple GUI-based method for viewing sleep-blocking apps on Windows 10. That said, you can use a simple command line command to get the job done.

View apps preventing sleep on Windows 10

To see which applications are preventing the system from going to sleep, you need administrator rights. This is because the command checks the instructions sent to the operating system's source management policy.

1. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

2. Run the following command

powercfg /request

3. The command will return a list of processes and apps that are preventing Windows 10 from going to sleep.

Results are not presented in the most user-friendly format; That is the nature of the information you will get from command line tools. That said, here is a simple breakdown of the information you can see.

  • Display: This will show the processes that have taken over the screen, for example an app in full screen mode. This could be a media player like the Movies & TV app, or it could be a presentation software like PowerPoint. It could also be a screen recording tool like OBS.
  • System: This will show system processes even though system processes may be invoked by other running applications. For example, if a sound stream is playing, the audio driver will be in use and it appears to prevent the system from going to sleep. Usually, you will be able to know which apps are using the audio device on your system, so getting rid of this app is not too difficult.
  • Awaymode: This option shows apps separately. It is the command that applications send to Windows 10 asking it to keep the system active. Programmable applications do this.


Some apps need to prevent sleep mode to work. Sleep mode won't prevent the system from locking but as long as the system is awake, whatever the app needs to do, for example file processing, the app can still do it. You can leave the system knowing that whatever you have set up will be done by the time you get back to work.


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