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To keep your PC on during downloads, you can change your power settings to “High Performance” and disable the “Turn off hard disk after” setting. Alternatively, you can use third-party software or configure your BIOS settings to prevent your PC from shutting off during downloads.
In this article, I’ll explore the easiest way to keep your PC on while you’re running downloads and provide some advanced solutions to take your power management to the next level.
Easiest Way To Keep Your PC on While Downloading
As a PC user, you may have experienced the frustration of having your computer shut off in the middle of a long download. Whether it’s a software update, a large file, or a movie, losing your progress and starting over can be a real nuisance.
The easiest way to keep your PC on while downloading is to change your power settings.
By default, most computers are set to run on a power-saving mode that will shut off the hard disk and put the computer to sleep after a certain period of inactivity. However, you can change the power settings to prevent this from happening, allowing you to keep your PC running while downloads finish up.
Simply do the following to change your machine’s power settings.
- Navigate to the power options in your Windows settings. You can do this by searching for “power options” in the Windows search bar or by going to Control Panel > Power Options.
- Change the power plan to “High Performance.” This power plan is designed to give you maximum performance and will not shut off your hard disk or put the computer to sleep.
- Disable the “Turn off hard disk after” setting. This setting is typically found in the Advanced settings of your power plan and controls how long the hard disk is allowed to be inactive before it is shut off. Disabling this setting will ensure that the hard disk stays on during downloads.
- Check your power supply. It’s important to remember that changing your power plan to High-Performance mode will consume more power, so make sure to have a power backup if you are not plugged into an outlet. In general, I would recommend ensuring your computer is plugged in if you’re going to be running long downloads and want to avoid interruption.
Following these steps, you’ll be able to keep your PC on while your downloads run and ensure that they continue without interruption.
Use Download Management Software
Another tip for ensuring successful downloads is to use internet download manager (IDM) software. IDM software is a third-party tool that allows you to manage and schedule your downloads. There are many worthwhile free options to explore.
This software can help increase the download speed, resume broken downloads, and schedule downloads during non-peak hours. Additionally, most IDM software has various built-in features that can keep your PC on during the download process.
Here’s how to use IDM software to keep your PC on during downloads.
- Download and install reliable IDM software, such as Download Accelerator Plus or Ninja Download Manager.
- Once the software is installed, launch it and add your download links to the software’s queue.
- Look for the settings or preferences menu and find the option to schedule downloads.
- Most IDMs have an option to “keep PC awake while downloading” or “prevent PC from sleeping” feature, which will keep your PC on while the download is in progress.
- Start the download and let the software handle the rest. With IDM software, you can be sure that your downloads will run smoothly and without interruption, even if you are not at your computer.
It’s worth noting that IDM software can be a great tool, but it’s not always necessary. If you prefer not to use a third-party software, you can still keep your PC on during downloads by following the steps outlined in the previous section on changing power settings.
If you’re looking for other ways to supercharge your download speeds or troubleshoot why your downloads are taking longer than expected, check out my guide to preventing slow downloads.
Other Ways To Keep Your PC On
While adjusting power settings or using a download manager are the most common solutions to your PC turning off during downloads, they’re far from the only solutions. There are pieces of software designed explicitly to prevent your computer from going to sleep, and there are even modifications you can make to your system that will accomplish the same.
Third-Party Software To Keep Your PC On
Another possible solution is to use third-party software that keeps your PC turned on during downloads. Several popular software options are available, such as PowerToys Awake Utility, WakeOnLan, Caffeine, and Don’t Sleep. This software prevents your computer from going into sleep mode without changing the power settings.
Here’s how to use third-party software to keep your PC on while running downloads:
- Download and install your program of choice, such as WakeOnLan, Caffeine, or Don’t Sleep.
- Once the software is installed, launch it and configure the settings to prevent the computer from going into sleep mode.
- Start your download and let the software handle the rest. With this software, you can set your computer to download even if you are not on your computer.
Bios Configurations To Keep Your PC On
Another advanced solution is to configure BIOS settings to keep your PC on during downloads.
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is the firmware that controls the basic functions of your computer, including power management. By configuring your machine’s BIOS settings, you can prevent your computer from going to sleep during downloads or at any other point you want to avoid sleep mode.
Here’s how to configure BIOS settings to keep your PC on during downloads.
- Restart your computer and press the key to enter the BIOS settings. This key is usually F2 or Del, but it may vary depending on your PC model.
- Look for the power management settings and find the option to prevent the computer from going into sleep mode.
- Change the settings to prevent sleep mode and save the changes.
- Exit the BIOS settings and continue with your download.
This process is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. Accessing and configuring BIOS settings can be risky if you are unfamiliar with the process.
Be sure to research your specific PC or motherboard model and read the documentation before making any changes. Additionally, back up your settings before making any changes, so you can revert if something goes wrong.
Scheduling and Optimizing Downloads
One way to ensure that your downloads run quickly, smoothly, and without interruption is to schedule them for non-peak hours, or when you know you will be away from the computer.
This scheduling can be done using either the built-in Windows Task Scheduler or some of the same third-party software you can use to keep your PC from going to sleep.
Using Windows Task Scheduler
The Windows Task Scheduler is a built-in tool allowing you to schedule tasks, including downloads, to occur at a specific time in the future. Here’s how to schedule downloads using the Windows Task Scheduler.
- Open the Windows Task Scheduler by searching for it in the Windows search bar or by going to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler.
- Click “Create Basic Task” and give your task a name and description.
- Set the schedule for when you want the task to occur, such as during a non-peak timeframe or when you know you will be away from the computer.
- Under “Action,” choose “Start a program” and browse the download file or application you want to schedule.
- Click on “Finish” to save the task.
Using Third-Party Software
Third-party software provides another option for scheduling downloads. There are several popular software options for you to explore, including the software mentioned above for keeping your PC on during downloads.
This software allows you to manage and schedule your downloads at a specific time or on a schedule that works best for you. While these programs are designed to be straightforward to run, here’s how to use third-party software to schedule downloads.
- Download and install a well-reviewed download manager, such as Internet Download Manager or Ninja Download Manager.
- Once the software is installed, launch it. Then, add your download links to the queue.
- Look for the settings or preferences menu and find the option to schedule downloads.
- Set the scheduled time for the download to start at the ideal time, either aiming for off-peak hours or when you won’t be using your PC.
- Start the download and let the software handle the rest so that your downloads can run at the optimal time, no matter what you have going on.
When you want to prevent your PC from going to sleep mid-download, changing the power settings is the easiest way to do this. No matter which option you pick, following the steps outlined in this article ensures that your downloads run smoothly and without interruption.