Get rid of a spontaneously turning on Windows PC

Since Windows 10, something spooky has been going on with various computers: they sometimes turn on spontaneously. It does not matter whether it is a laptop or a desktop PC.

It remains a strange sensation that we have encountered here ourselves. You turn off a computer (but really turn it off and not in sleep mode or something like that). You walk away and go do something else. When you come back, that computer is suddenly on again! Without anyone being around. Now it may be that you have a witty house spirit in your house, but because this phenomenon has become more widely known, especially with the arrival of Windows 10, the cause must (usually) be sought elsewhere. One of the main suspects is without a doubt Quick Boot.

The idea behind this trick is that when shutting down Windows writes a snapshot of the memory to the disk. At the next start, that snapshot is loaded and all kinds of processes and services do not have to be restarted. However, it is all somewhat clean appearances. Yes: you (possibly) gain some boot time, although you will hardly notice this with an SSD. On the other hand, closing takes longer. Lead for old iron. Much worse is that the function does not work well on all computers. Sometimes a system just won't shut down. This is especially annoying with laptops, because often all indicator lights and the like are already switched off. Only putting your ear on the device helps: you can still hear a fan buzzing softly or a hard disk spinning.


Not only is it very unhealthy to put such an almost unnoticed, not really switched off laptop in your bag; after all, the risk of overheating and thereby damaged parts is great due to the lack of ventilation. In an extreme scenario, there could even be a fire. You shouldn't think about it when something like this happens in the luggage rack of an airplane high in the sky. In short: for your own peace of mind, turn off that fast startup. That's how it goes. From the Start menu, click Institutions. In the window that opens, click System and then left Power management and sleep mode. Then right click Additional power settings. In another new window click on Determining the behavior of the power buttons. Completely illogical indeed and it is therefore strange that Microsoft has hidden such an important function in such a strange place, and also has it on by default.

It gets even crazier: at first you can't even change the option in question. To do this, first click on the link Change settings that are currently unavailable to be clicked. Only now you can have the option Enable fast startup (recommended)from to make. Finally click Saving Changes. The first thing you notice about this shutdown is that the next time you shut down your system, it will be faster. And also that it may no longer linger in some kind of twilight zone between switching off and really going out. Last but not least, it also prevents your computer from turning on spontaneously. A pleasant thought, especially for travelers.

magic packets

We're not quite there yet when it comes to 'spontaneously' turning on computers. There is also such a thing as a magic packet. This is a network package with a specific code with which a computer can be switched on remotely by, for example, a system administrator. Provided that the detection of and subsequent action is allowed in the driver settings of your network card.

You guessed it: In Windows 10 this is enabled by default. You can disable it by right-clicking on the Start button to Device Manager to go. In the window that opens, click on the plus sign for Network adapters. Then click with the right mouse button on your network card (NIC) and then in the opened context menu on Characteristics. In the Properties window, click the tab Advanced and search in the list under Properties for Wake on Magic Packet (or Awakening by Magic Packet). Set the Value to Disabled or Turned off and click OK. Open the network card properties again and click on the tab Power management. Make sure the option here This device may wake the computer from sleep mode is fromswitched. This prevents a PC waking up in the middle of the night that, for example, will spontaneously update without you having any control over it or being able to intervene if things go wrong. To conclude, click OK.

By the way, go through this procedure for both the Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters. From now on you are again in charge of the switching on and off behavior of your system. Check the settings every now and then (also Quick Boot), they often want to jump back to the default values ​​after an update and certainly an upgrade of Windows.

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