How to change the power plan from the command line or with a shortcut

In Windows 8, Windows 7 and earlier, you can choose from predefined power plans which are a group of several power-related settings. If you are running a laptop on battery, you can choose the "Power Saver" plan. If you are running a desktop PC which is on AC power, you can set the "High Performance" plan. To switch the power plan, Windows gives you only two options if you use the notification area power icon. One of them is always the "Balanced" plan. This is not ideal because you have to open the Control Panel and go to Control Panel\System and Security\Power Options to access all the available power plans. Today, we will show you how to save your time and switch the power plan directly from the command line or with a shortcut so you don't need to open Power Options Control Panel every time.


Windows Vista, 7 and 8.x come with a special command line utility, powercfg.exe. It allows you to change various power options with command line switches. It also provides appropriate switches to change the current plan directly.
To activate the "Power Saver" plan, open the command prompt and type the following command:

powercfg.exe /setactive a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a

It will switch your power plan directly.
power saver
To activate the "Balanced" power plan, you need to execute the following command:

powercfg.exe /setactive 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e

Finally, to activate the "High Performance" power plan, use this command:

powercfg.exe /setactive 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c

You can create a shortcut for each command to switch between power plans quickly. Additionally, you can assign a global hotkey for every shortcut to switch between them with the keyboard. You can also pin them to the taskbar and set nice icons for the pinned shortcuts.

9 thoughts on “How to change the power plan from the command line or with a shortcut

  1. sam

    you wouldn’t happen to have a powercfg for never turning off the monitor would ya?

    Reply
  2. Sam

    On my tablet, the only power option is balanced. Do you know how to change advanced power settings using command-line?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Why not tune up it using the Control panel?

      Reply
  3. Pepe

    That won’t work for anyone, except whoever has that ID: 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c

    Each power option (balanced, perfomance, etc) has its unique ID, AND it is also unique for every single pc in this planet, like a fingerprint.

    I’m also looking for something generic, but I can’t find it yet.

    Reply
    1. Doug

      @Pepe – I tested these three commands on my own system, and they correctly switched the power profiles to the correct ones. So I don’t think the GUID is unique to each PC in this case.

      Reply
    2. John

      Pepe
      Try this:

      to high power
      powercfg -s SCHEME_MIN

      to eco mode
      powercfg -s SCHEME_max

      Reply
      1. nohwnd

        Old thread but hopefully this will help to someone in the future. In Windows 7 and newer lot of the guids and settings have freindly names (two of them mentioned in the post above), you can see them by doing: powercfg /aliases the built-in help does not list this parameter for some reason. also Powercfg /query is useful to determine what each alias means.

        Reply
  4. Darrell

    The three GUID numbers provided are the same for my system, but you can verify if for yourself on your computer with the command: POWERCFG -LIST

    The powercfg utility support a huge number of options to modify the power settings. To review the built-in user help, run the command: POWERCFG /?

    The command window in my case didn’t hold the entire result, so I dumped the results into a text file to make it easier to review, using the command: POWERCFG /? > POWER-HELP.TXT

    By default, the command window should create the text file in the path: C:\Users\

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      Part of my last comment was cut off after “C;\Users\”. The default path for the command window is
      c:\Username\Your_Username

      where “Your_Username” is the your Windows logon name.

      Reply

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