Configure Display Off Time in Windows 10

A special option in Windows 10 allows the user to turn off the display automatically after a specified period of inactivity. This feature is helpful for those who need to save energy, i.e. if you have a laptop or tablet.

The option called Turn off the display is a part of power management options of the current power plan. The user can enable or disable it. Depending on the selected power plan, it can be enabled or disabled out-of-the-box.

When enabled, your display will be turned off after your PC is idle for the configured period of time. The monitor screen will become black. The next time you access the device, the screen will show the desktop instantly. Also, it may be your lock screen image.

Tip: see how to add Turn Off Display Context Menu in Windows 10.

To configure Display Off time in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to System - Power & sleep.
  3. On the right, see the Screen section. There you can set how many minutes Windows must wait before turning off the PC's display.

Note: If your device has a battery, a separate option will appear in Settings, which will allow you to set a separate period of time for the screen turn off action on battery.

Alternatively, you can configure the same option using the classic Power management applet in Control Panel.

Configure Display Off Time using classic Power Options

  1. Open Settings and go to System - Power & sleep.
  2. On the right, click on the link Additional power settings.
  3. The following dialog will be opened. There, click the "Change plan settings" link.
  4. In the next dialog, set the Turn off the display option to the desired period of time.

Note: The default value of the option is 10 minutes.

Tip: The Advanced Power Options applet also can be used to set the option. You can open it directly as described in the following article: How to open advanced settings of a power plan directly in Windows 10
In short, execute the following command from the Run dialog or from a command prompt.

control.exe powercfg.cpl,,3

Expand the tree to Display -> Turn off display after and set the required amount of minutes. 0 means "never", so the display will be turned on all the time.

Configure Display Off Time using Powercfg

There is a built-in tool in Windows 10, powercfg. This console utility can adjust many parameters related to power management. For example, powercfg can be used:

Powercfg can be used to set the display off time. Here is how.

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Type or copy-paste the following command:
    powercfg /SETACVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT 7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc99 3c0bc021-c8a8-4e07-a973-6b14cbcb2b7e SECONDS

    This will set the screen turn off timeout when your device is plugged in. Replace the SECONDS portion with the required amount of seconds, e.g. 120 for 2 minutes. Again, 0 means "Never".

  3. To configure the same when your device is on battery, execute the command:
    powercfg /SETDCVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT 7516b95f-f776-4464-8c53-06167f40cc99 3c0bc021-c8a8-4e07-a973-6b14cbcb2b7e SECONDS

    Set the required SECONDS value and you are done.

Note that turning off the display does not lock your device like sending it to Sleep or Hibernation does. So while the display is off, anyone can access your unlocked PC. However you can manually lock your PC quickly if you are stepping away using the Win+L hotkey combination. Then the display will be turned off at the logon screen after the specified time interval.

Also, if you have turned on Lockscreen Slideshow, Windows will play it instead of turning off the display. The display will then be turned off according to the Lockscreen Slideshow settings.

That's it.

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