Turn On or Off Stop Devices when Screen is Off in Windows 10


How to Turn On or Off Stop Devices when Screen is Off in Windows 10

To save your battery power, Windows 10 can automatically stop devices connected via USB to your laptop or other portable PC. If this power saving feature gives you issues with connected devices like external drives or pointing device, you can turn it off.

Windows 10 comes with a number of power saving feature to make your PC's battery last for long. For example, there is a special feature called Battery Saver which is intended background app activity and putting your device hardware in power saving mode. Also, it includes Energy Saver, Power Throttling, and a number of power plan options.

If you have issues with connected devices while your device is on battery power, this can be because Windows 10 may turn off and stop them when the screen is off. This feature is enabled on some devices by default to have save battery. For troubleshooting, you might want to temporarily disable it, and see if it helps. Here is how it can be done.

To Turn On or Off Stop Devices when Screen is Off in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Devices > USB.
  3. In the right pane, turn off (uncheck) Stop devices when my screen is off to help save battery. If you're having problems with connected devices, clear the checkbox. This is enabled by default.
  4. You can re-enable the option at any moment later to make Windows 10 stop USB devices with the screen turned off.

You are done.

Alternatively, you can apply a Registry tweak to turn on or off this feature. Here is how it can be done.

Before proceeding, ensure that your user account has administrative privileges. Now, follow the instructions below.

Turn On or Off Stop Devices when Screen is Off with a Registry Tweak

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
  3. On the right, modify or create a new 32-Bit DWORD value AttemptRecoveryFromUsbPowerDrain.
    Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
  4. Set its value to 1 to enable the feature. Otherwise, set it to 0.
  5. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you may need to restart Windows 10.

You can download the ready-to-use Registry files below:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

One thought on “Turn On or Off Stop Devices when Screen is Off in Windows 10”

  1. Unfortunately, as of the Windows 10 ver. 2004 update, all USB ports now remained powered in Standby mode. It’s part of Microsoft’s “Modern Standby” initiative, as they figure some users want to recharge other devices from their PCs’s USB ports. On some systems, network connections also stay on in Standby (!) “so updates and email can be downloaded” when the system isn’t being used. This has greatly reduced Standby time on battery power. I’ve looked far and wide for a fix, but apparently there isn’t one. Even selecting “Stop devices when my screen is off” in Settings > USB settings has no effect; nor does setting to “1” the corresponding registry key (Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\USB\AutomaticSurpriseRemoval), which is why it’s supposed to be there. It’s just the latest example of Microsoft determining how people should use their own computers.

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