4. Update the graphics card driver
- In the Search bar, type view advanced and open View advanced systems settings.
- Select the Hardware tab and open Device installation settings.
- Disable automatic settings and confirm changes.
We can see what good intentions Microsoft had when they decided to fully-automatize the driver distribution on Windows 10. With the latest Windows 10 iteration, you don’t have to be a knowledgeable user in order to get driver updates.
However, this concept doesn’t always work as intended. Especially with the sensitive hardware like GPU which occasionally relies on legacy drivers.
And, when the problem with your display occurs, we can assume with relative certainty that the GPU has something to do with that.
Now, we recommend updating your drivers as the first step. On the other hand, if the issue persists, the best way to get the proper drivers is to find them manually.
This might look complicated but it really isn’t, taking into consideration how easily accessible they’re on the OEMS respective support sites.
Also, what you’ll want to do is to dodge the future updates via Windows Update.
If you need more info on how to block driver updates on Windows 10, we’ve written an extensive guide on this subject. Be sure to check it out.
5. Use a keyboard shortcut to restart the graphics driver
Now, this isn’t a solution but might act as a proper workaround until you resolve the issue completely. Maybe with one of the provided solutions or some of the future Windows updates address this.
Either way, there’s a black screen and you can’t do a thing besides physically powering off your PC and starting it again. However, there’s a once keyword combination which will, when utilised, restart the graphics driver and the screen might just turn on.
This helped some HP users who were plagued by the same issue. The combination you should try out is Windows key + Ctrl + Shift + B. It’ll automatically restart the graphics driver and the screen should turn on from the Sleep mode.
6. Uninstall problematic apps
- Type Control in Windows Search and open Control Panel.
- Click on Uninstall a program.
- Uninstall any power-related pre-installed application.
- Restart your PC and look for changes.
As the Sleep mode reduces the resource usage, it still keeps the applications opened so you can resume working. However, some of those apps, especially the ones which come pre-installed, can cause a lot of problems.
Namely, some third-party applications provided by the OEM as a supporting software can affect the system performance negatively in various ways. Especially the ones with the power management premises.
Now, one would assume that this software is tested by the OEM and it should improve the PC’s performance. And that’s true. However, Windows 10 is the one having issues with third-party software.
So, instead of ditching Windows 10 completely, we recommend uninstalling the problematic applications.
If you can’t open Control Panel on Windows 10, take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.
7. Update BIOS
Another possible reason for the Sleep mode issues lies in the outdated BIOS firmware. A lot of older machines have a hard time running Windows 10 in a seamless manner without the updated BIOS (UEFI) firmware.
However, even though updating (flashing) procedure isn’t complicated as it seems, it’s well-recommended to approach it carefully. In case the power outage breaks in the middle of the process, your motherboard might get bricked.
Now, we can advise you to look up your motherboard and update it if needed. If you’re not accustomed to this procedure, make sure to check out the guide below where we explained the general flashing process.
If updating BIOS seems scary, make things way easier with the help of this handy guide.
8. Disable onboard graphics
- Right-click Start and open Device manager.
- Navigate to Display adapters and expand the section.
- Right-click on the onboard GPU (mostly Intel) and disable it.
- Restart your PC and check whether the Sleep mode behaves.
Many contemporary laptops come with the dual-GPU configurations. The onboard graphics adapter is used for the idle work while the dedicated graphics run only when it’s needed.
This is great when you want to reduce the power consumption while keeping PC’s performance. However, these integrated GPU cards occasionally have issues with Sleep mode.
With that in mind, we recommend disabling temporarily the onboard graphics adapter and using the dedicated graphics exclusively. There are few ways to do this.
You can use a GPU suite, Control Center or Catalyst, to disable the integrated graphics card. On the other hand, you can disable the device completely through the system settings.
9. Disable Sleep mode
- In the Windows Search bar, type Power and open Edit power plan.
- Set the Put the computer to sleep setting to Never for both On battery and Plugged in options.
- Confirm changes.
Finally, if you gradually covered all of the aforementioned steps but the problem is still persistent, we advise you to disable the Sleep mode.
Now, this probably isn’t something you wanted to hear, but if your PC is performing well in every manner with this one exception, at least consider disabling Sleep mode.
One more cause for this issue could just be random data corruption on the hard disk preventing it from going to sleep properly – to check if this is the issue you could put your computer to sleep and check if the hard disk indicator light on your computer turns off or not.
If it does not, this might be what is causing your issue.
Fixing this, however, is very complicated and might lead you to loss of some of your data, so it is better to simply try and install Windows at that point instead of going through hours of backups and restoration procedures.
If you have any other questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2016 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.