Why does computer keep waking up from sleep?


A question I get a lot is, “Why does computer keep waking up from sleep especially at night?” The short answer to that question is that some computers have extremely sensitive system components which cause it to wake up even if it’s just a few minutes. Alternatively, this can also be due to corrupted drivers, software errors or malware.


If you are getting this symptom then chances are your system is having some sort of driver errors. In most cases this is caused by damaged or corrupted device drivers. So, in a nutshell, these errors cause the computer to stop responding with error messages and may cause it to wake up unexpectedly.

Drivers are software components that are unique to each individual computer. They are used to customize and control how your computer works and feels. Like any other software program on your computer, they too can develop bugs and errors overtime. As time goes on, Windows gets more dependent upon these faulty drivers. This in turn causes Windows to have difficulty finding the correct ones to allow Windows to function correctly.

A frequently crashing computer

A computer that is frequently crashing (blue screen etc.) can wake up randomly. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most damaging reasons as it can completely corrupt all important data and programs on your hard drive. When a system crashes, it needs to restart in an orderly fashion. However, this can only be achieved if Windows can locate and load the essential programs and data. This can only be assisted by the right driver!


Software errors

Another main cause could be software errors. This can be seen as a very simple reason because as soon as you see an error message, you immediately check to see if this is a hardware problem. However, more likely than not, this is a software issue that has been building up over time. An expert at computer repairs would be able to fix all such issues in a breeze!

Virus or Malware

Other reasons why your system will wake up is due to having an unseen virus, malware, or spyware on your system. These types of malicious software programs can cause your computer to start at random times and hang your system as well as make it take longer to boot. Your best solution is to download and run a full system scan with a trustworthy anti-virus software product like Kaspersky. The program will look through all files and folders on your computer and notify if there is a problem. If so, it will either fix the error or remove the virus.

How to find what’s waking up your computer from sleep?


  1. Left-click on the Windows Start icon
  2. Type in ‘Command Prompt’
  3. Right-click on ‘Command Prompt’
  4. Select ‘Run as Administrator’
  5. Select ‘Yes’
  6. Type in ‘powercfg /lastwake’ and tap on ‘Enter’ on your keyboard.


Your computer’s performance level will gradually get better as you fix these problems. As long as you don’t do anything to cause this to happen though, you should notice a significant improvement in performance within a short amount of time. Don’t just assume that your computer wakes up from sleep randomly though. Perform a system scan regularly to find and eliminate any potential threats.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...