Control power settings, configure Hibernate/Standby modes. See also the Windows XP SP2 version of PowerCfg.
Syntax powercfg [Options] Options -l -list List the current user's power schemes (GUIDs) -query [Scheme_GUID] [Sub_GUID] -q [Scheme_GUID] [Sub_GUID] Display the contents of a power scheme. -change settingvalue -x setting value Modify one of the following settings in the current power scheme: -monitor-timeout-ac minutes -monitor-timeout-dc minutes -disk-timeout-ac minutes -disk-timeout-dc minutes -standby-timeout-ac minutes -standby-timeout-dc minutes -hibernate-timeout-ac minutes -hibernate-timeout-dc minutes Setting any value to 0 will set the timeout=Never AC settings are used when the system is on AC power. DC settings on battery power. -changename GUID PowerSchemeName [scheme_description] Modify the name of a power scheme and, optionally, the scheme description. -duplicatescheme GUID [DestinationGUID] Duplicate a power scheme. The GUID of the new scheme will be displayed. If DestinationGUID is omitted, then a new GUID will be created for the duplicated scheme. -delete GUID -d GUID Delete the power scheme with the specified GUID. -deletesetting Sub_GUID Setting_GUID Delete a power setting. -setactive Scheme_GUID -s Scheme_GUID Make the specified power scheme active on the computer. -getactivescheme Retrieve the currently active power scheme. -setacvalueindex Scheme_GUID Sub_GUID Setting_GUID SettingIndex Set a value associated with a specified power setting while the computer is powered by AC power. Use the -l and -q options to discover the GUIDs SettingIndex Specifies which value in the list to set, so 3 = 3rd in the list -setdcvalueindex Scheme_GUID Sub_GUID Setting_GUID SettingIndex Set a value associated with a specified power setting while the computer is powered by DC power. SettingIndex Specifies which value in the list to set, so 3 = 3rd in the list -hibernate [on|off] -h [on|off] Enable or disable the hibernate feature. Hibernate timeout is not supported on all computers. -availablesleepstates -a Report the sleep states available on the computer. Will also attempt to report reasons why sleep states are unavailable. -devicequery query_flags Return a list of devices that meet the specified flags: wake_from_S1_supported – Waking the computer from a light sleep state. wake_from_S2_supported – Waking the computer from a deeper sleep state. wake_from_S3_supported – Waking the computer from the deepest sleep state. wake_from_any – Support waking the computer from any sleep state. S1_supported – Light sleep. S2_supported – Deeper sleep. S3_supported – Deepest sleep. S4_supported – Hibernation. wake_programmable – User-configurable to wake the computer from a sleep state. wake_armed – Currently configured to wake the computer from any sleep state. all_devices – Present in the computer. all_devices_verbose – Verbose list of devices. -deviceEnableWake devicename Enable the device to wake the computer from a sleep state. -deviceDisableWake devicename Disable the device from waking the computer from a sleep state. -import filename [GUID] Import all power settings from the specified file. filename is the path to a file generated with powercfg -export -export filename GUID Export a power scheme, represented by GUID, into filename. -lastwake Report information about the last event that woke the computer. -energy Create energy-report.html in the current directory, Windows7 only. -help -? Display help -aliases Display all aliases and their corresponding GUIDs. These can be used in place of a GUID at the command prompt -setsecruitydescriptor [GUID|Action] SDDL Set a security descriptor associated with a specified power setting, power scheme, or action. Action Is one of: ActionSetActive, ActionCreate, ActionDefault SDDL is a valid security descriptor string in SDD format. Call powercfg -getsecuritydescriptor to see an example SDDL STRING. -getsecuritydescriptor [GUID|Action] Get a security descriptor associated with a specified power setting, power scheme, or action. Action is one of: ActionSetActive, ActionCreate, ActionDefault
Powercfg must be run from an elevated command prompt.
The most common cause of problems with power saving/hibernation is an incompatible device driver, diagnose this by disabling each device in turn (with -deviceDisableWake)
When activating Power Saving across an organisation, it is important to ensure that software updates (security patches and antivirus) are not disrupted.
WSUS can be configured to install updates when workstations are available and Scheduled Tasks can be set to Wake the machine when needed.
Power scheme GUIDs
The use of GUIDs avoids any problems with internationalisation when applying Power Saving to non-english versions of Windows. The three built-in power schemes have the GUIDs listed below:
SCHEME_MAX = Power saver (Max power saving)
SCHEME_BALANCED = Balanced (Typical)
SCHEME_MIN = High performance (Min power saving)
List all Aliases:
C:\> powercfg -aliases
Retrieve the currently active power scheme
C:\> Powercfg -getactivescheme
Set the Monitor and disc timeouts for the current Power saver scheme
C:\> Powercfg -Change -monitor-timeout-ac 20
C:\> Powercfg -Change -disk-timeout-ac 30
Enable the mouse to wake from sleep
C:\> Powercfg -deviceEnableWake "Microsoft USB IntelliMouse Explorer"
Set the 'Power saver' scheme
C:\> Powercfg -SETACTIVE SCHEME_MAX
Create a Custom Power scheme and set it as active
Powercfg -DUPLICATESCHEME SCHEME_MAX %_Custom_Power%
Powercfg -CHANGENAME %_Custom_Power% "SS64 Power Scheme "
Powercfg -SETACTIVE %_Custom_Power%
Disable the sleep button (for the users current power scheme)
For /f "tokens=2 delims=:(" %%G in ('powercfg -getActiveScheme') do (
Powercfg -setAcValueIndex %%G sub_buttons sButtonAction 0
Powercfg -setActive %%G
Disable the sleep button (for all available power
For /f "skip=2 tokens=2,4 delims=:()" %%G in ('powercfg -list') do (
Powercfg -setAcValueIndex %%G sub_buttons sButtonAction 0
if "%%H" == " *" Powercfg -setActive %%G
“The fact that you have to choose between nine different ways of turning off your computer... produces just a little bit of unhappiness every time” - Joel on Software
Windows XP SP2
Q915160 - Create a Group Policy object for power schemes
Q324347 - How to use Powercfg.exe in Windows Server 2003
3rd party Power Management tools - EnergyStar.gov