PowerCFG (Windows XP SP2/2003)

Control power settings, configure Hibernate/Standby modes. See also the Vista/Windows7/Server 2008 version of PowerCfg.

      powercfg [Options]


            List the current user's power schemes.

   /query [Scheme_name]
   /q [Scheme_name]
            Display the contents of a power scheme.

   /create Scheme_Name
   /c Scheme_Name
            Create a power scheme with the specified Scheme_Name.

   /delete Scheme_Name
   /d Scheme_Name
            Delete the power scheme with the specified Scheme_Name.

   /setactive Scheme_Name
   /s Scheme_Name
            Make the specified power scheme active on the computer.

   /change setting value
   /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
              /processor-throttle-ac throttle
              /processor-throttle-dc throttle
            AC settings are used when the system is on AC power. DC settings on battery power.
            Setting any value to 0 will set the timeout=Never 
            throttle = NONE CONSTANT, DEGRADE, or ADAPTIVE.

   /export Scheme_Name [/FILE filename]
            Export a power scheme, represented by Scheme_Name, into filename. (default filename: Scheme.pow)

   /import Scheme_Name [/FILE filename]
            Import all power settings from the specified file.
            filename is the path to a file generated with powercfg /export

   /hibernate [on|off]
   /h [on|off]
            Enable or disable the hibernate feature. Hibernate timeout is not supported on all computers.

            Specify the power scheme to be operated upon with a numerical identifier.
            This switch allows a number to be used in place of the Scheme_Name in the following
            commands: /QUERY, /DELETE, /SETACTIVE, /CHANGE, /EXPORT, and /IMPORT

   /globalpowerflag {ON|OFF} /OPTION: flag
   /g {ON|OFF} /OPTION flag
            Turn one of the following global power flags on or off:
               BatteryIcon    Turn the battery meter icon in the system tray on/off.
               MultiBattery   Turns on/off multiple battery display in system Power Meter.
               ResumePassword Prompt for password on resuming the system.
               WakeOnRing     Turn on/off wake on ring support.
               VideoDim       Turn on/off support for dimming video display on battery power.
            Report the sleep states available on the computer.
            Will also attempt to report reasons why sleep states are unavailable.

   /batteryalarm {LOW|CRITICAL} [settings]
   /b {LOW|CRITICAL} [settings]
            Configure the battery alarm.
               /activate <on|off>
                   Enable or disable the alarm.
               /level <percentage (0 – 100)>
                   The alarm will be activated when the power level reaches this percentage.
               /text <on|off>
                   Turns the text notification on or off.
               /sound <on|off>
                   Turns the audible notification on or off.
               /action <none|shutdown|hibernate|standby>
                   Specifies the action to take when this alarm goes off.
                   Not all actions are always available.
               /forceaction <on|off>
                   Force stand by or shutdown even if a program stops responding.
               /program <on|off>
                   Specifies a program to run.  schtasks.exe /change can be used to configure the program.
   /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.

            Display help

Power Schemes are configured on a per-user basis and (under Windows XP) PowerCfg requires workstation Administrator or Power User rights.
Alternatively grant rights to the following registry keys (from Aaron Margosis):
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Controls Folder\PowerCfg\GlobalPowerPolicy
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Controls Folder\PowerCfg\PowerPolicies
KEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg

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.


Powercfg /devicequery wake_armed
Powercfg /h on
Powercfg /deviceEnableWake "Microsoft USB IntelliMouse Explorer"

Powercfg /CREATE SS64
Powercfg /CHANGE SS64 /monitor-timeout-ac 15
Powercfg /CHANGE SS64 /disk-timeout-ac 30
Powercfg /CHANGE SS64 /standby-timeout-ac 60
Powercfg /CHANGE SS64 /hibernate-timeout-ac 0
Powercfg /SETACTIVE SS64

“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


PowerCfg for Vista/Windows7/Server 2008
Q915160 - Create a Group Policy object for power schemes.
Q913622 - Power scheme options are unavailable (XP)
Q324347 - How to use Powercfg.exe in Windows Server 2003
Configure ' Sleep' key - for XP
3rd party Power Management tools - EnergyStar.gov

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