How to Disable Connected Standby in Windows and Why Would You Do It

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  • You can Disable Connected Standby in Windows if you experience excessive battery drain or if your laptop heats up too much when sleeping.
  • Connected Standby, or Modern Standby, as it’s sometimes called, tries to provide an instant resume experience similar to tablets and smartphones.
  • With a simple registry key, you can disable or turn on Connected standby in Windows.
computer sleep

I’m a desktop guy, maybe a laptop guy, but definitely not a tablet or smartphone guy. That being said, I do like how you never have to turn off smartphones or tablets, as they drain very little battery while in standby.

Not only that, but they keep updating everything so when you wake these devices up in an instant everything is up to date. No waiting.

Laptops and desktop don’t work quite the same. Maybe Macs do, but I don’t have much experience with these. From my experience with all kinds of Windows devices, waking up the PC from sleep always takes a few seconds, at least.

My desktop is even slower than that, mainly because my monitors take a bit to wake up. On my laptop the situation is a bit better, but waking up the device is still not an instant affair. Also, the battery drain is terrible. I don’t think my gaming laptop could last more than two or three days in standby mode.

Before saying that gaming laptops have terrible battery life (which I know) I have to say that all of my older office laptops couldn’t last more than a few days in standby either.

What is Connected Standby (aka Modern Standby)?

Connected Standby, also known as Modern Standby or InstangGo, is Microsoft’s answer to immediate wake from standby and keeping devices updated while in sleep mode.

It’s been around in a form or another since Windows 8, but became slightly more popular once Windows 10 came out.

Why just slightly more popular instead of popular? Because you need special hardware that must explicitly support Connected Standby. As you can guess, most devices can’t support Modern Standby.

At first, only ARM devices were supported by Modern Standby, but that’s changed. Now even x64 devices support Connected Standby, such as those with Intel CPUs.

If your device does support this technology here’s what you can expect: better wake from sleep and, most crucial, regular updates while the devices is in sleep mode, so that supporting apps are updated when the time comes to wake the device once again.

Basically, Connected Standby should make your laptop or desktop behave more like a smartphone in terms of how it works when the screen is off.

How Connected Standby Works

Modern computer chips have various power states. Depending on the current power state, a chip can ramp its frequency up or down, can shut down large areas of its silicon die and lower or increase voltage. The power consumption can vary a lot between these power states: think hundreds of times!

When a device enters traditional sleep mode the CPU enters a very low power state and the memory is powered on, so that all your open programs and their data is kept in RAM, ready to resume work or play in a few moments.

Your computer will not wake from sleep unless some external events happen such us a press of a keyboard button, a magic Wake on LAN package is sent, or if a wake timer takes place.

In Connected Standby, the system will keep the network card ready to return to an active state for a brief period of time, so that supporting apps get updated while the computer is still in sleep mode.

Basically, during Connected Standby your sleeping computer will semi-wake up from time to time in order to get updates. When you wake up to resume work, there’s no need to wait for everything to get updated.

Learn about the difference between Sleep, Fast Startup, Hibernate.

That’s perfect, but only in theory, because the lack of hardware support and, believe it or not, software support. Everything must support Connected Standby to see any real advantages.

My ROG gaming laptop supports Connected Standby, but I see no difference when I wake it from sleep. For some time I didn’t even realise my laptop suported this technology.

Your mileage may varry, of course.

How to Check if My Laptop or PC Supports Connected Standby

Let’s see how to check if your computer is compatible with Connected Standby. You will need to use the command line for that, but it’s really easy:

1. Open the Command prompt (here’s how).

2. Type the following command and press enter to execute:

powercfg /a

3. Under The following sleep states are available on this system text look for Standby (S0 Low Power Idle) Network Connected.

powercfg power states s0 connected standby available

If you see this it means your computer supports the S0 power state required for Modern Standby to work.

A second method would be to use the battery report to check for Connected Standby. See below:

windows battery report general

Why Would You Want to Turn Off Modern Standby

Like many things in life, there’s a difference between what you want to do and what you actually do. Some users noticed their battery was draining a lot faster when the computer was in sleep mode.

Not only, that, but some laptops would heat up considerably during this operating mode.

It baffles me that Microsoft doesn’t offer a settings toggle to turn this off, or at least include a setting in the Power Options where you configure your power plans.

Imagine another weird scenario: you’re abroad and your laptop connects via your smartphone hotspot, so it wastes precious roaming data, or the always on connection finds and connects to a free wireless hotspot.

All these scenarios would benefit from being able to disable quickly Connected Standby.

How to Disable Connected Standby with a Registry Key

Anyway, no matter the reason, thankfully there’s an easy way to turn off Connected Standy on your laptop or desktop with a simple Windows Registry hack. Maybe not a hack, as you just have to add a specific registry key.

1. Open the Start menu and type regedit. Select the first result.

2. Navigate to:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power]

3. Right click in an empty area and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

4. Add a key called PlatformAoAcOverride with the value 0.

regedit connected standby key

5. It’s mandatory to restart your computer at this point.

6. To check if the change took place open the Command Prompt again and type the same powercfg /a command.

powercfg power states available

You should see that Standby (S0 Low Power Idle) is not supported by the system firmware. Fear not, it’s still supported, but was disabled by the hack above.

If all this seems too complicated, you can just download and execute this registry file:

How to Enable Connected Standby

If you notice something strange, or don’t notice any difference and you want to turn on Connected Standby again here are the steps:

1. Open the registry editor once again.

2. Navigate to the same section, [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power].

3. Find the key called PlatformAoAcOverride, right click and select Delete.

4. Reboot your computer for changes to take effect.

Or just use this other registry file that you have to execute:

I wouldn’t try to force enable S0 power state on a computer that doesn’t support Connected Standby fully. You’ve been warned.

I’m all for the idea, but the actual experience bares no resemblance to what I’m used to from my smartphone. I’m curious to know what’s your experience with this Modern Standby thing. Maybe you had more luck.

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm obsessed with technology, science, and gadgets. I write about them since 2003. I make websites because I like to build stuff. I'm also passionate about digital marketing and graphic design. I watch movies and play games in my spare time. I'm also reading books, mostly SciFi.

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