Software & AppsOperating System

Why Does My Computer Turn On By Itself?

Computer Power On

Sometimes in the middle of the night, you find yourself staring at your monitor with your Windows login screen. So naturally, one of the first thoughts that might come to your mind must be, who turned on my computer? Well, it turns out it is quite common for your computer to turn itself on randomly.

Quick Answer

No one issue might be causing your computer to turn on by itself. For example, software-related issues—from scheduled software updates to startup settings—hardware-related issues—such as BIOS settings and power button malfunction—and sometimes even power surges might be causing it to behave this way.

Computers are complex devices that involve both software and hardware to work together. In such cases, even the tiniest malfunction on either side can make your device start behaving in a way that is not normal. One of the best strategies, when faced with such issues, is to debug your system step by step by eliminating the trivial issues first.

You can read on to find out why your computer turns on by itself and possible solutions to fix the problem.

Computers Turning On by Themselves

Computers turning on themselves is usually caused by hardware malfunctions or any setting interfering with the system, usually a software-related issue. The best way to find out what is causing an issue is to create a checklist and start crossing out trivial possibilities.

It is not safe for computers to turn on by themselves—one of the reasons why it can cause long-term hardware issues. When a computer is turned on, you are aware of any problems that may arise during use and will shut it down immediately. When you shut down your computer, you are unaware of any activity on the computer.

How To Determine Why Your Computer Powered On

To find out what woke your computer up, use Command Prompt. Following the procedures listed below, you may learn what woke your computer up and get assistance figuring out if the issue is with hardware or software.

  1. On the Windows search bar, type “cmd”.
  2. You will see Command Prompt as the top search result; right-click on it.
  3. Select “Run as Administrator”.
  4. Running the following commands will help you figure out the problem.
    powercfg -lastwake: This command will allow you to check which device woke your PC.
    powercfg -devicequery wake_armed: This command will allow you to check the list of devices that can wake up your PC.

If you see devices in both of these commands, then hardware-related issues are one of the most probable reasons for your computer turning itself on. For example, one of the devices on the list is waking your PC up. Both of these commands will allow you to see which was the latest device to do this and will give you a list of all the devices that can do this.

You can disable these devices manually by heading into the Device Manager and unchecking the appropriate option in the device’s power management.

Hardware-Related Issues

Although there are many complex causes for your computer to boot up, occasionally, it’s anything simpler than that. For example, you may want to ensure that every component and cable is correctly installed by opening it up for a desktop computer. There shouldn’t be any exposed damage or frayed wires.

On certain motherboards, there are buttons for backup power and reset. These are there to facilitate bench testing before chassis installation. Check to see if anything might be pushing against such buttons while you’re searching around the interior of your computer.

It could be beneficial to place a power surge protector between your computer and the power outlet. We’ve heard reports of erratic mains power leading to odd behavior with computer power states. A surge protector is a wise purchase, so it can’t harm.

At times, if your device is old enough, your power button might be causing issues. Consider the possibility that your computer’s power button may be malfunctioning. Perhaps it has become worn down over time and is making contact improperly.

Software-Related Issues

There are settings provided by Windows that allow multiple devices or tasks to turn on your computer. Thankfully, you can change these settings, so all you have to do is find them and then fix them!

Disable Fast Startup

Fast Startup Mode on Windows 10 prevents your computer from shutting down. Instead, it retains everything in a mixed condition, which makes the PC significantly speedier when you restart it. This setting could be a problem; one way to fix it is to deactivate Fast Startup.

  1. Go to Control Panel by typing in the Windows search bar and pressing enter.
  2. In the “View by” section, select “Small icons”.
  3. Select “Power Options”.
  4. Click on “Choose what the power buttons do” on the left-hand side of the screen.
  5. Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.
  6. Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)”.
  7. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Disable Automatic Restart

You can modify the system settings and switch off Automatic Restart to solve the problem where the computer turns on automatically. In actuality, the Automatic Restart function enables a system restart to happen automatically in the event of a failure.

  1. Go to Control Panel by typing in the Windows search bar and pressing enter.
  2. In the “View by” section, select “Small icons”.
  3. Select “System”.
  4. Click on “Advanced System Settings”.
  5. Go to the “Advanced” tab, and click on “Settings in Startup and Recovery”.
  6. Uncheck “Automatically Restart” under “System Failure”.
  7. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Disable Automatic Maintenance

You can try disabling this feature to fix the problem.

  1. Go to Control Panel by typing in the Windows search bar and pressing enter.
  2. In the “View by” section, select “Small icons”.
  3. Select “Security and Maintenance”.
  4. Click on “Maintenance”.
  5. Click on “Change maintenance settings”.
  6. Uncheck the option “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time” and click “OK”.


By following the steps above, you can diagnose and fix your issue of the computer turning on by itself. If the problem continues, it is best recommended to take it to a technician for a professional’s opinion.

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