How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

I’ve installed Windows 8 weeks ago and recently my PC started to gain intelligence. It found a clever way to annoy me where normal people can’t do that so easily. I prefer sleep mode instead of shut down because I have a lot of programs open and this saves me time. I was putting my computer to sleep mode and then immediately was waking up. I thought it was a wireless mouse that I have as I enabled USB devices to be able to wake my system. I removed that and I tried again, the same issue, then again until after few tries it stopped waking up. Then again the next day but this time it was worse and after few minutes that I manage to put it to sleep it woke up again. This was obviously an issue that had to stop and because I like to fix things, here we are.

The issue: PC is waking up after sleep mode

If your computer is waking up automatically after you put it to sleep then this article is for you. I will show you step by step (very quick steps), and with screenshots, how to vanish this nightmare from your life and have peace at last. If you are still reading this then you prefer sleep mode too.

Solution: Disable the scheduled maintenance to wake up the computer

Step 1: Open Control Panel and locate System and Security. One way to do it is to move your mouse to the upper right corner, select Settings and then Control Panel. If you done this then you should look at the following screen.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Step 2: Click to System and Security and locate the Action Center. Lucky you, so far everything is in the top. You should look on the screen below.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Step 3: Select the Action Center and locate the Maintenance which is the second option. It should look like the following image.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Step 4: That’s it, we are getting closer. Now click on the Maintenance, on the word, the expander or the space between them, it is the same. If you do this you will see the Maintenance options.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Step 5: Select Change maintenance settings which will bring you to the final screen.Step 6: Look! The option to Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time in enabled. This is the reason of the annoying waking up, this little option. Click to disable it, remove this check and all your problems will go away and you will be more peaceful.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Don’t forget to press OK! If you have done these steps you can sleep tonight and so your computer. Screenshots are not mine, this is why the date is older. I don’t remember where I got them from, if you find out let me know in order to put the link. If you found this article useful leave me a comment or send me a message via contact form.

One thought on “ Windows 8: Stop your PC from waking up automatically ”

The problem is more than after the maintenance the computer never goes back to sleep. I dont care if it wakes up, but when it wakes at 3am and I dont notice until I get home from work the next day its a huge waste of power.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Windows 8 has lots of interesting features, and these features are also working more efficiently when compared to the older versions like Vista and 7. Automatic maintenance is one such feature which runs in the background and ensures that your Windows 8 PC is running in top shape. As the name implies, automatic maintenance runs automatically, and unfortunately Microsoft hasn’t provided any way to disable this feature.

What automatic maintenance does is to update your PC, scan for viruses and potentially harmful files, disk defragmentation, system diagnostics, etc. It will usually run when your PC is idle, so it won’t get into your way when you are working. However, there will be times when we need to manually start or stop the automatic maintenance feature. Here is how you can do so.

Manually Start Automatic Maintenance

As mentioned above, there is no way to disable the automatic maintenance feature completely, but you can change the maintenance schedule to meet your needs. To manually start the automatic maintenance:

1. Press “Win + X” and select “control panel” from the list of options. Once you are in the control panel, select “action center” from the displayed options. That said, make sure that you have selected the “view by” as Small Icons or Large Icons.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

2. Here in the action center, click on the dropdown button next to “Maintenance” and select the option “start maintenance” to manually start automatic maintenance.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Manually Stop Automatic Maintenance

You can only stop automatic maintenance while it is running. Whenever the automatic maintenance is running in the background, you will see a small icon in the notification area.

Now, if you want to stop the automatic maintenance, open control panel, click on “action center” and then click on the dropdown button next to “maintenance.”

Once you are there, you can see the “stop maintenance” link. Just click on that link to stop running automatic maintenance on your Windows 8 PC.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

That’s it. It is that easy to start and stop automatic maintenance feature in Windows 8, though it is not that obvious how you can do so. It is recommended that you let Windows run the job by itself, as it will take care of many small but subtle issues like updates and security scans.

On a side note, if you don’t want that little icon to appear in the notification area whenever the automatic maintenance is running, just navigate to “Control panel -> action center -> change action center settings” and uncheck the checkbox “automatic maintenance” and click on the OK button to save changes.

Do share your thoughts on the automatic maintenance feature in Windows 8 via the comments form below.

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

If you’ve been using Windows 10 for the past weeks like me you might have noticed another rather annoying default setting – that is the Wake Timer for System Maintenance. Since Windows 7, there’s been a default setting that schedules maintenance tasks at 3AM daily, and this would wake up your PC if it was in Sleep or Hibernate. While the early morning regular maintenance may help speed up/protect your PC (mostly by indexing, virus scanning), it may have a few caveats – a major one that it is a waste of power particularly when the PC doesn’t return to Sleep or Hibernate.

Make sure to read the IMPORTANT section about re-enabling and then disabling the option in Step 6 .

1: Right-click on Start and select Command Prompt (Admin):

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

2: In Command Prompt (Admin), type powercfg -waketimers and hit ENTER:

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

2a: If the message lists a Timer called ‘Maintenance Activator’, move on to Step 3.

2b: If the message says ‘There are no active wake timers in the system’, then congrats, the automatic wake timers have been disabled! You don’t have to proceed any further.

3: Right-click on Start and select Run. Type wscui.cpl and hit ENTER:

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

4: In ‘Security and Maintenance’, hit the drop down arrow on ‘Maintenance’:

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

5: Under ‘Automatic Maintenance’, click on ‘Change maintenance settings’:

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

6: In ‘Automatic Maintenance‘, uncheck the box to ‘Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time’, and click OK:

*Important*: If the box is already unchecked, reapply the setting by doing the following: Check the box and click OK . Then come back and uncheck the box and click OK.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

7: To check whether we’ve successfully disabled Automatic Maintenance, repeat Step 2. This time, you should see a message ‘There are no active wake timers in the system’:

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

*Important: If you still see other wake timers listed above, and would like no wake timers at all, check out my article on completely disabling all wake timers in Windows 10.

With the above steps you will be able to successfully disable Automatic Maintenance.

If you’ve previously disabled Automatic Maintenance on Windows 7/8/8.1 prior to the Windows 10 upgrade, the setting is not preserved during the upgrade and you have to re-enable and then re-disable the settings on Windows 10 (comically, the box remains unchecked in Step 6, but it’s actually working like it’s checked).

For the rest out there, especially much of the internet where I couldn’t find answers: I hope this helps.

This article provides a solution to an issue where desktop wakes up unexpectedly from sleep or hibernation.

Applies to: Windows 8
Original KB number: 2799178


A Windows 8 Desktop computer is automatically waking from sleep or hibernation at a certain time even if there is no "ACPI Wake Alarm" system device found by the operating system.


For Windows 8 desktops or All-in-one computers, under Action Center > Automatic Maintenance, the Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time checkbox is automatically enabled. Also, the power policy/Advanced settings/Sleep/Allow wake timers will default to Enabled for AC power.

If the desktop machine does not have an "ACPI Wake Alarm" device (or if it is disabled in the BIOS), Windows 8 still uses the Real Time Clock (RTC) to program wake events, assuming the power policy/Advanced settings/Sleep/Allow wake timers is Enabled for AC power.

Windows 8 automatically configures a "Regular Maintenance" event in TaskScheduler to run at 3:00 AM every day. After initial installation of Window 8, Windows Update is preconfigured to initiate the regular maintenance task and wake event to ensure that it is run.

On mobile computers, if there is no "ACPI Wake Alarm" device detected, Windows 8 disables "allow wake timers" on all in-box power plans, and Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time is not enabled.


To prevent the Regular Maintenance task from waking the machine at 3:00am, go to Action Center > Automatic Maintenance and disable the Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time checkbox.

More information

When an application schedules a maintenance trigger (such as Windows Update, if it has downloaded a qualified update to be installed under maintenance), the following actions will take place:

From an Administrator command prompt, Powercfg /waketimers will indicate that the Regular Maintenance task is scheduled to run at 3:00 AM. For example:

Timer set by [PROCESS] \Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\services.exe expires at 2:59:29 AM on 12/4/2012 Reason: Windows will execute ‘NT TASK\Microsoft\Windows\TaskScheduler\Regular Maintenance’ scheduled task that requested waking the computer.

Event ID: 808 will be logged in the Application and Services Logs/Microsoft/Windows/TaskScheduler/Maintenance log, to indicate the application, which caused the regular maintenance event to be scheduled. For example:

Level: Warning
Source: TaskScheduler
Event ID: 808
Maintenance Task "\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AUScheduledInstall" requests computer wakeup during next regular maintenance run.

Any application can schedule a regular maintenance task to run automatically, as described by the following links.

The first application to make use of the Regular Maintenance task scheduling feature is Windows Update. The .NET Framework NGEN v4.0 utility has also been observed to cause the regular maintenance event to be scheduled.

If I set my Windows 8 computer to Sleep when I finish using it in the evening, it will start up in the middle of the night. If I shut down the computer this doesn't happen. However I don't want to shut it down as I often keep applications running that I'm planning to continue using.

This is a problem for me because the noise of the computer and light from LEDs prevents me from sleeping well, even from another room.

This was a problem on my old Windows 8 install, and I worked around the problem by turning off some settings to do with Wake On Lan, and Scheduled Tasks, but also by setting up a scheduled task to automatically sleep my computer every 15 minutes through the middle of the night.

I reinstalled Windows 8 yesterday so I'm running a completely clean system, and sure enough my computer started up again at 3am this morning. (Note that previously it was starting up at 12:05am, this changed to 11:05pm when daylight savings ended here in NZ).

I'm not entirely certain what is causing this to happen but I presume that Task Scheduler could be the culprit:
Looking in the Task Scheduler, I see a series of scheduled tasks that are set to run between 12:00am and 3:00am: RacTask, Office Subscription Maintenance, Maintenance Configurator, Regular Maintenance, Maintenance Task – these are all located under \Microsoft\Office or \Microsoft\Windows\TaskScheduler or \Microsoft\Windows\Live\Roaming.

So my question is, how do I prevent my computer from coming out of sleep?
A secondary question is, if I manage to do this, how will that affect the scheduled tasks that are set to run in the middle of the night?

Thanks in advance

From FloridaWhiteGuy – I think this is the solution right here:
Yes, shutting off the maintenance wake-up affects the items scheduled to run at 3:00 AM. You might want to reset the schedule for it to run at lunch or dinner time.

There is a specific maintenance procedure that will intentionally wake your computer up at 3am – this doesn't appear in Task Scheduler.
Control Panel -> System And Security -> Action Center -> Maintenance -> Change Maintenance Settings -> Automatic Maintenance

I've set mine to wake the computer to run at 7am.
Alternatively you can turn off the option 'Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time'

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Windows 8 leveres med et nyt hybrid boot system, det betyder, at din pc aldrig er helt væk. Det betyder også, at Windows har tilladelse til at vække din pc, som den har brug for. Sådan stopper du det fra at vække din pc til at udføre vedligeholdelsesopgaver.

Sådan stopper du Windows 8 Waking Up din pc til at køre vedligeholdelse

Højreklik i nederste venstre hjørne af skærmen for at hente WinX-menuen og start Control Panel.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Når kontrolpanelet åbner hovedet i afsnittet System og sikkerhed.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Derefter ind i Action Center.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Nu skal du udvide vedligeholdelsesafsnittet.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Klik derefter på hyperlinket Skift vedligeholdelsesindstillinger.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Her ser du en boks, der gør det muligt for Windows at vække din pc op for at udføre vedligeholdelsesopgaver, fjerne markeringen.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Det er alt der er til det, klik på OK, og du er god at gå.

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Bemærk: Vi anbefaler ikke at ændre denne indstilling, men det er godt at vide.

I will update this article in case there are any new updates on this case. Hopefully this helps if you are having the same issue.

Update: The computer has not been shutting down by itself, but once again, there has been an instance where it would not boot up after waking up from sleep. Force shut down did not fix it. It needed a complete unplug from the power supply to boot back up again. I may have to try a system restore back to before the Creators Update was installed.

Update: It would not allow a rollback to undo the installation of the Creators Update. For now, I have enabled the Hibernate option for shutdown and will use Hibernate instead of Sleep. It still wakes up fairly quickly from Hibernate and so far it has not had any issues like it did in Sleep mode.

Update 11-5-17: Windows did another big update for the Fall Creators Update 1709 and again it messed up my settings. It started waking my computer up by itself even when it was in Hibernate. I noticed the Adaptive Sleep Service had been activated again so I disabled it once again. Also as suggested by another article, I went to the Device Manager – Network adapters – Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller, then clicked on the Power Management tab and unchecked it where it says “Allow this device to wake the computer”. After doing these two things, it has not woken up from Hibernate by itself so things are good for now.

Update: The computer just woke up again from Hibernate. I will have to keep working on it to figure out how to solve this issue. The computer was also not working very well with the new update so I restored it back to the previous version (1703).

Update 1-9-18: Windows just did another update and again it woke itself up after putting it in hibernate mode. It seems whenever they do an update, they keep doing something where it allows it to wake the computer up on its own.

I have tried a few more things here to get it to stop waking up by itself. There are things called Wake Timers that will wake the computer up by itself. To find if your computer has any of these in place, go to the search bar at the bottom left corner and search “Command Prompt”. Right click on it and say “Run as administrator”

In the command prompt, copy or type in “powercfg -waketimers” and hit enter. It will give results of the things that are set to wake it up. In my case it said:

Timer set by [SERVICE] \Device\HarddiskVolume3\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe (SystemEventsBroker) .
Reason: Windows will execute ‘Maintenance Activator’ scheduled task that requested waking the computer.

For this, I went to the Security and Maintenance section in windows. Open the Maintenance drop down menu and click “Change Maintenance Settings” It will have a check box that says “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer. Note, mine was actually unchecked, but it was recommended to check it, click ok, then open it up again and uncheck it. Then say ok.

That seemed to get rid of the original wake time message but then a new one popped up after running the check again. This one said:

Timer set by [SERVICE] \Device\HarddiskVolume3\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe (SystemEventsBroker) expires at .
Reason: Windows will execute ‘NT TASK\Microsoft\Windows\rempl\shell’ scheduled task that requested waking the computer

For this, I opened Task Scheduler from the search bar (right click it and choose Run as Administrator). In the left menu click Task Scheduler Library – Microsoft – Windows – rempl.
In the results, right click on shell and select Properties. Go to the Conditions tab and uncheck the box that says “Wake the computer to run this task”

After that I ran the wake timers test again from the command prompt and it came back free of any wake timers so hopefully it is fixed now.

Update 1-27-18: It was good for a while but Windows keep adding wake timers back on again automatically so again it is waking up by itself.

Update 3-8-18: Windows continues to try to wake up the computer by itself. The current waketimer that it continues to turn on even though I keep turning it off is:
NT TASK\Microsoft\Windows\UpdateOrchestrator\UpdateAssistantWakeupRun

It has become pretty annoying and has made the sleep and hibernate function practically useless at this point. Not sure why Windows thinks it is ok to make changes on your computer and wake it up whenever it wants to without your permission.

Update 4-5-18: Windows did a big update and installed version 1709. Since this update I have not had any issues with it setting up wake timers by itself.

If you are running the Windows 8 operating system, and it does not really matter if you are still on Windows 8 or have upgraded to Windows 8.1, then you may have noticed that the system starts to run maintenance jobs all of a sudden.

While some of those tasks are defined to execute only when the system is idle and not in use, you may still notice that the tasks are run regardless of that.

So, if you are playing a multiplayer game, watching HD movies or running other tasks that require a lot of processing power and system resources, you may have noticed that things slow down during that time.

While that won’t happen if you use a high-end machine, it may very well be an issue on low to mid-end systems.

Another thing to consider is that Windows will wake the computer to run the regular maintenance task on the system.

How scheduled maintenance works

Automatic Maintenance has been designed to address several issues of maintenance related tasks that users experienced on previous versions of Windows.

The goal of the feature is to combine all maintenance related tasks such as checking for Windows and software updates, running defrag or performing antivirus scans and including those by Windows and third-party developers to run them without impacting the performance or energy efficiency of the PC.

Windows schedules the automatic maintenance to run at 3AM or 2AM every day by default. The daily limit is set to 1 hour which means that it will run no longer than that per day.

It will also only run if the computer is idle, and stop maintenance tasks when the use returns and starts using the PC again.

Maintenance tasks are resumed when the PC is idle again with an important change. Tasks marked as critical will be run regardless of user action or load.

Disable maintenance tasks

How to stop windows 8 waking up your pc to run maintenance

Disabling the maintenance tasks may resolve those issues for you. It is suggested to disable the tasks to see if this is indeed the case. If it is not and the issues that you are experiencing are caused by something else, then you may want to consider enabling the tasks again.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to bring up the start screen interface. If you are already on it, skip this step.
  2. Type Task Scheduler and click on the schedule tasks result. This opens the Windows Task Scheduler.
  3. Browse to the following folder: Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > TaskScheduler
  4. The maintenance tasks are displayed on the right.

Windows won’t run the disabled tasks anymore. It is up to you to determine whether that is beneficial to the system’s performance or not. If you use the system as usual, it should become obvious whether that is the case or not.

As a side effect, you may disable the wake feature that the maintenance triggers to run the task. If that is the issue that you are noticing, you can alternatively change the time the maintenance task is executed at.

It is possible to change both the time and the wake option using the Task. You do need to double-click the task in the Task Scheduler to do so.

Hi, I’ve been having a problem with my computer for several months now. I have a Toshiba Satellite E45T running Windows 8.1.

My computer keeps waking itself up from Sleep Mode without my permission. I keep waking up in the morning to find that my laptop is already awake, even with the lid shut. This is really inconvenient, and I need this computer to stop waking up every morning. Please don’t ask me about the following, I have already checked them multiple times.

I have already done the following:

-Disabled ‘allow wake timers’ in Power Management

-Disabled network adaptors, apps, and Bluetooth from waking my computer

-Changed the time on Automatic Maintenance so that it SHOULD be running at 8:00 p.m.

-Unchecked the box in Automatic Maintenance for ‘Allow scheduled maintenance tasks to wake computer at the scheduled time.’

-Checked Command Prompt to make sure I have no other devices enabled to wake the computer. There are NONE.

When I run Command Prompt and check for the -lastwake, it only tells me that the wake source is unknown. HOWEVER, when I look in Action Center/Windows Update, without fail, it always tells me that the last updates were installed/checked for at 5:00 a.m, when I have changed that option. Whenever I try to go into the Task Scheduler to uncheck the ‘Wake the computer to perform this task’ box, I get the following message: “Task Scheduler service is not available. Task Scheduler will attempt to reconnect to it.”

Why can’t I change these options? I need this computer to stop waking itself up, but it won’t let me change the options. Hoping to get some help here.