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For Seniors: Define Laptop Power Button Functions

You can control what happens when you press the Power button, close the computer lid, or press the Sleep button (if your laptop offers one). To define the laptop power button function, follow these steps:

  1. From the Control Panel, choose Hardware and Sound. The Hardware and Sound window appears.

  2. In the Power Options section, click the Choose What the Power Button Does link.

  3. In the System Settings window that appears, click the When I Press the Power Button or When I Close the Lid fields in the On Battery column.

    The options that appear include

    • Do Nothing: Does nothing. You guessed that, right?

    • Sleep: Essentially pauses your computer, leaving your open programs and documents intact, held in your computer memory. When you awaken your computer, it comes back almost immediately, ready for you to work. Sleep draws a small amount of power.

    • Hibernate: Saves open programs and documents on your computer hard drive and then turns off your computer so you’re not using any power. If you’ll be away from your computer for a while but want to return to the items you had opened before quickly, Hibernate is a good choice. Hibernate is usually the default action when you close a laptop lid.

    • Shut Down: Closes any open programs and powers down your computer. You have to turn the power on again to use it — no programs or documents are open when you turn the laptop on again.

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For security, consider using the Require a Password setting in the System Settings window to require that a password be entered to access your computer.

You can also use the System Settings window to define the power button functions that apply when you have your laptop plugged in to a power source. These are listed in the column to the right of the battery power settings.

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