How to Change What Closing the Laptop Lid Does

Because you can close the lid on a laptop, you can quickly pick it up and get on the road. Closing the lid, however, can cause a number of things to happen. It depends on the settings. To find out what yours are and change them, if you like, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Open the Power Options window.

    • In Windows 7 and Vista, choose the Hardware and Sound heading and then Power Options. Click the link labeled Choose What Closing the Lid Does.

    • In Windows XP, click the Power Options icon. Click the Advanced tab.

    You see a screen that shows options for the laptop’s Power button, Sleep button, and lid.

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  3. Choose a power option for the lid.

    Your choices are

    • Do nothing: Closing the laptop’s lid does nothing; when the laptop is on, it stays on.

    • Hibernate: The laptop goes into Hibernation mode, saving the contents of memory and then turning off the system.

    • Shut down: The laptop turns itself off.

    • Sleep/Stand By: The laptop goes into a special low-power state.

  4. (Optional) Set the lid’s function for times when the laptop is plugged in or running from battery power.

  5. Click either the Save Changes or OK button.

Putting the laptop into Sleep mode when you shut the lid drains the battery over time. Sleep mode is fine for short durations, and the laptop recovers quickly from being in Sleep mode. But if you close the lid, put the laptop into Sleep mode, and then stick it into your backpack or laptop case, the battery drains. Nothing is more frustrating than a dead battery while travelling.

  • Windows 7 and Windows Vista use the term sleep; Windows XP uses the term Stand By. Both refer to what’s commonly called Sleep mode.

  • Windows XP lacks separate Power button settings for times when the laptop is plugged in.

  • Similar power options exist for desktop PCs, but not the “close the lid” options, for obvious reasons.

  • The Do Nothing option might seem useless for closing the laptop’s lid, but it can come in handy. For example, when using the laptop with an external monitor or keyboard, having it do nothing when you close the lid means that you can keep using the computer while keeping it in a smaller location.

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