What Does Sleep Mean on a Laptop?

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Sleep mode on a laptop allows the computer to save power when it isn't in active use. This is particularly useful when running on battery power, as it extends the life of your battery between charges. Your laptop's operating system controls the sleep mode functions. Both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac computers incorporate a sleep mode into their operating systems.

Function

  • Sleep mode is an alternative to shutting down your computer fully when you aren't using it for a short period. The computer continues to use a small amount of power and keeps your work saved, but ceases some other functions to use less power. When you start to use your computer again, sleep modes usually allow you to start working again quickly, with all of the programs and documents you had open previously still in place.

Access

  • You can access the sleep mode function on your laptop though its operating system menus. On a Windows PC, you can find the sleep function on the "Shutdown" menu, accessed via the "Start" button. On an Apple Mac, you can find the sleep mode option on the Apple menu.

    Some laptops automatically enter sleep mode when you close the laptop lid.

Automation

  • Manufacturers often configure laptops to switch into sleep mode after a preset period of activity in order to conserve battery life. You can change the time intervals and other settings relating to sleep mode within your operating system. You can find the related settings within the Control Panel in Windows in the "Power Options" section, or in MAC OS X's System Preferences, under "Energy Saver."

Recommendations

  • Although sleep mode on modern laptops is generally effective, it's still advisable to save important work if you're going to be away from your laptop for a prolonged period.

    On Microsoft Windows computers, Microsoft suggest that you can use sleep mode as an alternative to shutting your computer down overnight, as the operating system can perform some software updates which the computer is in sleep mode. However, you'll still need to restart your computer properly on occasion to complete some updates. Apple computers do not perform updates while shut down.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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