Windows 8

Fix : Windows 8 Shutdown / Restarts if left IDLE

After reading this post you will be able to fix an issue where your windows 8 computer might restart or shutdown automatically if left IDLE for sometime. Though Windows 8 power options lets you decide whether you wish you put your computer to sleep , shut it down or do nothing, in case your computer is left IDLE for a set time ( in minutes ).

But due to some reason even if this setting is set to Do Nothing or sleep, your computer shuts down or restarts itself.

Troubleshoot this problem by following the Methods herein :

Method 1:

Check Power Options

  • Go to the start screen
  • Start typing Power Options
  • Select Power options from the displayed results



  • Now, within power options,
  • Click on Change what the power buttons do


  • Now, Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable
  • Uncheck the Checkbox that reads Turn On Fast Startup


If this does not solve your problem,


Method 2

Follow the steps mentioned above till you reach power options

  • Check which plan is selected and click on Change plan settings of that particular power plan


  • Click on Change Advanced settings


  • Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable
  • Set Turn off hard disk after  to Never
  • Click on Apply, OK



Method 3

  • Boot into your BIOS Setup ( press DEL or F2 or F10 ) (depending on your computer ) (refer documentation)
  • Check the Power Options to make sure ACPI Version is set to the maximum available settings ( example : ACPI ver 3 )
  • If unsure, just load setup defaults and refer your motherboard / computer user manual to set the correct options
  • In the end, check your SMPS ( DESKTOP COMPUTERS ONLY) , is not faulty.

By shantanu

Shantanu is a Windows Enthusiast, a troubleshooter & a writer. He is a Microsoft MVP in Windows Expert - IT Pro from 2007. You can check out his other work @

7 replies on “Fix : Windows 8 Shutdown / Restarts if left IDLE”


My computer crashes and reverts to a blue screen when left idol. I tried following your instructions but typing Power Options on the start screen doesnt bring it up. My computer is a desk top dell and does not use a battery.

Can you help?




After typing power options click on settings tab on the right pane. You can also access power options by going to control panel.

Thanks for these troubleshooting steps.

Can you go over the symptoms that these solutions are intended to resolve? I’m going to try these in order, where possible, in an attempt to determine exactly which solution works for my case.

The repeatable “random” shutdown is as follows:
1. Computer off for some (indeterminate) interval of time, certainly longer than a few seconds, though perhaps much longer, like hours.
2. Turn on the computer. Windows 8 (now 8.1 preview) boots up to the point that it is usable and I can start a program, but even if I don’t, the following happens.
3. Perhaps about 3 minutes into Windows being usable, the computer halts and either reboots or just freezes to the point that nothing works on any level, but the screen remains as it had been when it froze. Mouse cursor doesn’t move.
4. If it isn’t rebooting on its own, I shut down the computer by holding the power button, and within seconds I boot it back up.
5. Boot as in event 2.
6. Reboot or freeze as in event 3.
7. Reboot as in step 4.

This is usually the last event in the cycle, after which it behaves fine until I fully shut down again. Notably, these symptoms do NOT occur when I wake my computer after having put it to sleep or after it automatically retires on its own.

After reading your reply, I could not help but notice that this sounds too much like a hardware issue. Perhaps you should get your SMPS ( Power Supply unit ) checked. Also if you have multiple RAM modules, try using one module at a time to check if any module is faulty ( Software Memory testing is not 100% reliable ).

Also, check your system manufacturer’s support website for any BIOS updates ( Note : Updating the BIOS a technical and critical process and if not done correctly could harm your system. SO please do it at your own risk )

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