The Power Options utility in Windows allows you to reduce the power consumption of certain devices or of the entire system, as shown in the figure. Use Power Options to maximize performance or conserve energy by configuring a system’s power plan. Power plans are a collection of hardware and system settings that manage the power usage of the computer. In Windows XP, power plans are called power schemes.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista have preset power plans, while Windows XP has preset power schemes. These are the default settings and were created when the OS was installed. You can use the default settings or the customized plans that are based on specific work requirements.
NOTE: Power Options automatically detects some devices that are connected to the computer. Therefore, the Power Options windows will vary based on the hardware that is detected.
To access the Power Options utility, use the following path:
Start > Control Panel > Power Options
You can choose from the following options:
- Require a password on wakeup
- Choose what the power buttons do
- Choose what closing the lid does (for laptops only)
- Create a power plan
- Choose when to turn off the display
- Change when the computer sleeps
Selecting Choose what the power buttons do or Choose what closing the lid does configures how a computer acts when power or sleep buttons are pressed or the lid is closed. If users do not want to completely shut down a computer, the following options are available:
- Do nothing - The computer continues to run at full power.
- Sleep - Documents and applications are saved in RAM, allowing the computer to power on quickly. In Windows XP, this option is called Standby.
- Hibernate - Documents and applications are saved to a temporary file on the hard drive. With this option, the computer takes a little longer than Sleep to power on.