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The default configuration for most Windows laptops is to go into standby when the lid is closed. We'll look at how to change that.

When I close the lid of my Toshiba notebook, the internet stops, meaning that if I want to download stuff, the lid always has to be open, which is really annoying. Any way to change this without connecting another monitor and mouse?

It's probably not the internet that's stopping - it's the entire computer.

The default configuration for most laptops these days is to go into Stand-by, or even Hibernation, when the laptop is closed.

Fortunately it's just a setting you can control in Windows.

Windows includes a fairly robust, if somewhat confusing, array of power management options. And like many options, they're in Control Panel.

Fire up Control Panel, and double click on Power Options. You should see something along these lines:

Control Panel - Power Options

Click on the Advanced tab for this:

Control Panel - Power Options - Advanced Tab

Note the items in the Power Buttons section, in particular the one labeled "When I close the lid of my portable computer:". This has two or three options: Stand by (the default), Hibernate (if you have hibernation enabled) and Do nothing.

I'm guessing it's Do nothing that you really want. It also happens to be what I use most of the time - particularly when I'm mobile I'd like to be able to close my laptop for carrying without having it shut down on me.

Click on the list drop-down arrow at the far right of Stand by:

Control Panel - Power Options - Advanced Tab - Selecting Do nothing

Click on Do nothing, and then click on either OK or Apply.

You should now be able to close your laptop and have it keep downloading without interruption.

Article C3277 - January 24, 2008 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Greg Bulmash
January 25, 2008 2:49 PM

What about with a MacBook Pro? Any tips?

Greg Bulmash
January 25, 2008 6:04 PM

And I'll answer my own question, though this is only for people who are using it as a desktop replacement and hooking it up to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Closing it puts it into sleep mode, but if you're running on AC power with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse, just click the mouse to wake it up.

Tony Martin
January 25, 2008 6:55 PM

It could run down your battery if it keeps running while closed or if you put it in a case it could overheat and fry the laptop.

January 27, 2008 5:20 AM

I think it's weird that they've never bothered to put in an option to simply power down the monitor without powering down the actual laptop when you close the lid.
Clearly many people don't want the computer to completely power down or stand by when they shut the lid, but there is no point in having the monitor still on drawing power when the lids closed...

Just a thought.

George Arauz
January 30, 2008 1:31 PM

Go to settings and set it to stay on when the lid is closed.

John Chamberlain
January 31, 2008 3:41 AM

If the questioner's Toshiba laptop is anything like mine (Satellite Pro L10)it may not work as described. Whatever settings I try, closing the lid puts it into hibernation. Worse, if I hibernate it and then close the lid, it toggles it back to life again (which might be a solution, of course)!

February 4, 2008 1:36 PM

Thank you so much for that,
i have been searching for ages as my downloads for my products are cutting short.
Well Thank you again.

Plus with windows vista:-

you could go on your power icon in your bottom right side of you screen.
right click on the poer icon and go to power options. Then go to what if my laptop closes its lid(This should be on the top left side of your screen) then click on do nothing on all drop down menus.

And there you have it.
Or you could use the start bar power searcher and add in "power options" then use that.

Thank you again James Davies,
Linea-Soft "copyrighted 2007 - 2008"

April 14, 2008 7:33 AM

hi. i am able to make my laptop 'Do Nothing'. but when i peek inbetween to take a look the screen is still on. is it possible if i want the laptop to continue to 'Do Nothing', but have a blank screen to save power. there is no 'Blank Screen' option in my window.

November 10, 2008 6:43 PM

"How can I keep my laptop standby with the lid closed?". Please note that in the "advanced" option of "power properties" there is just one offer: "do nothing"! If so, can't I keep it standby?

December 9, 2008 3:18 PM

I use my laptop “FUJITSU P1610” with a GPS when I'm Flying. and need the computer o
ON all the time so I have set in power settings not to do anything as long as it is plug in. Any way the computer goes into a different mode that does not show the GPS but the starting screen and I have to restart it back by moving the mouse or use the keyboard and putting my fingerprint in again.
How can I avoid that.
Thank you

Sounds like your screen saver is kicking in. Turn that off too.
- Leo

February 1, 2009 11:09 AM

I have a slightly different problem from what was originally described. When I open Power Options to the Advanced tab, my only choice under "When I close the lid of my portable computer" is "Do nothing". So I can't go to Standby or Hibernate when I close the lid. There is no "Hibernate" tab in my Power Options dialog box. Ideas??

Not all laptops have the ability. It requires support from the BIOS and the power management drivers in Windows. You might check with your computer's manufacturer to see if you have the latest of both.
- Leo

Terri Ellison
February 4, 2009 12:06 PM

thank you for this information...but I do have one more issue. Now I have no sound. How do I correct that?

February 20, 2009 9:57 AM

Hey Leo, I always set the lid close action to "do nothing" on my Thinkpad T43, but whenever I reboot, the behavior goes back to default "standby"... any suggestions?

April 16, 2009 9:18 PM

Thank you so much for posting your answer it was so annoying when i keep trying to download my stuff then the internet d/c's so THANK YOU!

*I can now download my stuff without the internet dissconnecting.*

May 12, 2009 12:16 AM

Unfortunately this is not always correct. I am very familiar with my laptop power settings but am having the exact problem mentioned- the computer does NOT hibernate or shut down, in fact sometimes I am listening to a previously downloaded podcast. The internet- whether wireless or via LAN etc- shuts down when the lid is closed. Anyone know what is causing the problem?

August 19, 2009 4:28 PM

I recently replaced my hard drive, on my old one i could close the lid and keep the internet and everything going and when i opened the lid my user account would be locked and needed a password, Now i cant figure out how i had that possible any ideas?

December 18, 2009 11:58 AM

I've got the same problem with my laptop going into standby mode when the lid is closed. My settings are set to "do nothing" when the lid is closed yet it still goes into standby mode when I close the lid. Any ideas? I'm using Windows Vista with the Windows XP downgrade on a Dell Vostro 1310.

January 10, 2010 1:15 PM

Thanks, this worked. Exactly what I was looking more. Amazing they place the lip options inside the power recovery, kinda strange. I would think this option would be found in display settings. Thanks again.

suvrajit saha
February 16, 2010 4:01 AM

when i close the lid of my portable computer there is only one option in the drop down menu. this option is"Do nothing". how can i over come this problem.

March 9, 2010 8:37 AM

Thanks , this helps me a lot and solved my problem,

May 21, 2010 12:17 AM

Thanks for the help all the other website had nothing i was struggling...your information was fantastic

January 10, 2011 2:00 PM

Precise and on the mark. I want to try this with an external monitor. "cause I have room for just the monitor and the keybord.

February 22, 2011 4:33 PM

I chose "do nothing" but my computer still shuts down and I have to do a force restart...what am I doing wrong

Joe Blake
April 3, 2011 12:18 AM

I found your suggestions very useful. I have today plugged in a monitor to my laptop, and shutting the lid made it hibernate; I set it to"Do nothing" and now it keeps right on going!

September 14, 2011 4:44 AM

You have to look carefully, but on my Lenovo laptop "Do nothing" really means "Turn off display", which is what I really wanted anyway.

November 10, 2011 12:51 AM

Thanks a lot resolved my problem :)

November 17, 2011 7:53 AM

Thanks for the article! can u plz tell me which is safe option to select in power button- a) do nothing. b) standby or c) hibernate......?

December 9, 2011 8:18 PM

thanks it was just a simple setting
click- do nothing and then click on save changes it really works...:D

December 18, 2011 2:29 PM

Would like to knw wen computer is on and i just shut dwn internet connetion and just close top lid wit out turnin off computer HOW LONG IS IT SAFE TO JUST KEEP Lid CLOSED

There's no general answer to this question. The thing I would worry about is heat - and some computers rely on the lid being open for air flow, others do not. It also depends on what the laptop is doing - working hard will generate more heat.
December 18, 2011 4:23 PM

Eventually your battery will run out. Length of time depends on battery type and age.

January 6, 2012 8:07 PM

Great information! I tried to do this, but I'm not able to change that setting. Any thoughts on why I'm not allowed to change this setting?

It might be hardware related, and I was hoping you could shed some light on that possibility.

January 12, 2012 3:47 PM

For me, it IS the internet. I've changed all the power settings and my wireless internet drops everytime I close the lid. When I am not online I use my laptop like a desktop. Would love a solution.

March 28, 2012 2:13 AM

This was exactly what I was looking for and explained what to do perfectly. Thanks!!

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