Power Saving Guidelines for Desktop Machines

On campus there are over 2,000 desktop computers consuming on average one KW of power for every five computers fully powered up. In an effort to reduce power consumption by desktop computers, ITS recommends the following:

General Recommendations

  • Turn off your computer when you leave work for the day. Note that for some areas e.g. ITS supported areas, this may be an automated process.
  • Enable the power savings options on your computer (as below). This will also save power during the day when your computer is unattended e.g. lunchtime.

Note: Some desktop computers may have processes such as backups, virus scans or virus updates set to run over night. Turning your machine off will prevent these from working overnight, and may run when you next turn on your computer. In some areas e.g. ITS supported areas, the computer is switched on just before the users arrive to work to allow these processes to run.

How to use Power Settings

Note: You need to be the administrator of your PC or get your computer consultant to assist with this (the settings are also user specific).

For Windows 7/8 Users:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Control Panel
  4. Select Power Options
  5. Ensure the Power Schemes tab is active
  6. Set the Power Schemes option to "Home/Office Desk"
  7. Set Turn off Monitor to "10 minutes"
  8. Set Turn off Hard Disk to "10 minutes"
  9. Set System standby to "Never" (optional)
  10. Select Apply
  11. Select OK.

For Windows 10 Users:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Power and Sleep
  4. Set the Screen setting to turn off after 10 minutes
  5. Set the System setting to turn off as "never" (optional)
  6. Click Additional power settings
  7. Select Balanced and click change plan settings
  8. Click Change advanced power settings
  9. Set Hard Disk > Turn off Hard Disk after to 10 minutes
  10. Select Apply
  11. Select OK

With this configuration, the computer will still run routine scheduled tasks. It will come back to life upon a mouse movement or a key stoke.

The computer monitor does not need to be on for these processes to run, so the monitor can either be turned off (at the monitor) or set in power save mode as above.

For Mac OSX Users:

  1. Open the Apple menu
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Energy Saver
  4. In "Sleep" tab, slide the bar to the required sleep-time

For further guidance on how to make sure that your PC is using the power save options contact your computer support person. Overnight processes need to be discussed specifically with your computer support team.

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