I frequently download big files to my computer and walk away. How do I stop my computer from going into standby while downloading something from the internet? I'm using Firefox on Windows 7.
You're in luck. While it's a much trickier request to want Windows to hibernate based on network activity from any application, it's a snap to tweak Firefox to help with the process.
We shared an extension called Auto Shutdown with you last year. Auto Shutdown lets Firefox, among other tasks, put Windows to sleep after all the downloads in the Firefox or DownThemAll! queue complete.
You can download the extension here. Go into the Options menu for Auto Shutdown and then to Customize. You'll find commands for every version of Windows for a variety of tasks. The one you're interested in is
[Hibernate/Standby]Windows Vista/Seven] .
Auto Shutdown is a great solution for hibernating or shutting down a computer after a download but unfortunately it doesn't override the settings in Windows. If you set your computer to sleep after 30 minutes, then sleep it will. It's an imperfect workaround but you can disable automatic sleep and put your computer to sleep manually on the days that you're not planning on doing any marathon after-hours downloading. To assist with that end, you want to make sleep mode as accessible as possible so you do it frequently and don't forget. Check out our guide to the best Windows tweaks that still work in Windows 7 with a focus on changing your Windows 7 shut down button to a sleep button and how to create a shortcut to lock the screen, shutdown or restart — that section covers making a shortcut sleep button too!
With Auto Shutdown and a quick access button to put your computer to sleep you'll have the best of both worlds and never have your computer nod off again in the middle of an important download. Hope that helps!