How To Turn On Your Windows PC Automatically Each Morning

Image: Anthony Caruana/Lifehacker

Most of us have morning rituals, and yours probably involves a computer at some point. And while it’s not that hard to press the power button, wait for your system to boot up, and then type in your Windows password to log into your desktop, those are a lot of time-consuming steps that morning you has to sit and do. If you’re lucky, you can automate this entire process.

The one problem with this plan is that laptop manufacturers and motherboard manufacturers have a tendency to label settings differently. Nevertheless, the next time you power up your laptop or desktop, mash whatever buttons you need to press to load up its BIOS instead of your operating system.

Once inside, you’re going to be looking for any settings that relate to power. These might be labelled something as simple as “power-on menu”, or “power scheduling”, or whatnot. There might also be a setting for “powering on” by an “RTC alarm”, powering on by “RTC”, or simply “resume by alarm”.

Photo: David Murphy

Whatever it’s called — if the option exists — you should be able to then schedule a time that you want your system to automatically boot up each day. You might even be able to schedule which days this happens, too, in case you’re planning to sleep in on the weekend, but want to make sure your laptop or desktop is ready for you to do whatever it is you do in the morning while you’re getting ready for work.

You’re not done, though. If you truly want an automated boot, you’ll also have to disable the password prompt that prevents Windows from going directly to your desktop. In Windows 10, you don’t have an option to not set a password — at least, not if you’re using a Microsoft account to log in, which you should be doing anyway to synchronise your settings across your various systems.

This process will cost you some of your security, but if your desktop or laptop sits in a single room and you’re the only person that ever interacts with it, you shouldn’t worry that much. (You’ll still have a password and/or a PIN, you just won’t need it to boot up.)

To disable Windows’ password prompt, just tap the start button and type in “netplwiz.” Uncheck the option called, “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer,” and click “OK.” You’ll be asked to enter your Windows 10 password, which your system will then use to automatically log you in. In other words, typo this part, and the entire process won’t work.

Screenshot: David Murphy

Once you’ve finished these two steps — setting up a power-on schedule in your BIOS, and bypassing your Windows password — you’ll then be greeted by your desktop each morning according to whatever schedule you created. If your monitor or laptop is bright enough, and in the same room as where you sleep, maybe you could even use this as an alarm clock.


Comments

    That 1st pic looks a lot like a mac to me :)

    How To Turn On Your Windows PC Automatically Each Morning

    Puts Mac stock photo in article.

    those are a lot of time-consuming steps that morning you has to sit and do.A lot? Really? Press power button - type password - hit enter. Three steps, that's it. How hard is that?

      Especially when a PC with even a cheap SSD boots in about 20 seconds maybe even less.

      I could imagine this being useful if a PC took minutes to boot, but damn that just doesn't happen.

    "...those are a lot of time-consuming steps that morning you has to sit and do...."
    Proof reader on vacation?

    ..but..
    There is certainly a place for this article: One of my PCs has been waking me up with iTunes playlists, internet radio stations or just plain loud alarm tones for the past..mm.. 25 years?
    Set up with freebie software and the above BIOS mechanism. Just be aware there are some quirky motherboards around that try their best to resist the setup process. Persistence helps. And sure, it's an expensive alarm clock, but fun!

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