How to quickly put your monitor to sleep

Learn these time-saving shortcuts for Mac and Windows

Let's say you want to put your computer monitor(s) to sleep without putting the entire computer to sleep, for example, if you're downloading something overnight or otherwise need the computer on but not the display. There's a quick way to make that happen.

On Macs, luckily the shortcut is built-in: Hit Control + Shift + Eject. On newer Macs that don't have optical drives, try Control + Shift + Power.

On Windows, unfortunately, you have to use a workaround. As Sushonon Sinha writes on Microsoft, you'll need to create a batch file (copy and paste the code below into Notepad, then save the file with a .bat ending):

echo off

C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -Change -monitor-timeout-dc 1

C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -Change -monitor-timeout-ac 1

START /MIN /WAIT C:\Windows\System32\scrnsave.scr -s

C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -Change -monitor-timeout-dc m1

C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe -Change -monitor-timeout-ac m2

Finally:

Replace m1 and m2 with the idle time for switching off your display in the control panel.

This is in Control Panel > Power Options > whichever "Active" Power Plan > Change Plan Settings > Turn off the display setting (minutes).

For example in my laptop m1 = 10 and m2 = 30.

Now create a shortcut to this batch file [right-click anywhere on the desktop and go to New > Shortcut] and optionally assign a Hotkey and an Icon.

This script puts the all the monitors to sleep after one minute of idle time and then resets the the display setting after you wake the monitor(s) back up.

Alternatively, you could use a utility called NirCmd to do this.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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