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Oh no! Your computer shut down automatically just as you were downloading some files from the Internet, forcing you to download them again. Unfortunately these are things that can happen to anyone, it is useless to be here crying over spilled milk. Rather, try to make sure that this doesn’t happen again in the future, perhaps by changing some settings related to energy saving, since it is likely that these are the “culprits” of what just happened.

< p> How do you say? Would you like to have some more clarification on what to do? I’ll settle you right away: in this guide on how to block PC shutdown , in fact, I will be able to explain to you in detail how you can prevent the system – be it Windows or macOS – from going into standby or even be stopped completely suddenly.

Come on, follow my instructions and you will see that you will be able to avoid finding yourself in the situation described above. All you have to do is make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the next paragraphs and implement the “tips” I am about to give you. I assure you that the result will satisfy you 100%. There is nothing left for me to do, except wish you a good read and a big good luck for everything!


Block the shutdown of the Windows PC

The options of Windows energy saving are an excellent weapon against waste, even if every now and then they can be annoying. A “classic” example is when you start downloading a very “heavy” file, you leave the computer on, believing it is completing the download and then discover that the download has stopped because the PC has gone into standby. How can you block PC shutdown and prevent such a thing from happening? By modifying the aforementioned options or by using some third-party applications: I’ll talk about it in more detail in the next paragraphs.

Options power saving

A first solution that I recommend you try if you want to prevent your PC from turning off automatically is to change the power saving options of Windows. To do this, go to the Control Panel (which you can call up by searching for “ control panel ” in the search bar of the Start menu < / strong> Windows) and click on the entries System and Security & gt; Power options .

At this point, if you want to change your computer sleep times, click on Specify screen off settings or on that Change computer sleep settings located on the left sidebar and, in the screen that opens, open the drop-down menus located in correspondence with the items Screen deactivation and Computer hibernation . Then choose the setting you prefer (e.g. 5 hours , Never , etc.) and save the changes made by pressing the Save changes button , which is located at the bottom right.

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If you want to prevent the computer from shutting down in the sense that you intend to change the behavior of the power buttons of the computer, click on the entry Specify power buttons behavior < / strong> located on the sidebar of the Control Panel . In the screen that opens, expand the drop-down menus next to the items When the power button is pressed and When the sleep button is pressed and select the options that most you prefer. For example, if you intend to prevent the computer from closing, you must select the Do not intervene setting. Also in this case, remember to save the changes made by pressing the Save changes button located at the bottom right.

You accidentally pressed the command Shut down the system or Restart your system and have you shut down or restarted your PC without meaning to? If in the future you find yourself in such a situation again, you can try to prevent the system from being shut down or restarted by issuing the command shutdown -a in the Run panel (can be called up by simultaneously pressing the key combination Win + R ). However, you have very few seconds to do so, so I cannot guarantee the success of the operation.

Third party solutions

As I mentioned before, on Windows there are also third-party solutions that can be useful for keeping the computer “awake” on certain occasions, for example example when there are downloads in progress. One of the best software of this kind is Coffee which, as its name suggests, has the simple purpose of keeping the PC running. Let me explain how to download it and how to best use it.

To begin with, connect to the download page of Coffee and press the green button Download to download the program to your PC. When the download is complete, double-click on it and open the file you just downloaded ( Coffee 1.0.1 Beta x86 (32 bit) .msi ) and, in the window that opens, press the Next three consecutive times, then on the Yes button from the User Account Control window and then click on the Close to complete the setup.

Now, start the program via its shortcut icon that has been added to the Windows desktop and, in the window that opens, select the network card of your PC from the Network Adapter drop-down menu. At this point, go to the Extra tab and click first on the Sleep Blockers button and then on Yes to prevent the PC from turning off while there are download in progress.

You can also set the minimum download speed after which Coffee must prevent the computer from going to standby, by typing it in the Download Threshold field at the bottom left (returning on the Main tab). Easier than that?

Block Mac Shutdown

You use a Mac < / strong> and would you like to know if macOS also offers options to prevent your computer from shutting down? Of course yes! Also in this case, to be able to complete the enterprise, simply go to the system settings and activate or deactivate some options relating to energy saving, or contact third-party solutions. In short, nothing so complicated or that you cannot manage to do.

System Preferences

To proceed from System Preferences , click on the gray icon with gears which is located on the Dock bar or click on the Apple logo (the icon of the bitten apple located at the top left, in the menu bar) and select System Preferences … from the menu that opens.

Once you are in front of the main window of < strong> System Preferences , click on the Energy Saving item (the icon of the light bulb on which should be on the second line) and, in the screen you see , click the Power Adapter tab (if needed). Then put the check mark on the item Prevent the computer from going to sleep automatically when the monitor is off and confirm the operation by pressing the OK button present in the warning that appears on the screen, which informs you of the greater energy expenditure deriving from the modification you are about to make. From now on, the Mac will not automatically go to sleep.

If you intend to make sure that the screen is never turned off, however, after going to System Preferences & gt; Energy saving , drag the slider on the adjustment bar next to the word Disable towards the word Mai (located on the far right) the monitor after , which appears in both the Battery and Power Adapter tabs.

If, on the other hand, you were about to turn off or restart the Mac from the Apple menu> Turn off… or Apple & gt; Restart … and now you want to prevent it from shutting down or restarting, you can do this simply by clicking on the Cancel button that appears in the window Do you confirm that you want to turn off the computer? / Do you confirm that you want to restart your computer . Keep in mind that you only have 60 seconds to block the shutdown or restart of the machine: if you do nothing, at the end of the countdown the computer will shut down or restart. Understood?

Third party solutions

As I told you, also on Mac it is possible to block the system shutdown by contacting third-party solutions , such as Amphetamine : a free application for macOS that allows you to keep the Mac “awake” through the use of a suitable switch. It also allows you to set “smart” actions, so that under certain conditions the computer remains on.

To use them, connect to this page and presses the buttons See in Mac App Store and Get / Install to start the download of Amphetamine (you may be asked to authorize the download by entering the password of the Apple ID or via the Touch ID ). When the download is complete, press the Open button to start it.

In the window that opens, press the Next button (to hide the welcome window at the next start of the application, check the box Don’t show this windows again ), read the information about the use and characteristics of the software, press the button Next three more consecutive times and then click on Close .

When the application is running, you will see it appear at the top (in the macOS menu bar) a button that you can click to select the option you prefer in terms of the duration of the “alarm”: Indefinitely to keep the Mac running indefinitely, Minutes and Hours to set a specific number of minutes and hours, and so on. To stop the “alarm”, however, you must select the item End current session . Easier than that ?!

Salvatore Aranzulla


Salvatore Aranzulla

Salvatore Aranzulla is the most widely read blogger and IT popularizer in Italy. He is known for discovering vulnerabilities in Google’s sites and
Microsoft. He collaborates with computer magazines and edited the technological column of the newspaper Il Messaggero. He is the founder of, one of the
thirty most visited sites in Italy, in which he responds with simplicity to thousands of computer-related doubts. He has published for Mondadori and
Mondadori Informatica.

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