The worst thing after watching a movie on the computer while staying in bed is the long trip back, to shut it down. With a bit of tweaking or using some helpful apps, users won’t have to fear about falling asleep while watching a film or anything like that. Some programs can be configured to automatically shut down a Windows / Mac OS X computer after the machine has been idle for a certain amount of time, at a certain hour of the day or using a clock-down timer.
The same principle can be applied when wishing to start up the desktop at a certain time, without any intervention, but as you are about to see in the following guide, this will take a bit of extra tweaking.
Automatically powering ON/OFF a Computer
The first thing we’ll show you is how to start up a Windows PC at a pre-determined time. Unfortunately, no application can actually perform this task if the machine is shut down, so the only way to do it is by messing with BIOS settings:
- Restart the PC and repeatedly press the “DEL” key right after the black screen.
- Navigate to the power options and depending on the BIOS version (some may not even allow it), you should find a function for automatically start-up. For my case it was “Resume by Alarm”.
- Enable the option and set the date and hour when you wish to start up the computer.
- Save and exit.
The other way around can be done by messing with the Task Manager or, using a third-party app. We’re going to take the second variant, as it offers more options and it’s user-friendly.
Sleepwalker can configure Windows to manually shut down, restart, hibernate, log off, power down the monitor (to reduce power consumption) or simply run the screensaver, by taping a desired keyword combination. For example, you could use CTRL+ALT+P to shut the monitor and Y+ALT+M to run the screensaver. All these tasks can also be performed automatically by setting some ground rules. Sleepwalker has a few modes which can be quite useful:
- Timer - perform actions after a certain amount of time or at a specific hour, only on weekends, in a certain day of the week or just once.
- Idle - shut the computer after it has been idle for a specific amount of time.
On a Mac
Things on a Mac can be done simpler because a dedicated function is implemented, but for those wishing to use it on laptop, the machine has to be connected to a power source for the procedure to work.
- Go to System Preferences -> Energy Saver.
- Click on the Schedule button.
- Check the “Start up or wake” box to configure when the machine turns on and the box beneath it to schedule restarts, shut downs or sleeps.
- Click OK to confirm.