Ever wish you could wake your computer out of sleep mode without trudging over to it and pressing the power button? Wake-on-LAN allows you to turn your computer on using its network connection, so you can start it up from anywhere in the house with the tap of a button.
For example, I often useChrome Remote Desktopto access my workstation upstairs. But if my workstation is sleeping, I don't need to go upstairs and turn it on. Wake-on-LAN allows me to wake that computer up with a "magic packet" sent from my phone or laptop, so I can remote in without hassle.
Does Your Computer Support Wake-on-LAN?
(Photo: Cristian Gutu/Shutterstock)
Wake-on-LAN has a few caveats when it comes to support. First, the network card of the computer being woken up needs to support the feature. Pretty much any modern Ethernet adapter will support Wake-on-LAN, but wireless adapters rarely do.
This means the device sending the magic packet can be on Wi-Fi, but the one receiving it will likely need to be plugged in via Ethernet for this to work. Check your computer's documentation or BIOS to see if it supports Wake-on-Wireless-LAN (or Wake-on-WLAN).
Second, Wake-on-LAN is designed to wake up another computer on your network, so it won't be able to wake up computers on another network—say, if you're at a coffee shop and want to wake up your desktop back home. There are ways to make this work, but it's a bit outside the scope of this guide, so we'll point you in the right direction as best we can.
Enable Wake-on-LAN in the BIOS
Before you can use the feature, you will first need to enable Wake-on-LAN at the hardware level in your computer'sBIOS. To do this, reboot your PC and press a key at the boot screen—usually Delete, F2, or some other function key (it'll usually say on screen). Once you enter the BIOS menu, poke around for the Wake-on-LAN option.
On some machines, it will be very clearly labeled in the sleep and wake settings. In other cases, like on my MSI motherboard, it is part of the Resume By PCI-E Device setting. You can see in the screenshot above that this setting's description mentions "integrated LAN controllers," which is exactly what we're looking for. Toggle that setting to Enabled.
That's all I needed to do on my machine, but there may be other sleep or hibernate settings you have to tweak here. It varies by PC, so you'll just have to do a little trial and error if you run into problems, or look up directions for your PC's specifications.
Enable Wake-on-LAN in Windows
Once rebooted into Windows, click the Start menu and search for "Device Manager." Launch the Device Manager, find the Network Adapters section, and expand it to reveal your network interfaces. Right-click on your Ethernet adapter—mine is called "Intel(R) l211 Gigabit Network Connection"—and select Properties.
In the Advanced tab, scroll down to Wake On Magic Packet and ensure it is enabled using the drop-down box on the right. (This option wasn't available on all of my test machines, but Wake-on-LAN still worked on each of them, so don't worry if you don't see it.)
Next, click the Power Management tab in that same window and check two boxes: Allow This Device to Wake the Computer, and Only Allow a Magic Packet to Wake the Computer. Click OK and exit the Device Manager.
Some computers may only support Wake-on-LAN from sleep, while others may allow you to wake up from a powered off state, so you may need to tweak settings in your BIOS or in Windows' Control Panel underHardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings.
Some people find that they need to disable Fast Startup from this page, though it worked fine for me. Again, you may need to play around with settings if you find Wake-on-LAN doesn't work properly.
Wake Your Computer With the Right App
Finally, to wake up your computer over the network, you'll need a Wake-on-LAN app on another device, such as your phone or laptop. Some programs already come with Wake-on-LAN built-in, including ones you already own. In other cases, you may need a separate program to wake up your PC.
TeamViewer has this capability, if you connect your devices through a TeamViewer account. You can then open the program and click the Wake Up button to wake up any sleeping PC connected to your account. Other remote access tools may also support Wake-on-LAN, so check with your program of choice to see what settings you need to enable for it to work.
If you're trying to wake a PC from another Windows machine, I recommend NirSoft'sWakeMeOnLan(Opens in a new window). It will scan your network and provide a list of devices, so you don't have to remember the correct IP address every time. Just click the machine you want and hit Wake Up. Depicus(Opens in a new window)is another good tool, but you have to enter theIP address, MAC address, subnet mask, and port number for the remote PC.
You can wake your computer up from an iPhone or iPad with Mocha WOL(Opens in a new window) or Android device with Wake On Lan(Opens in a new window). These apps allow you to scan your network for devices or manually enter the IP and MAC address of the computer you want to wake up.
If all goes well, your computer should wake right up when you hit the wake up button. If not, check its BIOS settings, Windows settings, and the configuration of your Wake-on-LAN app to make sure everything is set properly for your specific hardware.
If you want to wake up your computer quickly without scanning each time, it's probably a good idea toset a static IP addressfor your computer on your router, so it doesn't change.
Out of the House? Use Wake-on-WAN
If you're just trying to wake up your computer from the other side of the house, you can stop here—you're done! But there are times where you might want to wake your computer up when you're away from home, like when you're on vacation or working at a coffee shop. This is known as Wake-on-WAN, and it's much more complex.
The general idea works like this: Instead of sending the magic packet to your computer's internal IP address, you send it to your router's external IP address—the one shown onwhatismyipaddress.com(Opens in a new window). You then use port forwarding on your router to forward the magic packet to the correct computer.
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Unfortunately, Wake-on-LAN wasn't really meant to be used this way, so there's no one easy way to get it working. It depends heavily on your network setup. However, if you canaccess your router's configuration page, there are a few things you can try.
Head to the port-forwarding section of your router—if you can't find it,portforward.com(Opens in a new window)can help—and forward the Wake-on-LAN port to your home network's broadcast address. The port is usually port 7 or 9, and the broadcast address is usually something like 192.168.1.255—basically, your router's IP address with ".255" as the final octet.
That will broadcast the magic packet to the entire network, where it'll be accepted by the MAC address you've specified. Unfortunately, mostroutersdisallow forwarding ports to the broadcast address, so there's a good chance this won't work, but it's worth a shot. If your router won't allow that, there are some workarounds.
If you have a router with more advanced configuration, like onerunning the DD-WRT firmware(Opens in a new window), you can use a combination of port forwarding and ARP tables to trick your router into forwarding the port to the broadcast address. This DD-WRT wiki(Opens in a new window) describes it in more detail.
Wake-on-WAN Alternative: An Always-On Computer
You can see how Wake-on-WAN gets a little tricky. I prefer an easier solution: An always-on computer inside the network that I can remote into and send magic packets around the house.
I have a home server running Windows 10, and it's on 24/7. So when I'm away from home, I just use Chrome Remote Desktop(Opens in a new window) to remote into that always-on PC, use WakeMeOnLan to send a magic packet from that machine to my workstation, then remote into my workstation once it's awake. It's a bit roundabout, but it works.
Best of all, you can use this workaround with whatever hardware you have already. Got an old laptop collecting dust? Stick it in the corner, set it to run with the lid closedand access it withyour remote desktop program of choice.
Gota NAS devicerunning at all times, or even aRaspberry Pi?SSH into it and use the command line(Opens in a new window)to send that magic packet. As long as the magic packet itself comes from inside the network, Wake-on-LAN should work without too much stress.
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Right-click on your Ethernet adapter—mine is called "Intel(R) l211 Gigabit Network Connection"—and select Properties. In the Advanced tab, scroll down to Wake On Magic Packet and ensure it is enabled using the drop-down box on the right.Can you turn on a computer with Wake-on-LAN? ›
Overview. Wake-on-LAN (WOL) allows a computer to be powered on or awakened from standby, hibernate or shutdown from another device on a network. The process of WOL is the following: The target computer is in standby, hibernate or shutdown, with power reserved for the network card.Can you Wake-on-LAN from outside the network? ›
You can send a magic packet to your local LAN through the router if the router is configured to forward the packet. A OpenWRT router should be able to do this.Can you Wake-on-LAN over WIFI? ›
Wake-on-LAN (WoL) is a hardware/software solution that wakes up your computer remotely from a low power mode or off mode. The computer must have an Internet connection and be plugged in to power for WoL to work. Wake-on-LAN can be configured to use Ethernet or Wireless.How to start PC remotely? ›
- Make sure you have Windows 10 Pro. ...
- When you're ready, select Start > Settings > System > Remote Desktop, and turn on Enable Remote Desktop.
- Make note of the name of this PC under How to connect to this PC.
Without required security measures in place, the Wake-on-LAN trigger packets can be manipulated by any attacker or rogue device in the same network.How do I remotely wake up my LAN Windows 10? ›
In the General tab of the TeamViewer Options window, you should see a Network settings section. You can configure your Wake-on-LAN settings by clicking the Configure button next to the Wake-on-LAN setting, where you can set up the TeamViewer IDs that are allowed to connect to your PC.How do I access my LAN from the outside? ›
Use VPN connection. Some of the users will choose VPN to realize remote control for the security of VPN. Actually, we can also remote in to a server from outside the network by using VPN. The host PC will act as one of the parts on the same network when you use a VPN to connect.Does Wake-on-LAN only work in sleep mode? ›
Wake-on-LAN can start up a computer even if it is fully shut down. The WOL function isn't just for when the computer is in Sleep mode. Q3: Does Wake-on-LAN only work over WiFi? For Wake-on-LAN to work, the computer must have an Internet connection and be plugged into power.Can you Wake-on-LAN a virtual machine? ›
We have made settings to enable Wake On LAN on the physical port of the Host machines. Also enabled 'Put the guest OS into standby mode and leave the virtual machine powered on' and enabled Network Adapter 1 for Wake on LAN settings.
To wake up a computer via WOL, you should enable WOL in BIOS settings and configure network card. To enable WOL in BIOS settings, Switch on the computer and press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 during the initial startup. Depending on the BIOS manufacturer, a menu would appear.Does fast startup affect Wake-on-LAN? ›
Wake-on-LAN doesn't work if fast startup is enabled. The second reason to disable fast startup is that Group Policy and preference settings that are targeted during shutdown and startup aren't applied when users shut down and start up their PCs.How do I setup my wireless router to Wake-on-LAN? ›
- Click Manage.
- Go to Device Manager>>Network adapters and click the network card you use.
- Go to Advance. Select “Wake on LAN” in the Property and enable it.
- Then click OK.
Can you remotely access a computer that is turned off? Normally, you can't connect to a computer over the Internet if it's turned off. Keep in mind that if you plan to use remote access while traveling long distances, you must leave your computer running the entire time.Can someone turn computer on remotely? ›
Wake-on-LAN allows you to turn your computer on using its network connection, so you can start it up from anywhere in the house with the tap of a button. For example, I often use Chrome Remote Desktop to access my workstation upstairs.Can TeamViewer wake a sleeping computer? ›
In addition, TeamViewer lets you wake a computer remotely from your smartphone or tablet, so that even when on the go and following a busy schedule, nothing can stop you from being connected.What are the limitations of Wake-on-LAN? ›
A principal limitation of standard broadcast Wake-on-LAN is that broadcast packets are generally not routed. This prevents the technique being used in larger networks or over the Internet. Subnet directed broadcasts (SDB) may be used to overcome this limitation.What is the benefit of Wake-on-LAN? ›
WoL is a versatile technique that allows otherwise active computers to be deactivated when not required. Effective use of WoL allows system administrators or users to turn computers on remotely. This is commonly used for patch management, remote support and remote access.Is WiFi or LAN Safer? ›
An Ethernet connection is much more secure than a WiFi connection. Data on an Ethernet network can only be accessed by physically attaching a device to the network, while data on a WiFi network travels through the air and can be more easily intercepted.How to remotely access another computer over the internet free? ›
Simply download TeamViewer, set up the free remote PC connection, and directly access your home PC from wherever you are.
Wake On LAN for a Windows PC
Open the LogMeIn Control Panel and navigate to Options > Preferences > Advanced Settings. Under Wake On LAN, select Enable 'Wake On LAN' from sleep and power off.
Confirm that the AC power is plugged in. WOL does not work when the system is running on battery. This is by design. Confirm that the link light remains on when the system is powered off.What is the difference between Wake-on-LAN and Wake on WAN? ›
Wake on LAN, or WOL, is the ability to send a signal over a local area network (LAN) to power up a PC. Wake on WAN is the ability to send that same signal over a wide area network (WAN), such as the Internet, to trigger power-up of a PC on a private LAN.How do I know if my Wake-on-LAN is active? ›
Open the start menu and type "Device Manager" and open the device manager. Expand "Network Adapters" and right-click your network adapter (typically Intel) and select Properties. Click the "Power" or "Power Management" tab and make sure WOL is enabled.Is Wake-on-LAN port 7 or 9? ›
Wake-on-LAN uses UDP port 9 by default, to send WOL messages. This port is available for use on most Windows computers.What is the difference between Wake-on-LAN and Wake-on-LAN with PXE? ›
Wake on Lan is just that: wake the computer over lan! PXE is a technique to execute a whole operating system saved on a remote server. It's different from VNC access. VNC access only allows you to see the screen and use the computer.How do I get my Wake-on-LAN to work? ›
- Start the computer.
- Press the F2 key (or the equivalent) to access the BIOS set-up. > The BIOS set-up will open.
- Open the Power tab.
- Activate the Wake-on-LAN option.
- Save and exit the BIOS set-up.
- Press Win + R to open Run.
- Type control and click OK to open Control Panel.
- Next, go to Network and Internet and click on Network and Sharing Center.
- In the left pane, click on Change adapter settings.
No, it can't. That's one of its main disadvantages compared to other remote desktop software. It's not possible to wake a sleeping computer using Chrome Remote Desktop, so you need to make sure all computers you wish to connect to are awake.Is there a way to wake up a computer remotely? ›
- Assign your computer a static IP.
- Configure port forwarding in your router to pass Port 9 to your PC's new static IP.
- Turn on WOL (Wake on LAN) in your PC's BIOS.
- Configure your network adapter's power settings in Windows to allow it to wake the PC.
1. In the windows search box type “Remote Desktop Settings” and hit enter. 2. If “Enable Remote Desktop” is set to “On” and the check box is checked beside “Keep my PC awake for connections when it is plugged in”, your PC ready to go.Can I leave my PC on sleep for days? ›
Leaving your PC on sleep overnight is generally safe, but there are low-power modes for overnight use. If you are worried about the power consumption of your PC, you can set it to enter a low-power mode automatically when you are not using it for a set period of time.How can I turn on my laptop without the power button? ›
Using a Keyboard
One of the easiest ways to turn on your laptop without a power button is by using the laptop keyboard itself. You can enable this setting from the BIOS of your laptop as shown here: While turning on your laptop, hold F2, F10, or the DEL key to enter the BIOS instead of Windows.
This means you can remotely control an offline computer by waking it up first before establishing a connection to it. You can initiate the wake-up request from another Windows or Mac computer or even an Android or iOS device running the TeamViewer Remote Control app.How do I wake up my computer without the power button? ›
Fix 1: Allow your keyboard and mouse to wake up your PC
To allow your keyboard and mouse to wake up your PC: On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time, then type devmgmt. msc into the box and press Enter. Double-click on Keyboards > your keyboard device.
So it's fine to just “tap” the power button to turn your machine off. Pressing and holding the power button, though, “bypasses this, sending the signal to your power supply unit (PSU) directly, instead.”Can I leave my PC on sleep forever? ›
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it's recommended that you put your computer into sleep mode if you're not going to be using it for more than 20 minutes. It's also recommended that you shut down your computer if you're not going to use it for more than two hours.Can I leave my PC on when I leave the house? ›
Generally speaking, if you will be using it in a few hours, leave it on. If you're not planning on using it until the next day, you can put it in 'sleep' or 'hibernate' mode. Nowadays, all device manufacturers do stringent tests on the life cycle of computer components, putting them through more rigorous cycle testing.What is the difference between Wake-on-LAN primary and automatic? ›
The difference between Primary and Automatic is which Startup Sequence it will use when you wake it via LAN. As you can see in the following screenshot, these are the options Wake on LAN option will choose from depending on what you select.