Wake-On-LAN : Need to turn on your PC immediately from another room in your house? With Wake-on-LAN, you can. Here’s how to set it up and why.
Ever wish you could turn your computer into sleep mode. Without having to go through it and press the power button? Wake-on-LAN lets you turn on your computer using its own network connection. So you can launch it anywhere in the house by tapping a button.
For example, I often use the Chrome Remote Desktop to access my workspace at the top. But when my workplace is asleep, I don’t even have to go upstairs to open it. Wake-on-LAN allows me to wake up that computer with a “magic pack” sent from my phone or laptop. So I can access the remote control without any hassle.
Is Your Computer Support Awakening-on-LAN?
Wake-on-LAN has a few alerts when it comes to support. First, the network card of the activated computer needs to support the feature. Ideally any modern Ethernet adapter will support Wake-on-LAN, but wireless adapters rarely do.
This means that the device that sends the magic package can be on Wi-Fi, but the recipient will probably need to be connected via Ethernet for this to work. You will need to check your computer or BIOS documents to see if they support Wake-on-Wireless-LAN (or Wake-on-WLAN).
Second, Wake-on-LAN is designed to wake up another computer in your network, so it will not be able to wake up computers in another network — say, if you are at Starbucks and want to wake up your desktop back home. . There are ways to make this work, but it is just outside the scope of this guide, so we will guide you in the right direction as best we can.
Enable Wake-on-LAN in the BIOS
First you will need to enable Wake-on-LAN hardware level in your computer’s BIOS. To do so, restart your computer and press a button on the start screen — usually Delete, F2, or another operating key (usually on the screen). Once you have installed the BIOS menu, you will need to navigate to get the Wake-on-LAN option.
On some devices, it will label very clearly in the sleep and wake settings. In some cases, as in my MSI motherboard, it is part of the Resume By PCI-E Device configuration. You can see in the screenshot above that the description of this setting refers to “integrated LAN controls,” which is exactly what we want. Modify that setting to enable it.
That was all I needed on my machine. But there may be other sleep or sleeping arrangements you have to adjust here. It varies from PC to PC, so you will need to make a little effort and error when you run into problems.
Enable Wake-on-LAN for Windows
Once restarted on Windows, click the Start menu and look for “Device Manager.” Launch Device Manager, find the Network Adapter section, and expand it to display your network interface. Right-click on your Ethernet adapter — mine is called “Intel (R) l211 Gigabit Network Connection” —and select Properties.
On the Advanced tab, scroll down to the Wake On Magic Packet and make sure it is open using the drop-down box on the right. (This option was not available on all my test machines, but Wake-on-LAN still works on each of them, so don’t worry if you don’t see it.)
Next, click the Power Management tab in the same window and tick the two boxes. Allow This Device to Launch the Computer, and Only Allow the Magic Pack to Start the Computer. Click OK and exit Device Manager.
Some computers can only support Wake-on-LAN in sleep. While others may allow you to wake up in closed mode. So you may need to adjust the settings in your BIOS or Windows’ Control Panel under Hardware & Audio> Power Options. > System settings.
Some people find that they need to disable Quick Start on this page, or it has worked well for me. Also, you may need to play settings if you find Wake-on-LAN not working properly.
Wake Your Computer With Proper App
Finally, in order to wake up your computer over the network, you will need the Wake-on-LAN application on another device, such as your phone or laptop. Some programs already come with the built-in Wake-on-LAN, which includes the ones you already have. In some cases, you may need a different program to wake up your PC.
In TeamViewer, click the Wake button to wake up any sleeping PC connected to your TeamViewer account. You will need to check the documentation of your remote access tool to see if it supports Wake-on-LAN, and what settings you need to enable it to work.
If you are trying to wake up a PC on another Windows machine, I recommend NirSoft’s WakeMeOnLan. It will scan your network and provide you with a list of devices. So you do not always have to remember the correct IP address. Just click the machine you want and press the Wake button.
Depicus is another good, but very advanced tool. You must enter the IP address, MAC address, subnet mask, and port number of the remote PC.
If you do not have a PC on hand, you can use a mobile app like Wake On Lan
(Android) or Mocha WOL (iOS). They work the same way as the desktop applications above: you can scan your network for the devices, or enter the IP and MAC address of the computer you want to activate.
If all goes well, your computer should wake up when you click the Wake Up button. If not, check its BIOS settings. Windows settings, and configuration of your Wake-on-LAN application to make sure everything is set correctly with your particular hardware.
If you want to wake up your computer quickly without scanning each time. It is probably a good idea to set your computer’s default IP address on your router, so that it does not change.
If you try to start your computer on the other side of the house, you can stop here — you’re done! But there are times when you may want to wake up your computer when you are not at home, such as while on vacation or working in a coffee shop. This is known as Wake-on-WAN, and it is very complex.