Wake-on-LAN is a protocol for remotely waking computers from a low power mode. When a network adapter detects an Ethernet packet or a WOL event, the Wake-On-LAN (WOL) feature will wake up a Windows computer from a low power state. In Windows 10/8, Microsoft changed the default behavior of how the computer responds to WOL events.
Wake-on-LAN behavior in Windows 10
Wake-On-LAN is not officially supported from the S5 power state in Windows 7. In Windows 7, when you shut down the PC, the system is put into the S5 states and all devices are put into the D3 state, which is the lowest power state.
In Windows 10/8, you may be aware that when you shut down the computer, the system is put into the S4 hybrid shutdown or Hibernate state and the devices into the D3 state. Wake-On-LAN is supported by S3 (Sleep) or S4 (Hibernate) state in Windows 10.
You can read more about the different System Sleep States in Windows 10 here.
Disable or Enable Wake-on-LAN in Windows 10
By default, Wake-on-LAN is enabled on Windows 10. But if you wish to check or change its settings, you will have to open Device Manager. Open Win+X menu and select Device Manager.
Scroll down to Network Adapters and find the networking device. Right-click on it and select Properties. Under the Advanced tab, in the Property box, you will see Wake on Magic Packet. From the drop-down menu, you can make your choice.
Freeware to remotely wake the computer
1] WakeOnLAN is an open-source tool that lets you easily wake up and shut down remote Windows machines. It can perform the following tasks for you:
- WakeUp a remote computer that is powered off
- Shutdown a remote computer
- Ping the selected remote computer, to display its status
- Perform an emergency shutdown of ALL defined computers at once
- Connect to the remote server via Remote Desktop
- Listen to WOL packets.
You can download it here.
2] WakeMeOnLan from Nirsoft, allows you to easily turn on one or more computers remotely by sending Wake-on-LAN (WOL) packet to the remote computers. When your computers are turned on, WakeMeOnLan allows you to scan your network, and collect the MAC addresses of all your computers, and save the computers list into a file.
PS: Wake On LAN (WOL) Support is now available for Windows 10 Surface devices.