Automatically changing the Windows power plan

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.05.2013 at 13:50

I use a Toshiba Dynadock u3.0 to connect my Windows 8 laptop to dual displays, printer, mouse & keyboard, webcam, etc and sometimes when I resume my computer from a Standby state, the displays do not work and I have to restart the computer.

One workaround is to unplug the Dynadock before you resume the computer from standby and re-plug it in once the computer has resumed.

An even better workaround is to create a custom power plan that does not cause the computer to go to standby when connected to AC power. However, if your computer is managed by an organization they might enforce a “preferred” power plan through group policy, which causes your custom power plan to be overridden, leaving you with the same problem.

Today we explore how we can create a custom power plan and create a simple scheduled task that will ensure your custom power plan remains enforced regardless of your organization’s enforced power plan. Bear in mind, that depending upon what privileges your administrator has provided you on your desktop, this method may or may not be effective.

1. Create a custom power plan that does not put your computer on standby. Set this as your current power plan. I’m calling my power plan Dynadock.


2. Open the Command Prompt and type powercfg /list. Note the GUID of your Dynadock power scheme (highlighted below). You will need this in the next step.

3. Open Task Scheduler (you can search for it on the Start menu/screen. Look under Settings in Windows 8)

4. Click Create Task on the right pane.

5. Choose the options on each tab as follows


On the Triggers tab, click Newimage


On the Actions tab, click New

Action: Start a program

Program/script: C:\Windows\System32\powercfg.exe

Add arguments: /setactive <GUID>
(where GUID is the text you copied earlier in step 2)


Click OK


Review the other tabs and make changes if needed, the default settings should be ok.

Supply your username and password when prompted and you are all set!

What you have just done is creating a scheduled task that runs every hour to change your power scheme back to your own custom power plan, even if the system reverts back to the “preferred” plan.

Update (27-May-2013): If you use your Windows Domain account for the scheduled task, the job will stop running once your change your password. A simple way to fix this is to open Task Scheduler whenever you change your password and update the new password, or simply use a local account with admin privileges which will not be required to change password by group policies.

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