Turn off monitor on shutdown?

at my company we have a problem where we are struggling to get people to turn off their desktops when they leave to go home.

we found a neat trick to use task scheduler to switch off the PC's at night if they weren't being used, but our problem now is monitors.

is there anyway to send a command or something to the monitor to switch itself off or are they dumb?


Windows Forum Admin
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Hi Magic,
have you considered using the power settings found in the screenshot? This can be set to turn the monitor off if it isn't used for say 20minutes or whatever the setting is at..


yes we currently use a similar thing in xp too (think we do half an hour or so). i found a tool that installs an exe and enables you to turn off the display with a cmd line, but it still leaves the monitor on standby. ideally, i'd like the monitor to switch off properly/not be on standby without relying on our users to switch the screen off (lets face it, we all forget sometimes! :) )


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Hmm... You could use a timer attached to the power socket? At a certain time you could just cut the power and as long as everything is either on stand-by or turned off it will be fine.. Or have you thought of that already? )


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The monitor will typically go into the standby mode when it no longer receives a sourced signal. In the case of desktops and laptops, this is the graphics card. When the system shuts down, the graphics card no longer maintains a circuit with the monitor, and so whereas the monitor is configured by the vendor, it will usually immediately enter a standby state. This has been done under power saving initiatives once it was realized how much electricity was being mass-wasted by monitors.

The process for which you are describing has been loosely coined as Monitor Power Management (MPM). The monitor will also go into standby when it is directed to by the operating system. This can be set in Power Management, whereas you can force the monitor, as previously discussed, into a standby state. This is done by keeping the graphics card itself operational, but the operating system directs the card (and by doing so - itself) not to output through the VGA/DVI/HDMI port. But the one thing that the operating system cannot do, unless it had direct control of the monitor through, say, USB or even a serial port, is turn it off. This does not exist today on any monitor that I know of.

If monitor vendors started allowing for a full shutdown in their settings after the monitor has been in a standby state for a certain amount of time, or as customizable by the user, this would solve your problem. Until that day comes, you need to tell people to turn off their monitors if they don't want them in standby.

What you are trying to do is lessen the phantom load - the leaking electricity which is giving you so much woe. Many products, even when turned off, but still connected to an electrical circuit, use over 1 watt of electricity. But you are still saving much power by having these monitors go into hardware standby - you are saving a significant amount. How much depends on the monitor configuration - but it is going to be easily over 90% if it were always on.

Two explanations as to why monitors don't fully power off in today's world may be 1. That the designers realize the power savings would be so negligible that they decided not to waste development time on such a feature, and instead use that time to make the monitor itself better and 2. Many people obviously rely on the convenience of leaving their monitor in standby, as opposed to using screen savers, which still amounts to huge electrical savings.

I would suspect that your best course of action would be to authorize an e-mail reminding people to turn off their monitors at night - thus saving that extra energy. But so long as most electrical devices are connected into a power strip, there is still some power usage associated. The monitor will use some power to retain predefined settings in many cases. The computer itself, as you may know, will use power, even when it is off, to avoid switching to the CMOS battery to maintain BIOS settings.


Well-Known Member
Remember when the original PC's had a monitor outlet on the power supply for exactly this purpose?

I made a USB controlled power strip. I plug the monitors and external wall-warts into this power strip. When the computer powers down, the USB power goes away and that in turn turns off the line voltage on the power strip. When the PC is turned on, the monitors and wall-warts are powered up before the PC boots.

I don't know if forum rules permit, but if I sense some interest I can make some of these for sale.


Senior Member
I can definitely appreciate what the OP is trying to do here. One of our policies is powering off PCs at the end of the night, but there are so many users who continue to leave their PCs on. Not only is it important for users to receive updates if we push something out via GPO/LoginScript - but its always nice to start the day with a fresh slate and a clean boot of Windows.

I would be curious to know how much of a difference having your monitors completely off compared to leaving them in standby. Obviously, its going to be a huge decrease in power consumption over leaving the monitor and PC on all night, but are you going to notice much going from standby to off?


Extraordinary Member
My Daughter eventually learnt to switch off the PC but never the monitor. After a few clips round the ear, she learnt to switch off the monitor.
With adaption, this may be of use to you, The bigger the culprit, the bigger the baseball bat!!
At a (small) Company I worked at, the monitors were wired on a separate ring main, similar to the lights being separate from the main sockets, and this was set to a timer. That was a fresh install in a new factory unit though.

I still go with the baseball bat method!! Just get the users to sign a disclaimer first.


Well-Known Member
In my case, I have a video studio with several editing workstations, and each with two monitors and external Roland speakers, and a host of SATA drive docks. I haven't measured the power savings with my USB Power Strip. I built it to turn off all those damned LEDs at night - the studio is next to my bedroom.

Well my Samsung monitor got an off-timer in OSM - problem solved!

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