Will a download continue in sleep mode? – For Mac & Windows 10

Many of us don’t have the time to sit at their laptop all day whilst you download new files, programs and updates. So, it makes sense that when you do have large downloads that you’d do this whilst you’re going about the rest of your day, leaving your laptop to deal with things.

But if you’re looking to download something on your laptop, will this download continue whilst your laptop is in sleep mode? Or do you need to change the settings of your laptop so it never enters sleep mode in order for you to download something successfully?

All of the best laptop makers, like Windows and Apple, will have the option to put your laptop into sleep mode. So, that’s what we’re going to take a look at now.

Will a download continue in sleep mode?

The answer is that no, a download will not continue whilst your laptop is in sleep mode. This is because when your laptop enters sleep mode, it is trying to conserve energy, so it won’t continue with any active downloads. However, you can stop your laptop from going into sleep mode, which will ensure that it carries on downloading.

Typically, closing the lid on your laptop is what will send it into sleep mode. It also might enter into sleep mode if it has low power – in this scenario, there’s an easy fix of putting your laptop on charge. But keeping your laptop from going into sleep mode after closing the lid is another story altogether.

If you want to download games or films on your laptop, then it’s worth knowing how to keep your laptop active. But, the method you use to do this will depend on which operating system you’re using. So, let’s have a look how you stop your laptop entering into sleep mode for both Windows and Mac.

How to stop your laptop entering sleep mode – Windows 10

If you’re using a Windows 10 laptop, then it’s pretty straight forward how to stop your laptop going into sleep mode. This is important, especially if you’re a student with a ton of work to download.

All you need to do is go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings, and from there you’ll be able to access the settings. The third option down should read When I close the lid, giving you the option to either have your laptop sleep, hibernate, shut down or do nothing when you close it.

Of course, out of these you’re going to want to select do nothing. This will ensure that when you close the lid of your laptop, it won’t enter into sleep mode, and it will then continue to download instead.

How to stop your laptop entering sleep mode – Mac

On a Macbook, things are pretty similar, but you also have another option too. You just need to go to System Preferences > Energy Saver, and this will bring you to the menu you need to be on.

Here, you’ll be able to select the time that you want your laptop to stay on without it going into sleep mode. If you slide this along to Never, then this will prevent your laptop from entering into sleep mode and you’ll continue your download.


However with a Mac, this isn’t your only option for this, especially if you don’t want to leave your laptop lid open.

If you don’t want to change the settings of your Macbook on the whole time, then you can install an app like Insomnia X. This will make sure that when you do close the lid of your laptop, that your downloads continue as they were.

What about on my computer?

If you’re using a computer, then it’s going to enter into sleep mode if you stop using it for a period of time. You can stop this with the power settings above.

All you need to do with a computer is turn the monitor off and let it keep downloading, which should be all you need to do to get your programs downloaded properly. You just need to remember to hit save settings after you’re done if you want to keep your changes in place.

What is sleep mode, and how does it work?

Whilst the majority of us out there know what sleep mode is, and probably use it on a regular basis, a lot of people aren’t exactly sure what it is and what it does. This is particularly true if you have a Windows laptop, which also has other options like hibernate, making things even more confusing.

The difference is that with Sleep mode, you laptop or computer still stays on and it remains using energy, even if it’s just a little bit. The power of your laptop keeps the RAM in your laptop running, otherwise all of the things that you have open would be closed.

Hibernate mode is a step further than this, and it moves everything from your RAM to your storage space, and turns the RAM off completely. This means that it takes a little longer than sleep mode, but it will use less battery (hibernate turns everything off so requires no power).

Because RAM is a volatile form of memory, when it turns off, it’s completely wiped. So if you turn your computer off or put it into hibernate, your current open programs will close. But in sleep mode, the RAM stays on – and therefore your programs stay open too.


There’s nothing more annoying than having something big to download, forgetting about it and coming back to your laptop with no progress made. And you want the ability to close the lid of your laptop when you’re not using it, so you can easily pack it into your backpack to carry with you wherever you’re headed.

But there are things you can do to ensure that the download continues even when you’re not using the device. This way, you’ll be able to download large files without having to be on your laptop at the same time.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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