Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Setting Computers to Automatically Restart after a Power Failure

Regardless of how often power fails in your area, a computer that was running when the power failed normally remains off after power is restored. If you have a remote office, or need to connect to a computer at a different location, having the device remain off after power is restored can range from inconvenient to costly. Instead of being forced to physically travel to the location of the computer to power it on, save time by setting the computer to automatically restart after a power failure using the power settings in the BIOS.

The power restart setting is accessible via the motherboard BIOS settings. Note: The power restart setting is not supported by every motherboard.

Setting Computers to Automatically Restart after a Power Failure

  • If the computer is on, power it off.
  • Power the computer on and immediately begin pressing the appropriate key to enter the setup configuration, usually the Delete key or F2. Different motherboard manufacturers use different keys to access this menu, but the required key can be found by watching the computer boot and looking for the key listed next to the words "Enter Setup".

  • Once the BIOS settings open, look for a tab titled "Power" or "Power Management". Note: Each manufacturer provides different options in their BIOS, some more than others, and often the same setting is called by a different name.

  • In the Power Management tab, look for a drop down menu titled "AC Back", "Power AC", or something similar. The description for this setting should be how the computer behaves once power is restored.

  •  By default this setting is configured to "Always off". The other available options are "Always on" and "Memory"/"Prior State".
    • Always off means the computer will always remain off after power is restored regardless of whether it was on or off when power failed.
    • Always on means the computer will always power on after power is restored regardless of whether it was on or off when power failed.
    • Both Memory and Prior State mean the computer will always return to the state it was in when the power failed once power is restored. This means the device will power back on if it was on or remain off if it was off when the power failed.
  • Select the appropriate option from the drop down menu.

  • Click the "Save and Exit" button or press F10.
  • Confirm to save the changes and exit.
  • The computer will save the changes and reboot.

Whichever power setting works best for the situation, it is good to know there are multiple options for the way computers behave once power is restored after a power failure. Anyone accessing a computer remotely is usually relying upon the computer to be powered on all the time so they do not need to be at the same physical location to power on the computer. Configuring a computer so it will restart automatically after a power failure can save time and frustration for anyone who is connecting to a remote computer.

As always, knowing all the available options is the best way to make an informed decision!

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