Windows Tip: 4 Different Ways to Turn Off Desktop Monitor or Laptop Screen


Sometimes, I just want to turn off the screens without powering off my computer or putting it in sleep mode. But believe it or not, Windows doesn’t actually have an easy way of doing it. You can either wait it out until the power saving mode kicks in or push the power buttons on the monitor to physically turn them off.

But if neither of the options are good enough for you, here are 4 other ways that you can try.

Using Power Button

Yes, that’s right. You can re-program the power button on your computer to turn the monitors off when pressed. It’s especially useful on laptops.

Open Power Options by clicking Start menu, typing Power Options, and click Edit Power Plan.

Start Edit Power Plan - Windows 10 Tip: How To Set Power Button to Turn Off Monitors

In the Edit Power Plan Settings window, click Change advanced power settings link.

Edit Plan Settings go to advanced power settings 600x423 - Windows 10 Tip: How To Set Power Button to Turn Off Monitors

The Power Options window pops up, find and expand the “Power buttons and Lit” and “Power button action.” Then, select “Turn off the display” from the Settings list.

Power Options Power button setting to turn off display - Windows 10 Tip: How To Set Power Button to Turn Off Monitors

Click OK, and you are all set.

A batch file

Someone at Microsoft has created a batch file that turns off all monitors when launched. You can download the batch file from the link above or create one on your own with the following code:

powershell (Add-Type '[DllImport(\"user32.dll\")]^public static extern int SendMessage(int hWnd, int hMsg, int wParam, int lParam);' -Name a -Pas)::SendMessage(-1,0x0112,0xF170,2)

You can double-click the batch file to run it or pin it to the Taskbar for easy access.

You can also use NirSoft’s famous NirCmd command line to do the same as well. See the command example below.

nircmd cmdwiait 1000 monitor off

I was having difficulty to get NirCmd executable file downloaded as it’s blocked by the AntiVirus software. But if you can download it, feel free and safe to use it.

A PowerShell Script

Similar to the batch file above, here is a PowerShell script file that you can download and run for yourself.

Here is the source code if you are interested:

function Set-DisplayOff
$code = @"
using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
public class API
public static extern
int SendMessage(IntPtr hWnd, UInt32 Msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam);
$t = Add-Type -TypeDefinition $code -PassThru
$t::SendMessage(0xffff, 0x0112, 0xf170, 2)

A few portable tools

There are also quite a few portable tools that you can use to quickly turn off the monitors when needed, e.g. ScreenOff, Turn Off Monitor, or Display Power Off Utility.  You can simply save them on the desktop or pin them on the taskbar for easy access.

Turn Off monitor utilities - Windows Tip: 4 Different Ways to Turn Off Desktop Monitor or Laptop Screen

We’ve also covered another freeware called Monitor Off long time ago that you can also check out. It provides some more features including assigning a keyboard shortcut key to quickly turn off monitors by using the keyboard.

That’s about it. If you know some other cool ways, feel free to share.



  1. Hi Kent

    Here’s a common problem without apparent solution: How do I turn off 2 of my 3 displays?

    Most solutions end up disabling a display, which causes no end of problems with shifting icons and application windows.


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