Use This Extension to Keep Your Chromebook Awake

Teachers often report that their Chromebook’s screens go to sleep too soon or their Chromebook locks too quickly. They want to be able to keep their Chromebook on even when they walk away to help a student.

For security reasons and to save battery charge, Chromebooks will automatically turn off their screens and enter sleep or standby after a certain amount of idle time. Typically this happens after the Chromebook has been left untouched for about 10 minutes. However, there are ways to keep your Chromebook awake.

When a Chromebook goes to sleep, the connected projector loses signal

Keep Your Chromebook Awake Using the Keep Awake Extension

If your Google account is controlled by a school or business, you may not be able to change the Sleep settings. However, here is a simple extension you can install to keep your Chromebook awake. It’s simply called Keep Awake. You can install it for free from the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome Web Store Keep Awake Extension

You can click the extension icon to turn to toggle through these settings

  • Sun – Keep the screen turned on and the Chromebook awake
  • Sunset – Screen will timeout and turn off, but Chromebook will not go to sleep
    • This option could be useful if you were playing music, but wanted to save battery life
  • Moon – use the Chromebooks normal power settings

This app is perfect for a teacher to use during a slide show presentation. It’s also useful when showing directions or writing prompts on a projector while working with students in groups.

This is a great tool to use when you need your screen on, but you do not want to leave it on all of the time.

Keep Your Chromebook Awake By Disabling Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is controlled in your Chromebook’s settings. If you are using a personal Chromebook, you can adjust these settings. If it’s a school or organization-owned Chromebook, you are likely blocked from changing the Sleep settings.

There is more than one way to access Settings but to keep this simple, we’ll just look at one option.

Open Settings

  1. Log onto your Chromebook
  2. Click on your profile image in the bottom right corner of the screen
  3. Next, click on the cogwheel
    • The Settings window will open
  4. Scroll down to the Device Section
  5. Click on Power (you can also search for power in the search box)

In the example below you can see:

  • the amount of battery life remaining
  • what to do on idle
  • what to do when the lid is closed
How to Control Chromebook Sleep Mode
Settings with a building icon next to them are locked and managed by your Google domain admin

If your Settings have building icons next to them (like mine) and the options are greyed out, you will not be able to change these settings manually.

Your Google account is managed by a Google domain which is common in schools and businesses. Instead, you’ll have to keep your Chromebook awake using the extension in the next section.

If your settings are not greyed out you can make the following changes.

Adjust Chromebook sleep settings
  • You can choose what happens when the Chromebook is idle. Again, idle means no one has moved the mouse or touched the keyboard for a period of time. Playing a video on sites like YouTube will also keep the Chromebook from being idle.
  • Do you want the Chromebook to go to sleep when the lid is closed? On most Chromebooks, this also means that the screen will stay on when the lid is closed too.

I wouldn’t change either of these settings permanently. To avoid having to change settings back and forth,

Why You Should Let Your Chromebook Sleep

I’ve talked a lot about how to keep your Chromebook awake, but I think it’s important to point out some reasons you don’t want to leave your Chromebook unlocked all of the time.

Keeping Your Chromebook on When You Aren’t Using it Is a Security Risk

As with any Device you are signed in to, you should not leave your Chromebook unattended while it is turned on. Anyone using the device when you are logged on would have access to your files, emails, etc.

They could gain access to your test answers or even worse, send emails from your account.

If another user is going to use your Chromebook, always have them sign in with their own account. If it’s a personal Chromebook, you could have them use Guest mode.

Constantly Having You Screen On Drains Your Battery Faster

Chromebooks can run on battery power for several hours, but they will eventually run out of juice. Allowing your Chromebook to sleep while not in use, will help ensure your battery stays charged as long as possible. By allowing your Chromebook to “sleep” when not in use, you should be able to make it through the school day on a single charge.

If you are looking for ways to keep your Chromebook turned on then you are likely a power user. Since you use your Chromebook so much, step up your keyboard shortcut skills to make using your Chromebook even easier by reading my 21 Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts You Need To Know article.

Dave Carty

K12 district technology administrator, Google domain admin, Certified Google Trainer.

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