How to turn on your computer from across the house with Wake-on-LAN (2023)

Ever wish you could wake your computer from sleep mode without stepping on it and hitting the power button? Wake-on-LAN lets you turn on your computer using your network connection, so you can start it up from anywhere in the house with the push of a button.

For example, I often useChrome-RemoteddesktopAccess to my workstation upstairs. But when my workstation is idle, I don't have to go up and turn it on. Wake-on-LAN allows me to wake this computer up with a "magic packet" sent from my phone or laptop so I can easily control myself remotely.

Does your computer support Wake-on-LAN?

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(FotoCristian Gutu/Shutterstock)

Wake-on-LAN has some limitations when it comes to support. First, the network card of the computer to be activated must support the function. Virtually all modern Ethernet adapters support Wake-on-LAN, but wireless adapters rarely do.

This means that the device sending the Magic Packet may be connected to Wi-Fi, but the device receiving it will likely need to be connected via Ethernet for this to work. Check your computer's documentation or BIOS to see if Wake-on-Wireless-LAN (or Wake-on-WLAN) is supported.

Second, Wake-on-LAN is designed to wake up another computer on your network, so you won't be able to wake up computers on a different network — for example, if you're in a coffee shop and want to wake up your desktop from back home. There are ways to make this work, but it's a bit beyond the scope of this guide, so we'll point you in the right direction as best we can.

Enable Wake-on-LAN no BIOS

How to turn on your computer from across the house with Wake-on-LAN (2)

Before you can use the feature, you must first enable Wake-on-LAN at hardware levelYour computer's BIOS. To do this, restart the PC and press a key on the splash screen - usually Delete, F2 or another function key (usually it appears on the screen). After entering the BIOS menu, look for the Wake-on-LAN option.

On some computers, it will be clearly marked in the sleep and wake settings. In other cases, like my MSI motherboard, it's part of the Resume By PCI-E Device setting. You can see in the screenshot above that the description for this configuration mentions "onboard LAN controllers", which is exactly what we're looking for. Switch this setting to On.

That's all I had to do on my computer, but there may be other sleep or hibernation settings you need to adjust here. It varies by PC, so all you have to do is give it a try if you have problems, or look up instructions for your PC's specs.

Habilitar Wake-on-LAN no Windows

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After Windows restarts, click on the Start menu and search for "Device Manager". Launch Device Manager, locate thenetwork adaptersection and expand it to view your network interfaces. Right-click on your Ethernet adapter - mine is called "Intel(R) l211 Gigabit Network Connection" - and select itCharacteristics.

I amProgressivetab, scroll down toWake-On-Magic-Paketand make sure it is checked using the drop down box on the right. (This option wasn't available on all of my test computers, but Wake-on-LAN still worked on all of them, so don't worry if you don't see it.)

Then click onenergy managementtab in the same window and check two boxes:Allow this device to wake the computer, EAllow only one Magic Packet to wake the computer. CliqueOKand exit Device Manager.

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Some computers may only support Wake-on-LAN from hibernation, while others allow you to wake from a powered-off state, so you may need to adjust settings in the BIOS or Windows Control PanelHardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings.

Some people think they need to disablequick startof this site, although it worked fine for me. Again, you may need to tinker with the settings if you find Wake-on-LAN not working properly.

Wake up your computer with the right app

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Finally, to wake your computer over the network, you need a Wake-on-LAN app on another device, for example. B. your phone or laptop. Some programs already have Wake-on-LAN built in, including those you already have. In other cases, you may need a separate program to wake your PC.

team viewerhas this function if you connect your devices via a TeamViewer account. You can then open the program and click onWake upButton to wake any inactive PC connected to your account. Other remote access tools may also support Wake-on-LAN. So ask the program of your choice which settings you need to enable for it to work.

If you are trying to activate a PC from another Windows machine, I recommend NirSoftWakeMeOnLan(opens in a new window). It scans your network and gives you a list of devices so you don't have to remember the correct IP address every time. Just click on the desired machine and clickWake up.To describe(opens in a new window)it's another good tool but you have to insert itIP address, MAC address, subnet mask and port number for the remote PC.

You can wake your computer from an iPhone or iPadMOCHA DAY(opens in a new window)or Android device withAccord with LAN(opens in a new window). These apps allow you to browse your network for devices or manually enter the IP and MAC address of the computer you want to wake up.

If all goes well, your computer should wake up immediately when you press the wake button. If not, check your BIOS settings, Windows settings, and Wake-on-LAN application configuration to ensure everything is set correctly for your specific hardware.

If you want to wake up your computer quickly without scanning every time, it's probably a good idea.Set a static IP addressto your computer on your router so it doesn't change.

Outside of home? Use Wake on WAN

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If you're just trying to activate the computer on the other side of the house, you can stop here - done! But there are times when you might want to wake up your computer when you're not at home, for example. B. when you are on vacation or working at a coffee shop. This is called wake-on-WAN and is much more complex.

The general idea works like this: instead of sending the magic packet to your computer's internal IP address, send it to your router's external IP address - the one shown in a new window). You then use port forwarding on your router to forward the magic packet to the correct computer.

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Unfortunately, Wake-on-LAN wasn't meant to be used that way, so there's no easy way to get it to work. A lot depends on your network setup. However, if you canAccess your router's configuration page, there are a few things you can try.

Go to your router's port forwarding section - if you can't find it, in a new window)can help - and forward the Wake-on-LAN port to your home network's broadcast address. The port is usually port 7 or 9, and the broadcast address is usually something like - basically your router's IP address with ".255" as the last octet.

How to turn on your computer from across the house with Wake-on-LAN (9)

This will send the magic packet out to the entire network, where it will be accepted by the MAC address you provide. Unfortunately, most routers forbid port forwarding to the broadcast address, so there's a good chance this won't work, but it's worth a try. If your router doesn't allow this, there are some workarounds.

For example, you can try disabling JavaScript on your router's configuration page so that you can enter the broadcast address in the port forwarding field. You can also change your subnet mask to create a new broadcast address. Read more about these workarounds atthis page(opens in a new window).

If you have a router with advanced configuration, you like aRunning the DD-WRT Firmware(opens in a new window), you can use a combination of port forwarding and ARP tables to make your router forward the port to the broadcast address. ODD-WRT-Wiki(opens in a new window)describes in more detail.

Wake-on-WAN alternative: an always-on computer

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You can see how Wake-on-WAN gets a little complicated. I prefer a simpler solution: an always-on computer that I can access remotely and send magic packets around the house.

I have a home server runningWindows 10, and this all the time. So when I'm not at home I just useChrome-Remoteddesktop(opens in a new window)To remote to this always on PC, use WakeMeOnLan to send a magic packet from that machine to my workstation and then remotely to my workstation when it's up. It's a bit cumbersome, but it works.

Best of all, you can use this workaround with any hardware you already own. An old laptop gathering dust? Stick it in the corner, lift it uprun with the lid closedand login with yourRemote-Desktop-Programmby choice.

dropsNAS deviceconstantly running, or even aRaspberry Pi?SSH and use the command line(opens in a new window)to send this magic packet. As long as the magic packet itself comes from the network, Wake-on-LAN should work without too much stress.

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