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Energy-Saving Settings for Personal Computers

Learn how to use your computer's energy-saving features to help UCSD conserve energy and reduce costs.

Help UCSD conserve energy and reduce costs by shutting down your desktop computer when you leave for the day and using these energy-saving features when you're away from your desk (unless otherwise instructed by your network administrator).

Windows PC

Set your PC to automatically shut off the monitor after 20 minutes of inactivity, and hard disk after 1 hour.

  • Right-click anywhere in the Desktop and select Properties, or click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display.
  • When the Display Properties dialog box appears, click the Screen Saver tab at the top.
  • Click the Power button near the lower right corner.
  • When the Power Options Properties dialog box appears, under the Turn off Monitor option, click the downward arrow and select After 20 minutes.
  • Under the Turn off hard disks option, click the down arrow and select After 1 hour.
  • Click OK to close all the Properties windows and close the Control Panel (if you opened it).


Set your Mac to automatically go into sleep mode after 20 minutes of inactivity.

  • Open System Preferences.
  • In the Hardware row, click Energy Saver.
  • Move the slider under Put the display(s) to sleep when the computer is inactive for: to the mark just past the 15-minute point.
  • Check Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible.
  • Close System Preferences.
Contact your network administrator or John Dilliott, campus energy manager, (858) 822-2807.