There is an option that enables you to set the HDD to turn off after idle in Windows 10. This means the hard drives are automatically turned off after a user-defined period of inactivity.
This can be a useful feature for saving power, especially for laptops equipped with a hard disk but also for desktops.
How to set the HDD to turn off after idle in Windows 10
The option we’re talking about is called “Turn off hard disk after” is available in your current power plan’s power management options.
Depending on the power plan, it might be enabled or disabled by default. For example, in the Performance power plan, the option is disabled but enabled in the Power Saver and Balanced power profiles.
With “Turn off hard disk after” enabled, the HDD will be turned off while your PC is idle after the set period of time. Next time your computer needs to access the drive, it might take a few seconds for it to start working.
Keep in mind this option is specifically designed for HDDs and doesn’t do anything for solid state drives which don’t have any spinning parts.
With that said, here’s how to turn off the HDD after idle in Windows 10.
Go to Settings -> System -> Power & Sleep. Scroll down a bit and click on “Additional power settings”.
This will open the Power Options in Control Panel. Click on ‘Change plan settings’ for your current power plan.
To continue, click on ‘Changed advanced power settings”.
In the Advanced Power Options dialog, expand the Hard disk group and you will find the option called “Turn off hard disk after”. Expand it as well.
The default value of the option (when enabled) is 20 minutes but you can adjust it by clicking on the arrows next to it o by typing the new value directly. As you can see, you can set separate values for when your PC is on battery or plugged in.
While you can lower the idle period to less than 20 minutes this is not recommended. Forcing your HDD to turn off and on too often can wear it out faster.