"Wake on LAN" (WOL) behavior in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

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Article ID: 2776718 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

The "Wake on LAN" (WOL) feature wakes a computer from a low-power state when a network adapter detects a WOL event. Typically, such an event is a specially constructed Ethernet packet. The default behavior in response to WOL events has changed from Windows 7 to Windows 8. 
Windows 7
In Windows 7, the default shutdown operation puts the system into the classic shutdown state (S5), and all devices are put into the lowest power state (D3). WOL from S5 is not officially supported in Windows 7. However, some network adapters can be left armed for waking if enough residual power is available. Therefore, waking from S5 is possible on some systems if enough residual power is supplied to the network adapter even though the system is in the S5 state and devices are in D3.
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the default shutdown behavior puts the system into the hybrid shutdown state (S4), and all devices are put into D3. WOL from S4 or S5 is unsupported. Network adapters are explicitly not armed for WOL in either S5 or S4 cases because users expect zero power consumption and battery drain in the shutdown state. This behavior removes the possibility of invalid wake-ups when an explicit shutdown is requested. Therefore, WOL is supported only from sleep (S3) or hibernation (S4) states in Windows 8 and 8.1.

More information

In Windows 8 and 8.1, hybrid shutdown (S4) stops user sessions but lets the contents of kernel sessions be written to the hard disk. This enables faster startups.

To disable the S4 state in Windows 8 and 8.1, follow these steps.

Note We do not recommend that you disable the hybrid shutdown (S4) state.
  1. In Control Panel, open the Power Options item.
  2. Click the Choose what the power buttons do link.
  3. Clear the Turn on fast startup (recommended) check box.
  4. Click Save Settings.

References

For more information about System Power Actions, go to the following Windows Dev Center website:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff564553.aspx
For more information about System Power States, go to the following Windows Dev Center website:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa373229.aspx

Properties

Article ID: 2776718 - Last Review: April 24, 2014 - Revision: 6.0
Applies to
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows RT
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 8.1 with Bing
Keywords: 
KB2776718

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