4 ways to Fix Authentication is required when PC wakes from Sleep

The majority of intelligent devices today feature a sleeping or hibernating mode that saves your active data and shuts down non-essential elements of the system, or reduces power consumption. However, in the case of Windows 11 and 10, in case the device goes to sleep and then wakes up, it requires the user to re-sign into their computer accounts by providing their credentials.

If you are tired of having to re-enter your password every time your device goes to sleep mode, especially if you find that some settings are greyed out and cannot be changed by conventional means, this post discusses several ways you can mitigate the issue.

Learn how to disable Windows 10 Sleep Mode

Fix Authentication required when PC wakes up
Fix Authentication required when PC wakes up

How to Fix Authentication is required when PC wakes from Sleep mode

Windows is configured to request authentication when it awakens from sleep by default. This setting can be changed and you can log in directly. There are several ways to accomplish this. In some cases, though, you may not be able to make any changes because the relevant settings option is grayed out.

If you want to prevent your PC from asking for credentials each time it wakes up from sleep, here is how.

Using the Settings app

In Windows, the Settings app is the very first place to look – since that is the reason it is there by default. 

  • Open the Settings application and then navigate to the following:
    Accounts >> Sign-in Options
  • Under the Additional Settings section, click on the drop-down menu in front of “If you’ve been away, when should Windows require you to sign in again?” Then select Never.
    settings never

Now, Windows will no longer ask you for your credentials when it wakes up from Sleep mode the next time.

However, if you find that the option has been greyed out, or see a message stating “Security policies on this PC are preventing you from changing this setting,” your device is likely being managed by an organization under their policies.

If that is the case, you can proceed to the next step to bypass this issue.

Nonetheless, you must also ensure that no work or school account is added to your profile since those can be the reason your device is being managed through an organization.

To confirm, open the work or school page within the Settings app and confirm that neither account has been added. If it is, we suggest that you remove it and then try to change the setting to never as stated in the steps above.

Using Command Prompt

Command Prompt is a nifty utility for sysadmins to instantaneously perform their tasks without having to elevate privileges for each task individually. Therefore, it is the perfect tool to bypass any settings that may have been greyed out.

Launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges and then type in the following commands one by one.

  • powercfg /SETDCVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_NONE CONSOLELOCK 0
  • powercfg /SETACVALUEINDEX SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_NONE CONSOLELOCK 0
cmd
Running commands in Command Prompt

The first command is for a laptop when running on battery. The second one is for when the device is running on external power (Laptop and desktop). Once both are entered, restart your computer so the changes can take effect.

Using Local Security Policy

The Local Security Policy Manager (secpol.msc), as the name implicates, is used to manage the security policies of the host computer. These policies also include authentication settings for when the device wakes up from sleep.

  • Launch the Local Security Policy Manager by typing in secpol.msc in Run.
    secpol
  • From the left pane, expand Local Policies, and then click Security Options.
  • In the right-hand pane, scroll down and double-click on Interactive Logon: Machine inactivity limit.
    secpol 2
  • A new Properties window will now popup. In the Local Security Setting tab, under “Machine will be locked after,” type in 0. Then click Apply and Ok.
    interactive logon
  • To ensure this setting has been updated, launch the Command Prompt with administrative privileges and then type in gpupdate /force.
    gpupdate force

Once you have performed the steps above, the system will no longer lock your account while waking up from Sleep mode.

Using Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor is an integral part of Windows for the sys and netadmins. You can control local device policies as well as devices on the same network (through Active Directory).

To prevent your computer from asking for authentication each time it wakes up from sleep, here’s how to change its settings using the Group Policy Editor:

  • Launch the Group Policy Editor by typing in gpedit.msc in Run, then press Enter.
    gpedit
  • From the left pane, navigate to the following location:
    Local Computer Policy >> Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> System >> Power Management >> Sleep Settings
  • From the right pane, double-click “Require a password when a computer wakes (Plugged in).”
    plugged in gpedit
  • In the popup properties window, select the Disabled radio button, then click Apply and OK.
    disable 1
  • Now double-click “Require a password when a computer wakes (On battery)” and Disable it as well.
  • To enforce the changes, launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges and type in gpupdate /force.
    gpupdate force

Your computer will now no longer ask for authentication when it is woken up from sleep or hibernation mode.

Closing words

Our recommendation is that you do not prevent your device from going into Sleep mode entirely. This will save battery life as well as prevent your other peripherals from remaining in an active state even when they are not in use, thereby extending the life of these devices. As an alternative to having to re-enter your credentials repeatedly, you can simply disable the device from requesting credentials by using any of the 4 methods outlined in this post.  

However, we would also like to bring to your attention that having no security upon waking up, your device could be at a security risk if gotten into the wrong hands while in Sleep mode.

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Subhan Zafar
Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several systems and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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