Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as sleep mode, Standby is where a computer, monitor, or other hardware devices enters when idle for too long. This mode helps conserve power when a computer or computing device is not in use without having to sacrifice the time it would take to turn off and on the computer. When in Standby, the computer or monitor has a solid or flashing amber (or another color) light.

What is the crescent moon symbol?

The crescent moon symbol is used represent nighttime or, in other words, going to sleep. This symbol may be found on a button on your computer case or as computer keyboard key.

How to put a computer in Standby

Put the computer to sleep manually

  1. Click Start or press the Windows key.
  2. When the apps list appears, click Power icon in Windows 10. in the bottom-left corner of the menu.
  3. After you click the power button, select the sleep option.

sleep option

Put the computer to sleep passively

To put a computer into Standby mode passively, you'll need to let it sit idle until the designated timer for sleep mode is up. You may change the amount of time before the computer sleeps in the power management settings.


For a laptop, there may be a Sleep button at the top of the keyboard. Also, with default settings, closing the laptop lid initiates Standby mode.

How to wake or get out of Standby mode

To resume, wake, or wake up a computer in Standby mode you can move the mouse, press a key on the keyboard, or press the power button once.


If a computer doesn't come out of Standby mode using one of the methods mentioned above, you may reboot the computer by holding down the power button for 5-10 seconds.

Should I use "standby" or "stand by" in my writing?

When using the word as an adjective, adverb, or noun in your writing, you should use "standby" as one word. If you're describing the Standby mode in a computer, it should always begin with a capital "S." If you're using the word as a verb, you should be using "stand by.".

As an example, the sentence "For your computer to enter stand by it must be set in the Standby or Power & Sleep settings." uses both forms.

APM, Hardware terms, Idle time, Sleep