How to enable ‘Wake on LAN’ on Windows 11

On Windows 11, Wake on LAN (WoL) is a networking feature available on specific hardware that enables you to turn on a computer from a low-power state using a particular packet referred to as a “magic packet” sent over the network.

Wake on LAN has been around for a long time, and even though it’s not for everyone, it can come in handy in many situations. For example, to turn on a computer you want to access remotely to retrieve a file or create a backup, but you don’t want to keep powered on all the time to prevent wasting energy. 

Whatever the reason it might be, depending on the hardware, on Windows 11, you can enable Wake on LAN through the motherboard or add-in card firmware. Once the feature is enabled, you can use a third-party app or script to turn on a computer remotely.

This guide will walk you through the steps to enable WoL on your computer.

How to enable WoL on Windows 11

On Windows 11, to use Wake on LAN, you have to turn on the feature (if not already enabled) on the motherboard’s firmware (UEFI). You can turn it on directly from the Windows settings if you have an add-in card or USB adapter.

Firmware configuration

To enable Wake on LAN on the UEFI firmware, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Recovery page on the right side.
  4. Under the “Recovery options” section, click the Restart now button for the “Advanced startup” setting.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Under the “Recovery options” section, click the Restart now button for the “Advanced startup” setting.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Restart now button again.
  2. Click on Troubleshoot.
  3. Click on Advanced options.
  4. Click the UEFI Firmware Settings option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Restart button.
  2. Navigate to the power options tab.
  3. Turn on the Wake on LAN (WoL) feature.
  • Quick note: Since the firmware settings can vary per manufacturer and computer model, it’s best to check your manufacturer support website for more specific instructions.
  1. Save the changes.
  2. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, you can continue with the instructions to wake up the computer remotely.

Although it may not be necessary, you may also want to use the steps below to double-check that the feature is ready on Windows 11 to receive magic packets over the network. 

Network settings configuration 

To enable Wake on LAN from the Settings app for add-in cards and USB network adapters, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Under the “Related settings” section, click on More network adapter options.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Right-click the network adapter and select the Properties option.
  2. Click the Networking tab.
  3. Click the Configure button.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Advanced tab.
  2. Under the “Properties” section, select the Wake on LAN setting. 

(Image credit: Future)
  • Quick note: The optional settings may be required if you use a network adapter from Realtek.
  1. Select the Enabled option from the “Value” drop-down menu.
  2. (Optional) Select the “Wake on pattern match” option.
  3. Select the Enabled option from the “Value” drop-down menu.
  4. (Optional) Select the “WoL & Shutdown Link Speed” option.
  5. Select the 10Mbps option from the “Value” drop-down menu.
  • Quick note: The setting could have different names depending on the manufacturer. In this case, the option is called “Wake on Magic Packet.” You may need to check your manufacturer support website for more specific details.
  1. Click the Power Management tab.
  2. Check the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” option.
  3. Check the “Allow this device to wake the computer” option.
  4. Check the “Only allow a magic packet to wake the computer” option.
  5. Click the OK button.

(Image credit: Future)

After you complete the steps, you can proceed with the instructions to use a third-party tool or script to send a wake-up packet over the network to the device you want to start.

You can always disable the WoL feature using the same instructions mentioned above but on step 9, make sure to disable the option and other settings you may have selected. Also, you may want to disable the feature inside the firmware.

How to send WoL packet on Windows 11

You can use virtually any third-party application for Windows, Linux, Mac, mobile apps for Android and iPhone, or custom scripts to send a magic wake-up packet. You may also be able to wake a device through the WoL feature built into the router.

Warning: The app we are using works as advertised, but it’s a third-party tool, and you should use it only at your own risk. You have been warned.

For this guide, we picked the “WakeMeOnLan” tool from NirSoft to wake a device remotely:

  1. Open the NirSoft download (opens in new tab).
  2. Click the download link to save the app on your device.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Right-click the zip folder and select the Extract All option.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Click the Extract button.
  2. Double-click the WakeMeOnLan.exe file to launch the standalone tool.
  3. Click the Play (Start Scanning) button to discover all the devices in the network. 
  • Quick note: The device to wake up remotely has to be turned on for the tool to find it. Once it is on the list, the device can be offline to use the WoL feature. You can also use the Ctrl + N keyboard shortcut to add the remote computer information (IP address, computer name, and MAC address) manually.
  1. Right-click the remote computer and select the Wake Up Selected Computers option.
  2. Click the Yes button.

(Image credit: Future)

Once you complete the steps, the magic packet will be sent over the network to wake the computer. 

Determine network configuration

If you use a tool that offers an interface to input the device information, you will have to manually obtain the IP and MAC address to use Wake on LAN.

To find the network configuration of your computer, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Under the “Network adapters” section, click on the network adapter configured for Wake on LAN.
  2. Click the View additional properties setting.

(Image credit: Future)
  1. Confirm the IPv4 address and Physical address (MAC) settings.

(Image credit: Future)

After you complete the steps, use the network addresses to send a magic packet to wake up a device remotely with your particular application.

How to troubleshoot WoL problems on Windows 11

If you sent the wake command, but the computer is not turning on, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can follow.

In case you have a USB network adapter, Wake on LAN may only work when the device is in the sleeping state mode because turning off the computer will stop providing power to the USB port.

If the option is not present in the motherboard’s firmware or the network adapter’s properties, the feature may not be available for your computer. 

After enabling Wake on LAN, you may also need to disable fast startup to make the feature work.

On Windows 11, the ability to power on a computer remotely will only be available when the network adapter is active and reachable within the network. If the computer is off, you can look at the Ethernet adapter, and if you see blinking lights, it indicates that the adapter is active.

If you have a laptop, make sure it’s connected to a power source to allow the feature to work as expected.

Finally, if you suspect a networking problem that may prevent the magic package from waking up the remote computer, you can use the “ping” command to check the connectivity. In addition, you should also use the “ipconfig” command in the destination computer to make sure you have the correct IP and MAC address. 

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

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