The Wake on LAN (WOL) feature wakes a computer from a low-power state when a network adapter detects a WOL event such as a magic packet. Typically, such an event is a specially constructed Ethernet packet. After enabling Wake on LAN, your computer will detect this magic packet containing its MAC address and turn itself on. Thus, your PC can be woken up by sending it a magic packet from another device on the network.
The default behavior in response to WOL events has changed from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
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 isn’t officially supported in Windows 7. However, some network adapters can be left armed for waking if enough residual power is available. So 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.
In Windows 10, the default shutdown behavior puts the system into the hybrid shutdown (also known as Fast Startup) state (S4). And all devices are put into D3. In this scenario, WOL from S4 or S5 is unsupported. Network adapters are explicitly not armed for WOL in these 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. So WOL is supported only from sleep (S3), or when the user explicitly requests to enter hibernate (S4) state in Windows 10. Although the target system power state is the same between hybrid shutdown and hibernates (S4), Windows will only explicitly disable WOL when it’s a hybrid shutdown transition, and not during a hibernate transition.
This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Wake on LAN (WOL) for network adapters in Windows 10.