How to Remotely Wake Up a Computer: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Have you ever needed to access your computer remotely but found it turned off or in sleep mode? Don’t worry, with the power of Wake-On-LAN (WoL), you can conveniently wake up your computer from a distance and access it remotely. In this article, we will guide you through the process of remotely waking up a computer, ensuring that you never miss an important file or experience delays due to a powered-down machine.

Understanding Remote Wake-On-LAN (WoL)

What is Wake-On-LAN and how does it work?

Wake-On-LAN is a network protocol that allows you to turn on or wake up a computer over a local area network (LAN) or even the internet. It functions by sending a specially crafted “magic packet” to the target computer’s network interface card, instructing it to power on. This magic packet contains the target computer’s MAC address, which is necessary for the WoL process to work successfully.

Benefits of using Wake-On-LAN

Using Wake-On-LAN provides several advantages. Firstly, it saves you time and effort by eliminating the need to physically access the computer to turn it on. Secondly, it allows for seamless remote access, enabling you to retrieve important files or perform tasks on your computer from anywhere in the world. Additionally, Wake-On-LAN is an environmentally friendly option, as it reduces unnecessary power consumption during idle periods.

Requirements for Remotely Waking Up a Computer

Before diving into the step-by-step guide, it is essential to ensure that you have the necessary requirements in place to remotely wake up your computer.

Hardware prerequisites

To utilize Wake-On-LAN, your computer must have a network interface card that supports this feature. Most modern computers and motherboards have this capability, but it’s worth verifying in your system specifications or consulting the manufacturer’s documentation.

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Software prerequisites

To initiate the Wake-On-LAN process, you’ll need a Wake-On-LAN tool or application. These tools are available for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and LinuYou can choose from a range of free and paid options based on your requirements and preferences.

Network configuration requirements

To successfully wake up a computer remotely, your computer and the device sending the magic packet must be connected to the same local network or have appropriate routing and port forwarding configurations in place. You will need to configure your router to forward the Wake-On-LAN packets to the target computer.

Now that we have covered the prerequisites, let’s proceed to the step-by-step guide on how to remotely wake up a computer using Wake-On-LAN.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Remotely Wake Up a Computer

1. Enabling Wake-On-LAN in the computer’s BIOS/UEFI settings

Before you can use Wake-On-LAN, you need to ensure that it is enabled in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings. Access your computer’s BIOS/UEFI interface by restarting your computer and pressing the designated key during the boot process (commonly Del, F2, or F10). Once in the settings, navigate to the “Power” or “Power Management” section and enable the Wake-On-LAN option. Save the changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI settings.

2. Configuring power settings in the operating system

To allow Wake-On-LAN to function correctly, you must configure the power settings in your operating system. Open the power settings and look for options related to sleep or hibernation. Set the computer to “Never” sleep or hibernate to ensure it remains in a state that can be remotely awakened.

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3. Setting up port forwarding on the router

For Wake-On-LAN to work over the internet or across different subnets, you need to configure port forwarding on your router. Access your router’s configuration page by entering its IP address in a web browser and logging in with the administrator credentials. Locate the port forwarding or virtual server settings and create a new rule to forward incoming Wake-On-LAN packets to the local IP address of your target computer.

4. Installing and configuring a Wake-On-LAN tool

Choose a Wake-On-LAN tool compatible with your operating system and install it on the device you’ll be using to send the magic packet. Launch the tool and enter the MAC address of the target computer. Some tools might also require you to input the IP address or hostname of the target computer.

5. Sending the Wake-On-LAN magic packet from a remote device

With the Wake-On-LAN tool configured, you are ready to send the magic packet and wake up your computer remotely. Ensure that your sending device is connected to the same network or has appropriate routing configurations. Enter the MAC address or IP address of the target computer in the Wake-On-LAN tool and click the “Wake” or “Send” button. The magic packet will be sent, and your computer should power on, ready for remote access.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the purpose of a magic packet?

A magic packet is a specially crafted network packet used to wake up a computer remotely. It contains the MAC address of the target computer and triggers the Wake-On-LAN process, instructing the computer to power on.

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2. Can Wake-On-LAN work over the internet?

Yes, Wake-On-LAN can work over the internet, but it requires proper network configuration, including port forwarding on the router. Additionally, you may need to consider security measures, such as using a virtual private network (VPN) for added protection.

3. Are there any security concerns with Wake-On-LAN?

While Wake-On-LAN itself does not pose significant security risks, it is crucial to ensure that your network and devices are adequately protected. Implementing strong passwords, enabling firewalls, and keeping your systems up to date with the latest security patches are essential precautions.

4. What alternatives are there to Wake-On-LAN?

If Wake-On-LAN is not suitable for your needs or if your computer does not support it, alternative remote access methods include virtual private network (VPN) connections, remote desktop software, or cloud-based remote access solutions.


By following this step-by-step guide, you can effortlessly wake up your computer remotely using Wake-On-LAN. Enjoy the convenience of accessing your important files, performing tasks, or troubleshooting your computer from anywhere in the world. Remember to configure the necessary settings in your computer’s BIOS/UEFI, operating system, and router to ensure successful Wake-On-LAN functionality. Embrace the power of remote access and never worry about a powered-down computer again.

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