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MonitorSleep is a very simple Windows utility (the entire program code is contained in the box below). Its purpose is to make it easy to put your monitor into “sleep” mode — and get it back out again.

To use MonitorSleep, download the executable and save it somewhere out of the way, then create one or more shortcuts to it. To set the monitor to sleep after 5 seconds of no activity and display a dialog box (when you move the mouse or press a key) that will let you restore normal operation, just use a shortcut as is.

For other functions, you’ll need to modify a shortcut by right-clicking it, selecting Properties, and adding a parameter to the Target field on the Shortcut tab. Leave a space after the file name that’s already there and add:

0to set the monitor to “always on” (never times out)
a numberto set the monitor to time out after the specified number of seconds
the letter “L” followed by a number; e.g., L15to set the monitor to time out after the specified number of seconds and immediately log off

Example: you might place a shortcut named “Logoff Dark” on your Start menu that specifies MonitorSleep L15, and another shortcut that specifies MonitorSleep 0 in your Startup folder.

#include <windows.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

#pragma comment(lib, "powrprof.lib")
extern "C" {
#include <powrprof.h>

int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
                     HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                     LPSTR     lpCmdLine,
                     int       nCmdShow) {

   unsigned int ps;
   unsigned int timeout;

   ReadPwrScheme(ps, &pp);

   if (*lpCmdLine == 'l' || *lpCmdLine == 'L') {
      if (*(lpCmdLine+1)) {
         timeout = atoi(lpCmdLine+1);
         if (timeout && timeout < 5) timeout = 5;
       else timeout = 5;
      pp.user.VideoTimeoutAc = timeout;
      SetActivePwrScheme(ps, 0, &pp);
      ExitWindows(0, 0);
      return 0;
    else if (*lpCmdLine) {
      timeout = atoi(lpCmdLine);
      if (timeout && timeout < 5) timeout = 5;
    else {
      timeout = pp.user.VideoTimeoutAc;
      pp.user.VideoTimeoutAc = 5;
      SetActivePwrScheme(ps, 0, &pp);
      MessageBox(0, "Monitor on 5 second time-out; \
click OK to restore normal operation.",
                 "Monitor Timeout", MB_OK);

   pp.user.VideoTimeoutAc = timeout;
   SetActivePwrScheme(ps, 0, &pp);
   return 0;