Stand-Bye! is a free tool which suspends your PC when it’s idle, saving energy and extending battery life.
This starts much like Windows, with a simple “activate standby after x minutes idle time” setting. Simple.
What’s more interesting is that Stand-Bye! gives you complete control over how “idle time” is defined.
The program monitors CPU, RAM, hard drive and network use, and allows you to set custom thresholds for each value.
You could have Stand-Bye! keep your PC awake if there’s any significant network activity, for instance, ensuring it won’t interrupt any downloads. Or you might decide it’s okay to go to sleep if your computer is using less than 20% RAM, as there’s obviously nothing major running.
By default Stand-Bye! won’t turn off your system when sound is playing, convenient if you’re listening to music.
The program can also postpone the shutdown if one or more defined “exception processes” are running. Add downloaders, media players, anything else you don’t want interrupted and they’ll block standby.
You can even switch manually to a “Presentation Mode”, which temporarily turns off the standby feature.
Finally, there’s a neat extra option in a can’t-be-postponed standby time. If you only ever use the computer from 9am – 5pm, say, set this to 6pm and the computer will close down, regardless of your other settings.
(That’s not as serious as it sounds, because Stand-Bye! always displays an alert with a Cancel button just before your PC sleeps. If everything fails and you’re using the computer at the time, you’ll still have the option to continue.)
Stand-Bye! has some odd issues, like the German language-only licence you’re required to read and accept. But that’s no surprise for version 0.6, and overall it’s an effective and very configurable tool.
Stand-Bye! is a freeware application for Windows 7 and later.