Keep your computer awake and active with Caffeine

Remember Stickies? Well the developer of Stickies has some other note worthy programs; one of them is Caffeine. Caffeine is a very simple program designed to accomplish one task and one task only: to prevent your computer from locking/going to sleep/turning on the screensaver/turn off monitor/etc.

What Caffeine does is it “simulates a keypress” every 59 seconds. In other words it tricks the computer into thinking you pressed a key on your keyboard. Therefore as long as Caffeine is turned on your computer will never lock, go to sleep, turn on a screensaver, turn off your monitor, or any other task your computer is set to do if you go idle.

Caffeine is very small (40 KB), lightweight (~1.8 MB of RAM usage), standalone and portable. It sits in your system tray:

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When the icon, which is a coffee pot, is full that means Caffeine is on. When it is empty Caffeine is off. To switch from on to off and vice-versa just double click on the icon. Easy enough, no?

For the more advanced user Caffeine also works via command line:

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Now I don’t know about every one else but I find Caffeine to be particularly useful when watching a movie on my laptop: it 1) stops the monitor from turning off every XX minutes (depending on your settings) and 2) prevents the laptop from going to sleep every XX minutes.

Another use I found for Caffeine is when I leave something to download overnight – I just turn on Caffeine for the night and turn it off when I wake up.

Of course all the uses of Caffeine can be solved with other methods. For example, when watching a movie I could just move my mouse every XX minutes. Or when I leave something on to download overnight I can either change my power plan or change the power plan settings. However what makes Caffeine useful is how simple and easy it is to use – turn it on and get rid of your worries. Also since Caffeine needs no installation, people who use computers where they don’t have enough privileges to change computer settings (for example turn off the screensaver) no longer need to fear being locked out of their own machine if they accidentally go idle for too long.

If you think Caffeine is a worthy program, you can download it from the following link:

***Caffeine works on all Windows

Click here to download Caffeine

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  • surfer9000

    I like software Coffee_FF it keep computer awake while I watch TV over DLNA and it will go to sleep once stop streaming. Save power and don’t have walk to my comp to put it to sleep. I don’t like to change settings nor having a timer or similar stuff.

  • Anon

    Thanks for the post, works on Windows 8 x64

  • Yes, this program is very useful for me. My Windows domain enforces a 10 minute sleep that requires a password on resume. The policy is intended for when I’m in public places or customer sites. I’m using Caffeine in a VMware session in my home office.

  • 123

    @Data: I’m in the same situation (work from home on company laptop). They have enforced these ridiculous power settings on all of our computers and we can’t make any power option changes. My question is whether the IT gods will be able to find out if I install this. Even though I use it at home and use my own electricity to power my computer, I’m a little concerned with getting in trouble for putting something on my computer to get around their mandated group policy settings. I’m connected to the network and they sometimes get remote access to our machines. I’m afraid they may even be monitoring our attempts to install programs (which is typically blocked w/o admin rights). ugh. If I can use this undetected, this would be awesome.

  • Jeff

    For all those calling this a crap program..I work for a co that admins power options and when I have the laptop home, it will shut down and I can not stop it unless I key stroke. Find this program very useful.

  • Ram

    works like a boon for me…i used to be in morning shift and in office lappy i have installed it as i was not able to change the power settings without system admin power…..it doesn’t make system inactive and i am not idle anytime…my boss thinks that i am working..:)

  • John Doe

    @Frank: Why so hateful? What if you group policy doesn’t let you change the Power settings or screen saver settings?

  • K

    Hoping this works for a virtual desktop so it doesnt time out. Will post an update in the AM. Trying to use it on a Xen Desktop via 5.6 server.

  • Angie

    @Data: @Data: I agree. Some of us use work computers that do not allow us to change these screensaver and power options. This program is useful.

  • boss

    Great for University computers that automatically log you out after ten minutes. It’s so annoying… Excuse me for having to work out an extensive fluid dynamics problem.

  • Pritam

    Yes it does, tested on Vista 64

  • Pritam

    Nice, but does it work when the system is locked? I have to lock the system while leaving office, but it goes to sleep when I reach home and I am not able to connect. Will this app prevent it from doing so?

  • further ado

    @Data: I agree with Data here.  Same situation, and very helpful program.

  • Auddy

    Very useful, I use my office computer without admin access to act as a router. The domain admin force the computer to sleep every … minutes which very annoying.  This could solve my problem.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Mike

    Think nothing of it! And, when was the last time that a Microsoft engineer communicated back to you about a question or concern … a total shock!

  • Ashraf

    @Mike: Thanks for the update Mike #1.

  • Mike

    The first Mike here (not the Mike of the last comment above, who questions the use of the program). I heard back from the developer and he has tweaked the program, so that it now plays fine with Windows Vista 64-bit. Hurrah! I’ve since tested it out on Vista 64-bit and it works just fine with it. It also should play well with all versions of Windows 7.

    To those who question the worth of the program: yes, you can simply change your screensaver and power settings. But with one click and no installation, Caffeine takes care of it all for you. A simple solution to a minor annoyance.

    Kudos to the developer!

  • Data

    Your reviews are useless. I find this program useful. I work from home with my work computer and I do not have admin access to change the power options. I want to keep my computer from sleeping while I’m doing other things than work. That’s why I find this program very useful.

  • Jean-Luc Picard

    Agreed with the above two people. But I really need to go and make a review now.

  • Mike

    I agree with Frank. If you look in your power options, you can turn off all the automated features such as screensaver, sleep or turning off the monitor.

  • Frank

    sry, but what a bullshit program. Every OS can configure the power-saving settings and also switch them off, so basically this program only wastes resources for accomplishing nothing and clutters the systray.

  • Mike

    Heard back from the developer, and he looked into matters and confirmed that Caffeine doesn’t work on 64-bit systems, unfortunately. He has an idea why but doesn’t know if he’ll be able to adapt the program, or when he would be able to turn back to it and do it. Perhaps humorously, he’s now using a 64-bit system as well …

  • Mike

    Ashraf–

    Thanks for the confirmation. I deleted my copy of the program and downloaded a new copy, and then tried it under compatibility mode, under each of the XP, 2000 and 98 options–same result, the screensaver comes on regardless. I wonder if it’s a Vista 64-bit thing.

    I sent an inquiry to the program’s author–I’ll let you know if I hear anything back.

    Thanks, again–a helpful program (at least for others …)!

  • Ashraf

    Mike,
    It works fine for me under Vista 32-bit. Can you try running under compatibility mode? I don’t see the developer mentioning anywhere that this program is 32-bit only.

  • Mike

    Thanks, and a nice little program, but: has anyone else been able to get it to work with Windows Vista (64 bit) (my system) and, if so, how? The program installs fine for me, but the Windows screensaver kicks in regardless, even though caffeine is up and running (as indicated by the full coffee carafe in the system notification area). I have also tried caffeine both run as administrator and under Vista compatability mode as XP, but the Windows screensaver still kicks in …

    :(

  • J.L.

    My computers always awake unless I manually close the monitor or shut it down. All these so called automatic power saving tasks are quite useless imo.

  • Ashraf

    You know what Liam? Lemme write my review :P

  • Yeah, that was my point ;) If real Caffeine makes you crash mentally, Caffeine should make your computer crash later.

  • Ashraf

    Oh… now I get it. I was thinking computer crash lol.

  • Real caffeine is known to make you “crash” later.

  • Ashraf

    Does it crash later? :P

    You lost me – I don’t get it?

  • Does it crash later? :P

    I think I’ll stick with just using Power Options — I have a “Movie” mode.