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InstantGo or InstantOn or Modern Standby (formerly Connected Standby)[1] is a Microsoft specification for Windows 8 (and later) hardware and software that aims to bring smartphone-type power management capabilities to the PC platform, as well as increasing physical security.


The specification describes a Microsoft proprietary standard for Windows 8 software and hardware that developers and hardware vendors can optionally comply with to enable devices to be turned on and off instantly. It also allows the operating system to continue performing background tasks, such as updating content from apps, when a device is not being used. Devices must be able to turn on in less than 500 milliseconds.[2] The hardware requirements extend to battery life, in that systems must not drain more than 5% of battery capacity while idle over a 16-hour period.[3]

It requires the following:

There are additional security-specific requirements, for example for memory to be soldered to the motherboard to prevent cold boot attack vectors that involve removing memory from the machine[citation needed], as well as support for Secure Boot.

On Windows 8.1, supporting InstantGo and having a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip will allow the device to use a passive device encryption system.[4][5]

Compliant platforms also enables full BitLocker Device encryption. A background service that encrypts the whole system which can be found in 'Settings'>'Device'>'About' page in Windows 10.


Systems that support this specification are incapable of booting legacy BIOS operating systems.[6] PCs with Modern Standby also cannot manually enter the Sleep power state and OEMs will often block S3 power state at the firmware level. [7]


Microsoft's Modern Standby has experienced bugs that cause battery drain issues while the laptop is supposedly suspended. This has prevented some reviewers from recommending Windows laptops.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chin, Kevin A (19 June 2014). "InstantGo: a better way to sleep". Windows Experience Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  2. ^ Intel-2013, p. 1.
  3. ^ "Windows Hardware Certification Requirements: Client and Server Systems" (PDF). Microsoft. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-11.
  4. ^ "Windows 8.1 includes seamless, automatic disk encryption—if your PC supports it". Ars Technica. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  5. ^ Thurrott, Paul (June 4, 2013). "In Blue: Device Encryption". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Penton Media. Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Windows Hardware Certification Requirements for Client and Server Systems". MSDN. Microsoft. 17 January 2014. System.Fundamentals.Firmware.CS.UEFISecureBoot.ConnectedStandby ... Platforms shall be UEFI Class Three (see UEFI Industry Group, Evaluating UEFI using Commercially Available Platforms and Solutions, version 0.3, for a definition) with no Compatibility Support Module installed or installable. BIOS emulation and legacy PC/AT boot must be disabled.
  7. ^ "Inspiron 5502, S3 sleep unsupported". Dell. 23 September 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  8. ^ Microsoft is Forcing me to Buy MacBooks - Windows Modern Standby
  9. ^ Fix Battery Drain and Laptop Heats Up During Sleep Mode by Tweaking Modern Standby Policies

Further reading[edit]