Q: How can I configure different Power Option settings for different times of the day?

A: It's common to want different Power Options to apply at different times of the day and days of the week. For example during working hours you might not want to put a machine to sleep until after an hour of inactivity, while out of hours you might want to put a machine to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity.

There are several ways to achieve this. The best way is to use the Group Policy Preferences capability that allows Power Options to be configured,  then use the item-level targeting which includes day and times to be used to control when the policy applies.

At a high level, perform the following:

  1. Edit a Group Policy Object (GPO)  linked to the domain/OU whose users need the multiple policies applied.
  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Preferences, Control Panel Settings, Power Options.
  3. Create a new Power Plan. Set the plan with aggressive sleep options such as sleep after 15 minutes, and save the policy. Once saved, rename the policy to something like Default Power Plan
  4. Create a new Power Plan. Set the plan with business-hour sleep options such as sleep after 60 minutes, and save the policy. Once saved, rename the policy to something like Business Hour Power Plan. Make the Business Hour Power Plan number 1 in the order using the Move Up action. The Business Hour Power Plan should be number 1.
  5. Edit the Properties of the Business Hour Power Plan, and select the Common tab. Check Item-level targeting and click the Targeting... button.
  6. Add a collection via the Add Collection action, which will contain the rules regarding days of the week and time.
  7. Click New Item, and select Date Match; set to Weekly with the day set to Monday. Drag the new item to be a sub-item under the this collection is true item.
  8. Select the day of the week rule for Monday, and copy and paste it four times. Change the copies to be named Tuesday through to Friday. Select each item, and press F6 to change the logic from AND to OR.
  9. Click New Item and select Time Range.
  10. Set the Time Range to your business hours such as 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
  11. Your targeting should look like the following:
  12. Click OK to all dialog boxes to save the new policy.

You now have configured a special power policy just for the business hours.