How to turn on your PC remotely

In this article we're going to explain how to turn on your PC remotely using devices such as smartphones and PCs.

You can turn on your PC remotely using devices such as PCs and smartphones, after installing some simple programs, some paid, some free. The remote access to the PC is possible thanks to the particular Wake-On-LAN technology, a function of the network cards that allows to intercept information passing through the router and use it to reactivate the PC. The only constraint is that the PC doesn't have to be completely turned off, but must be on standby.

Turn on your PC remotely: how to do it

As mentioned above, there are several methods you can use to turn on a PC remotely, but it is important that wol technology is available. It can be found on many Ethernet network cards but also on some Wi-Fi cards. This technology allows you to receive a particular signal from the router where the PC is connected and then turn it on.

If you have a PC with a Windows operating system, to enable wol, you will have to check if this technology is active in the BIOS first. After entering the BIOS panel and restarting the PC, you will have to go to the BIOS configuration section, which is usually called "Config" or enter the "Advanced Settings" of the PC and look for the wol options. These options can have different names, for example: Magic Packet Wake Up, Wake-on-LAN, Power ON by PCIE/PCI, WOL by Magic Packet, Remote/Event Wake Up or similar. Once you have found it you need to activate it and then save the changes. Finally restart the PC.

When the PC is restarted you should again check that the software's WOL is active. From the menu, look for "Device Manager" and then open "Network Cards". Now you need to find the name of the card you use to connect to the internet, click on the name and open the properties of the device. Choose the "Advanced" option and under "Properties" look for "Magic packet for reactivation". Now you have to check from the drop-down menu that the "Enabled" item is enabled, otherwise you have to enable it manually.

Check if these items are present, proceed with the same steps for "Wake on magic packet" and "Wake on magic packet when system is...". (in the S0ix power state). The process is almost done, now you have to enter the main menu in the "Power Saver" tab if it is available in your computer and check the "Allow device to wake up the computer". Per terminare salva tutte le modifiche che avrai apportato.

Se vorrai utilizzare il wol tramite app o programmi che riescano a inviare in modo autonomo il Magic Packet, potresti aver bisogno di aggiungere al firewall un’eccezione e dover sbloccare la porta 9 del router con il protocollo UDM per far transitare i dati in modo ottimale. Se usi Windows Defender apri una finestra di PowerShell utilizzando la modalità amministratore. Adesso assegna i seguenti comandi sempre seguiti dal tasto "invio".

  • netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="WoL_UDP" dir=in
  • action=allow profile=any localport=9 protocol=UDP edge=yes
  • netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="WoL_TCP" dir=in
  • action=allow profile=any localport=9 protocol=TCP edge=yes

Se per caso stai utilizzando un firewall di terzi, dovrai aggiungere un’eccezione per sbloccare la porta 9, seguendo le procedure più adatte al software che stai utilizzando.

In some cases it may be useful to know the physical address of the network card (the mac address), with which the PC connects to the Internet. To find out the mac address you will have to click on the Windows network icon, which can be in the shape of a computer, or in the shape of notches, at the bottom right. Then click on "Properties" under the name of the internet line you are using and you will find what you are looking for by searching for the entry "Physical MAC address".

It's all easier if you want to do the same procedure on macOS. If you want to turn on your computer remotely via wol, just go to the gear symbol and then open the "System Preferences". Now click on "Power Saving" and to finish you'll have to check the "Reactivate for Ethernet network access" box. Back in the "System Preferences" screen you can find the mac address of the network card. Click on the "Network" icon and choose the card with which your PC is connected to the internet. Continue by selecting the "Advanced" item at the top right, and then select the "Hardware" tab. Then you can see your Mac address. Please note that not all Wi-Fi cards support wol technology. In this case, you will need to connect your PC to the router via Ethernet cable.

Now that your PC is configured to be turned on remotely using wol technology, you can turn it on through some programs. However, it can only be turned on if the devices are connected to the same network.

Turn on your PC remotely with TeamViewer

One of the most popular remote control programs is TeamViewer and this program must be installed both on the PC in standby and the one from which to send the Magic Packet. If you don't have TeamViewer, download it for free from the official website and start the download. During the installation, if you have a Windows computer, you will have to check the "Install to control this computer remotely later" option and press the "Accept" button to finish. If you have a Mac, download the program and click twice on the "Install TeamViewer" icon, then on "Continue" and finally on "Accept" and "Install". Finish by entering the password of your Mac and then click on "Install Software". When the setup is complete, follow the instructions that will be shown, give permission for the program to work properly and open "System Preferences". Look for the "Accessibility" item and check every item that concerns TeamViewer. Follow the same procedure for the "Screen Recording" section.

Now go to the PC from which you want to send the Magic Packet to remotely turn on the other PC on which you have just installed TeamViewer, and open TeamViewer. Look for the "Remote Control" section in the left bar and type in the contact ID, you will need it shortly. You will then need to create a TeamViewer account. If you don't have a TeamViewer account, you have to register and fill out the form to make the association between the account and the PC. You will receive an e-mail with a link to activate your account. This must be repeated on all PCs that will be used to wake up standby PCs. If you already have an account, simply enter your details and log in. Now go to the PC that will be turned on remotely and open TeamViewer. Go to "Options" and then choose "General" from the program settings. Now click on "Assign to account" and enter your TeamViewer account credentials to log in.

On Windows, look for wol and click on "Configure". Then check the "Other TeamViewers on your local network" item and enter the contact ID in the "TeamViewer ID" section that you took from the PC earlier and you'll need it to wake up the one in standby. On Mac you have to click on the drop-down menu on "TeamViewer ID in your network" that is in the middle of the window and then click on "+" to enter the IDs of the controlling PC. The procedure is finished and now we can remotely turn on our standby PC. From your control PC enter TeamViewer and open the "My Computers" section. Click on the name of the PC you want to turn on, which should be offline among the results and click on "Reactivate", which you'll find on the right side of your control window. After these simple steps, your PC should turn on without any problems.

Turn on your PC remotely with your smartphone

After setting up your PC, you can find several smartphone applications that allow you to wake it up. One app is called Wake On Lan, which is available for Android devices but also for iOS devices. The PC and smartphone will need to use the same internet network. After downloading it, open it and on the home screen click on "+" and enter the name of the PC in the list (a nickname and mac address). After adding the device open the app and click on its name to allow you to wake it up through wol.

There are many free apps for iPhone devices as well, but the important thing is that wol is active on the PC and that they are connected to the same network PC and smartphone. One free iPhone application is called Swol. After installing it you will be prompted for authentication. For authentication you will use the touch ID or face ID that you have already configured on your device. Once installed, launch the app and click "Ok" to authorize permissions to use the service. Click on "+" to enter the name of the PC to wake up, the local IP address of the PC and its mac address. To finish click on "Done" at the top. Now to turn on the PC go to the "Device" section and click on the name of the sleeping PC. Click on "Yes" and send the Magic Packet.