Why Motherboard Lights Stay On After Shutdown

Even as modern PCs become increasingly capable and complex, some issues remain common and can be puzzling. One such issue is the motherboard lights that stay on after the computer has been shut down. This article explores why this happens and how to address it if necessary.

Why Do Motherboard Lights Stay On?

Motherboard lights staying on after your PC has shut down can be normal or indicative of an issue. Here are some reasons why these lights might remain lit:

  • Standby Power Indicator: Many motherboards have lights that remain on to indicate that the motherboard is still receiving some power, often to enable features like Wake-on-LAN or to charge devices through USB ports.
  • Power Supply Features: Some power supplies continue to deliver power to the motherboard even after shutdown to support certain functions or for a fast startup.
  • Hardware or Power Supply Issues: In some cases, lights staying on could signal a potential issue with the hardware or power supply that might need attention.

Common Fixes for Motherboard Lights That Stay On

If the lights remaining on bother you or you suspect they indicate a problem, here are some steps you can take:

1. Completely Disconnect Power

For a true shutdown and to ensure all lights go off:

  • Shut down your computer completely through the operating system.
  • Turn off the power supply switch (if available) or unplug the power cord.
  • Wait a few moments before reconnecting power to see if the issue persists when power is restored.

This method ensures that all residual power is drained from the motherboard, which can help reset the system’s state.

2. Disconnect Peripheral Devices

External devices connected to your PC can sometimes cause the motherboard to remain active in a low-power state:

  • Remove all USB devices and other peripherals connected to your computer.
  • Check if the lights turn off after all external devices are disconnected.

This can help identify if a particular device is causing the motherboard to remain powered.

3. Adjust BIOS Settings

Motherboard BIOS settings can influence power management features:

  • Access the BIOS settings during startup by pressing a key (often F2, F10, DEL, or ESC) indicated in your motherboard’s manual.
  • Look for power management options, which might include settings related to how the motherboard handles power after shutdown.
  • Adjust settings related to ‘ErP’ (Energy-related Products directive) or similar to ensure that the motherboard fully powers down.

How to Safely Make BIOS Adjustments

  • Enter BIOS Setup: Restart your PC and press the key required to enter BIOS setup as your computer boots.
  • Navigate to Power Management: Find the section related to power management, which could be listed under ‘Advanced,’ ‘Power,’ or directly as ‘Power Management.’
  • Locate Relevant Settings: Look for settings like ‘Power On By Keyboard,’ ‘Wake on LAN,’ or specific instructions about LED lights. Adjust these settings to see if they affect the motherboard lights.
  • Save and Exit: Make sure to save your changes before exiting the BIOS. This typically involves choosing ‘Save and Exit’ or pressing F10.

When to Be Concerned

If adjusting these settings and ensuring everything is configured correctly doesn’t turn the lights off, it may indicate a deeper issue:

  • Power Supply Issues: Faulty power supplies can sometimes cause irregular power distribution, which might keep lights on.
  • Motherboard Faults: Less commonly, a defect in the motherboard could cause continuous power flow to certain components.


Motherboard lights that stay on after shutdown are often normal and can be indicative of certain power features being active. However, if these lights are accompanied by other issues such as the inability to start up or erratic behavior, it could point to hardware problems. Understanding your PC’s BIOS settings and how to manage power configurations can often resolve these light-related issues. For persistent problems, consulting with a professional technician is advisable.

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