Is it possible to download while laptop is turned off?

Hello everyone, I just want to ask if is it possible to download files while my laptop is turned off?

Yes, but not on that laptop.


Not as far as I am aware, this just isnt how computers (or any electronics) work. They cant do anything when off. They can fake being off and do stuff, but cant really be off and do stuff.

So for example a PS4 or Xbox One can download games while “off” when the correct settings are set to make it not really be 100% off. They have a secondary CPU inside (at least in the PS4 case) thats a lower power ARM chip that basically runs the OS and whats required to keep the internet and downloads going. Outside of the PS4 it appears to be off, but its drawing power and isnt really turned off.

I have never seen a PC with the same types of features. You have sleep and hibernate but neither is meant to allow further use while off.

You have a couple of options however in this regard. If this is a frequent need, you can consider a router that has a built in downloader. ASUS for example has this built into many routers allowing connecting USB storage to the router and starting the download via a program/web gui and then having the router complete/handle the download without needing a computer on (since the router is on 24/7 any how and its really just a small, specialized computer).

Another option could be something like a raspberry pi dedicated to downloads etc, or a NAS, Server, etc.

I think, and dont quote me on this, that there may also be online download managers if you will, that allow you to download files to a cloud account and then at a time of your choosing (if you desire) to download them from your cloud account to local machine.

Also, depending on what other devices you have in your house a tablet or phone could be used to download files and then various aps/programs to xfer the file to a computer, like KDE connect.

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C’mon you don’t really think Microsofts hardware is downloading while your not looking. I’m sure it’s probably sending plenty of data back home while that lights a blinkin. :smile:

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I am sure it is as well (as well as the PS4). When the lights blinking its on however and I expect it to be transmitting.

Both consoles however have options to allow games, content and OS updates to download and install in a low power mode which basically makes it look as though its off but its really powered on.

The above is a desirable trait for those not wanting to wait for updates when they are ready to sit down and play.

It however isnt a simple software “trick” but the combination of hardware and software that allows for this to work, which most/all computers do not have.

I think the most reasonable solution to this is to use a router or another device to do the downloads while the computer is off. It really depends on the OP’s needs. They didnt detail what they are downloading, how often, what they are doing with said downloads, budget, etc.

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I just want to confirm this if it is true about the last part…

yes, just think router is another computer that run a download app.


Always nice to read a positive post.

@Chronos What do you think yourself? Never seen what happens when you turn off your computer, everything stops, including the CPU, the network connection, everything. When you switch off the engine in your car, can it still drive? When you switch-off the coffee-maker, will you still get coffee from it?
Btw, why should you want to do this? Do you need to download large quantities of large files, or what?
Use your laptop, dimm the screen and let it run so it can do your downloads for you.


I’ve seen post that it is possible on a router using aria2 … I just want to know if it is true

Find out yourself and don’t be a help vampire!


Can you drive your car with the engine shut off?


I found out I can march & sleep at the same time, but that was years ago. And I’m not a computer.


@OP, my EFI allows me to change an internal setting that allows things like social media notification updates–but in Windows only. And I don’t run Windows or know how well it works under that OS. I have not heard of anything like that in Linuxland–yet–and I do travel far-and-wide.


Its like keeping your engine running 24/7 - but I rekon that can be necessary to keep the snowcat alive

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An alternate solution to your posed question is possible. Having the download run on another device is not the same as having a computer that is turned off run a download.

Substitute “router” with any other device and you have your answer. No, a computer cannot download files while turned off.

What can be done, is using another device which is either always on anyway and/or another device which consumes less power than a traditional computer to do the download.

So its possible your existing router, phone, tablet, dev platform, etc can be used to download without your current computer on or you can get one of those devices to utilize for that role.

Many routers have this feature and its likely your most reasonable solution. How depends on what router you have/get, what you need to download, etc.

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That’s not being switched off, thats suspend or maybe even hibernation. :laughing:

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your machine must have Intel Smart Connect, which wakes the machine periodically to check for updates in a semi-concious state akin to your drill sergeant responsible for developing your sleep marching prowess.

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Exactly. And another reason I don’t run Windows. I don’t trust those sneaky social apps anymore than I trusted the Btln Sergeant Major. He was a sneaky SOB, too. :wink:

What do you call that kind of feature??

ASUS calls it download master, seen here, other companies have other names. Essentially its a download manager that you can control via an app or web gui that runs on the router and downloads to a USB drive connected to the router

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