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Laptop shuts down, enters hibernation/sleep mode or loses video when magnetic objects are placed on the computer

Summary: The following article provides information about why some laptops shut down, enter into hibernation/sleep mode or lose video. This can happen when certain types of metallic or magnetic devices are placed on top of them. (for example. SmartPhones, SmartWatches, so on) ...

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Article Content



Does your computer shutdown, hibernate or enter sleep mode or lose video with something magnetic on or near it?


The computer is working as intended. Modern laptops use a HALL effect sensor to detect when the LCD is closed and the sensor turns off the display. The sensor is placed into the palm rest and lid of the computer, to engage the sensor when the LCD is in the closed position. The main purpose of the Hall sensor is to turn off the internal LCD, and if present, move the video to an external monitor. If the sensor was not there, the display would not turn off when the laptop lid was closed. It would heat the laptop unnecessarily, you would use more power and you would need to physically switch to an external screen or enter hibernate/sleep mode.

Older computers typically have a HALL sensor that is located along the rear of the computer, between the bottom of the LCD and top of the Palmrest. Whereas most modern computers, have it located along the top edge of LCD and bottom of the palmrest. However, it is easier to think of the placement of the sensor as located somewhere around the edge of the LCD screen and the palmrest.

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What happens when your laptop is exposed to magnetic fields from outside sources? The HALL sensor can sometimes contribute to no video issues, random shutdowns, or situations where a computer goes into sleep or hibernate mode unexpectedly. This can occur when an outside magnetic source is placed near the HALL sensor.

These items can include, but are not limited to:

  • Some cellular phones or other electronic devices. (Wireless Charging, Coil Charging, so on)
  • Smartwatches
  • Active stylus pens with magnets
  • Magnetic jewelry or some medical bracelets that are magnetic
  • Other laptops/tablets that the computer is sitting on or near

A magnetic field impacting a HALL sensor shows the following symptoms:

  • The LCD may keep turning off unexpectedly
  • An external monitor may automatically turn on outside of the operating system when using multiple external monitors
  • The lights around the keyboard shut off when the lid is closed. If the Hall sensor detects a magnetic field, the LCD, keyboard lights, and other status lights around the keyboard and palm rest go off. When this happens, any lights on the side of the computer or the docking station remain on and respond normally

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Note: Standard and best practices with all electronics are to keep magnets away from them. This applies equally to devices that emit magnetic interference. We recommend you keep anything that might activate the sensor in your computer away from the laptop.

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Article Properties

Affected Product

G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

23 May 2022



Article Type