Windows 11 could bring 'Wake on Touch' feature to new PCs and Surfaces

Touch (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A leaked build of Windows 11 is currently revealing many new features coming to PCs.
  • One hidden setting found is Wake on Touch.
  • The feature presumably lets you wake a PC from sleep simply by touching the display.
  • Existing hardware is unlikely to support a feature, suggesting new Surface hardware this fall could be the first to feature it.

With an early build of Windows 11 making the rounds, there are lots of little things being discovered about the yet-to-be-announced OS. While this leaked version is incomplete compared to what will be revealed on June 24, it does contain a few things that hint at future hardware.

One of those is Wake on Touch, which, as the name implies, wakes the PC up from standby simply by touching the display. The feature is reminiscent of smartphones with double-tap to wake to check notifications or even the time quickly. Wake on Touch here likely works with capacitive displays, meaning when a human finger completes "the circuit," it will wake (versus solid objects like a keyboard).

Windows 11 Wakeontouch Hidden

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The settings for Wake on Touch were found by @thebookisclosed. Unfortunately, the actual settings are hidden on the current leaked build of Windows 11, but it does show up when you type 'wake on touch' in Windows search.

Wake on Touch could be a new feature coming to future Surface hardware later this year.

Presumably, such a feature would require new hardware to enable as it is not something we have ever seen in a touch-enabled PC or Windows tablet 2-in-1 device. The screen likely requires new components that let the screen activate on contact while also not significantly impacting the battery.

Of course, you're probably already drawing the same conclusion as me – this could be something Microsoft is building out for future Surface hardware, including possibly a Surface Pro 8 or even Surface Neo (which is still kicking around).

Microsoft has not given any details about new Surface hardware, and we do not expect any news on June 24 either. Instead, an announcement later in October – right as Windows 11 is launching – seems much more likely. Rumors have swirled that a Surface Pro 8 could be the first significant revision to the hardware since 2015's Surface Pro 4. Improving the display and adding new interaction features like Wake on Touch could make sense for such a device.

For now, we'll have to wait and see what Microsoft reveals on June 24. Then, all eyes will be on October for new Windows 11 hardware.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.