NIC Power Management

Important The Native 802.11 Wireless LAN interface is deprecated in Windows 10 and later. Please use the WLAN Device Driver Interface (WDI) instead. For more information about WDI, see WLAN Universal Windows driver model.

Native 802.11 miniport drivers must be capable of NDIS power management and must support the following object identifiers (OIDs):

When an 802.11 miniport driver calls the NdisMSetMiniportAttributes function, it reports its power management capabilities through one of the following structures. The choice of structure depends on the supported NDIS version:

The miniport driver initializes these structures with the power management capabilities of the NIC. It initializes structures by setting the PowerManagementCapabilities or PowerManagementCapabilitiesEx members of the NDIS_MINIPORT_ADAPTER_GENERAL_ATTRIBUTES structure. The MiniportAttributes parameter of NdisMSetMiniportAttributes points to this structure. A driver that supports NDIS 6.0 or later sets PowerManagementCapabilities to point to NDIS_PNP_CAPABILITIES. A driver that supports NDIS 6.20 and later sets PowerManagementCapabilitiesEx to point to NDIS_PM_CAPABILITIES.

An 802.11 NIC can optionally support wake-on-LAN (WOL) events, which are configured by the operating system using the appropriate WOL OIDs.

An independent hardware vendor (IHV) can also configure and enable WOL events through proprietary extensions made through method requests of OID_DOT11_NIC_SPECIFIC_EXTENSION.


When the operating system queries OID_PNP_QUERY_POWER, the miniport driver must only fail the query request if the 802.11 station does not support the specified device state (D0 through D3). In this situation, the driver fails the query request by returning NDIS_STATUS_NOT_SUPPORTED from its MiniportOidRequest function.

OID_PNP_SET_POWER Notifications

The OID_PNP_SET_POWER OID notifies the miniport driver that its NIC will be transitioning to a new device power state. The miniport driver must follow these guidelines when the OID_PNP_SET_POWER OID is set:

  • When transitioning to a low-power state (D1 through D3), the miniport driver must:
    • Reduce the power used by the 802.11 NIC. For example, if the NIC does not support WOL, the miniport driver could turn the radio off.
    • If the NIC has firmware that supports 802.11 power management, configure the firmware to transition to power save (PS) mode. The NIC's firmware must perform the tasks for PS mode as defined in Clause 10.2 of the IEEE 802.11-2012 standard.
    • If WOL events have been configured and enabled, configure the NIC to resume the system following a WOL event. While in a low-power state, the 802.11 station must be able to perform roaming and authentication operations without resuming the system to a high power state of D0.
  • When transitioning to the highest power state (D0), the miniport driver must:
    • Turn on the radio if it was previously turned off.
    • Configure the 802.11 station to transition to active mode (AM).
    • Restore the NIC to its configuration prior to the transition to a low-power state.
    • If previously connected, restore the basic service set (BSS) network connection. If the previous BSS connection is no longer valid, the miniport driver must perform roaming operations as defined in Roaming Operations.

Beginning with Windows 7, additional power management requirements apply to Native 802.11 Wireless LAN NICs. These requirements are described in Wake-on-Wireless LAN.

For more information about NDIS power management, see NDIS Power Management.