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Sleep vs Hibernate: Better Power Saving Mode on The Computer

Sleeps vs hibernate is a debate that’s been prevalent since the introduction of hibernation and sleep mode.

Users always hear rumors about the best way to save the battery power when the computer or appliance is not in use and how to save the data on the screen when not working on it.

Some were told to just shut the computer down, some to keep it on either the sleep mode or hibernate some to just leave the computer in its current state to save the battery.

To conserve the power when we are not using our desktop windows comes to rescue us by providing different methods such as Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep. The Sleep mode and Hibernate mode are used alternatively but perform a totally different function.

Let’s clear these rumors and know which option is better for users to save the computer’s power so that it will last longer. In this article, we have tried to unwrap the uncanny behind the cold war that is sleep vs hibernate.

Sleep mode: power-saving method

Different names of the term ‘Sleep’ such as stand by, suspend and suspend to the Ram often left users rather confused as to what is the real name of this power-saving mode. The functioning of this method is the same as Stand by that is why most of the users refer to Sleep mode as Stand by mode.

Use of Sleep mode:-

Computer workers use Sleep mode when they do not want their work and programs to be closed. Sleep mode helps users to resume the work where they left, it does not close any open programs so users do not have to open the program again and again.

Sleep mode is just like pausing any game or video and then resuming it any time you want without losing your success or work. 

When desktop, pc, or any other equipment is not working for some timer the lid is closed, the computer automatically went into sleep mode.

During the Sleep mode, all the work going on, open programs, and documents get saved in the RAM ( Random Access Memory) and RAM gets sufficient power to retain all data.

A normal laptop usually take 20-50 watt per hour and a computer usually take 60-200 watt per hour but when both the appliances are put in Sleep mode, they consume less energy so keeping desktops, laptops, PC, etc in sleep mode reduce the energy consumed due to which user will get a bill with less amount.

All the open works, documents, and programs get suspended during Sleep mode and start working again where it was left. To wake a computer from Sleep mode, users press any key, click the mouse, or switch on the power button.

Many users with a curious mind will think why putting so much work when we can simply shut the computer down, so this is a  message to those curious minds asking the question.

we can simply shut down our computers but it will lose the work going on and the running software automatically would get close as well as opening the computer every single time you leave it for some time will require a lot of time.

So to optimize the user’s precious time and preventing damages to the computer, it is better to keep the computer on sleep mode rather than switching it on and then closing it again and again.

Note: If a computer is not working for more than 2 hours and is kept on Sleep mode then it will automatically shut down so it is better to switch off the computer rather than lose all your data.

We can not decide which is the better option, Shutting down the computer or keeping it on Sleep mode because it depends on the time computer, PCs, Laptops, or phones are not used. 

It is recommended that if a user is planning not to use the computer for 20 minutes or more then they should keep it on sleep mode but not using it for more than 2 hours then shutting down the computer is best.

How to turn on Sleep mode in MS window 10?

Here are the steps to turn on the Sleep mode in Window 10:

Step 1: Click on the Start button or window logos.

Step 2: Open the control panel, if you can not find the control panel then search it out.

Step 3: There will be a lot of options available there so click on the ‘Power option’ option.

Sleep vs Hibernate

Step 4: Click on the “Choose what power button does” button from the left side of the screen.

Sleep vs Hibernate: Better Power Saving Mode on The Computer

Step 5: From the appeared window, under the “define power button and turn on password protection”, you need to click on the change settings that are currently available” button.

Sleep vs Hibernate: Better Power Saving Mode on The Computer

Step 6; Now, tick the sleep option and you are good to go.

Sleep vs Hibernate: Better Power Saving Mode on The Computer

To turn on Sleep mode in MS Window 10 you can follow the same thing, as well as the Sleep mode option, which is also available by default.

Hibernation mode

Hibernation mode is also known as ‘Suspend to Disk’ on Linux(the most-used open-source operating system and well known) is another power-saving method just like Sleep mode available by Microsoft to its users.

Do not get confused with the term ‘Hibernation’, it is in no way connected to bears. Hibernation mode has almost the same function as Sleep mode but slightly different from the latter.

Uses of Hibernation mode:-

During Hibernation mode, all the computer’s operational data going on at the moment such as open documents and running programs are saved in the Fixed or Hard disk which does not require power at all like Sleep mode to keep the RAM going on until the computer is removed from Sleep mode.

In Hibernation mode, the computer completely shuts down before saving the operational data in the hard disk indicating activation of Hibernation mode.

When the device is again switched on, it goes back to the way it was before hibernation with all the data intact, with running programs and all. Hibernation mode takes just a little longer than Sleep mode in retrieving the operational data.

Note: If a user has a Solid State Disk (SSD) then the speed won’t be as noticeable as with a normal hard disk.

How to make the Hibernation mode available?

In MS Window 10, the Hibernation mode option is not there in default so to put the computer in hibernation mode, here are the steps:

Step 1: Launch the Command Prompt as an administrator either by searching it out from the start menu by RUN(Win + R), type “cmd’ and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

Step 2:Type the following command and hit enter.

powercfg.exe /hibernate on

Sleep vs Hibernate: Better Power Saving Mode on The Computer

Now, you will see an option to switch to hibernate mode from the panel where you make your computer sleep.

In the same manner, you can turn off the hibernation mode by launching the command prompt as an admin and then type the following command.

Powercfg.exe /hibernate off

Hybrid Sleep: a mix of Sleep and Hibernation mode

The term ‘Hybrid sleep’ in itself gives away the function of it, it is a mixture of both Hibernation and Sleep mode. In Hybrid sleep mode, it works both functions of Hibernation and Sleep mode.

In the Hybrid Sleep mode, just like Sleep mode, Hybrid Sleep mode also saves the operational data in RAM, but just like Hibernation mode,  it also saves the data in the Hard disk and then puts the computer into a low power state that let RAM do their work just like in Sleep mode. 

 Windows made Hybrid Sleep as a default mode in desktop computers but it did not in laptops because computers do not have a backup battery so if the desktop by any means loss the power then the present progress will be lost so to prevent data loss while using a desktop, windows made Hybrid Sleep as a default mode in desktop.

Sleep vs Hibernate mode

Now, let’s put an end to the sleep vs hibernate debate. There is no winner here, but there are some things on the basis of which you can opt for the best one for you.

There is always a competition going on which mode is better so here are the differences :

Hibernation, as well as Sleep mode, both are a power-saving mode but have different functions.

Hibernation saves the data in a fixed or hard drive whereas  Sleep mode saves the documents, running programs in the Random Access Memory (RAM). In sleep mode, computers, laptops PCs require some power to run the RAM whereas in Hibernation mode the computer fully shuts down after saving the data in the hard disk.

Hibernation mode takes more time to retain the data as compared to Sleep mode. From combining both the mode, Sleep, and Hibernation mode, we get another power saving mode that is Hybrid Sleep.

It saves the data in both Hard disk as well as in RAM so it functions as bit the previous modes and uses less power to keep RAM  refreshing.

We can not really tell which mode is better because what is best for the users depends on their habit of using laptops, desktops, or any device they are using. A user can also shut down his computer if they do not want to use their computer for more than 24 hours.

Another thing you should keep in mind while opting for the Hibernation mode, it is known to create a hiberfil.sys file which can accumulate and can slow down your computer.


In this article, we have tried to put an end to the sleep vs hibernate debate. We have talked about the difference between the two and many other things such as how to enable and disable the hibernation mode and the sleep mode.