HomeComputersDifference between Sleep, Hybrid Sleep & Hibernate in Windows

Difference between Sleep, Hybrid Sleep & Hibernate in Windows

Computers may sleep, hibernate, closed down, or, in some situations, utilize a sleep. Discover the differences and determine what is ideal for your notebook computer.
Down computers the minute they step apart. Notebook computers require you to be more electricity aware about your customs –particularly if running on battery.

Each choice has its own pros and cons, so let us have a deeper look in them.

Many of us are not familiar with the exact difference between the various power saving modes in a Windows computer like Sleep, Hibernation or Hybrid Sleep. In this article, we will see the difference between these terms.

Shut Down vs. Sleep vs. Hibernate


  • Shut Down: This is the power-off state most of us are familiar with. When you shut down your PC, all your open programs close and the PC shuts down your operating system. A PC that’s shut down uses almost no power. However, when you want to use your PC again, you’ll have to turn it on and go through the typical boot-up process, waiting for your hardware to initialize and startup programs to load. Depending on your system, this can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Sleep: In sleep mode, the PC enters a low-power state. The PC’s state is kept in memory, but other parts of the PC are shut down and won’t use any power. When you turn on the PC, it snaps back to life quickly—you won’t have to wait for it to boot up. Everything will be right where you left of, including running apps and open documents.
  • Hibernate: Your PC saves its current state to your hard drive, essentially dumping the contents of its memory to a file. When you boot up the PC, it loads the previous state from your hard drive back to memory. This allows you to save your computer’s state, including all your open programs and data, and come back to it later. It takes longer to resume from hibernate than sleep, but hibernate uses much less power than sleep. A computer that’s hibernating uses about the same amount of power as a computer that’s shut down.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid mode is really intended for desktop PCs and should be disabled by default for most laptops. Still, you might come across the option at some point. Hybrid is like a combination of sleep and hibernate. Like hibernate, it saves your memory state to hard disk. Like sleep, it also keeps a trickle of power going to memory so that you can wake the computer almost instantly. The idea is that you can essentially put your PC into a sleep mode, but still be protected in case your PC loses power while sleeping.


The reason laptops don’t bother with hybrid mode is really just because they have a battery. If you put your computer to sleep and the battery becomes critically low, the PC will automatically go into hibernate mode to save your state.

When To Shut Down, Sleep, and Hibernate

Different people treat their computers differently. Some people always shut down their computers and never take advantage of the convenience of the sleep and hibernate states, while some people run their computers 24/7.

  • When To Sleep: Sleep is particularly useful if you’re stepping away from your laptop for a small amount of time. You can put your PC to sleep to save electricity and battery power. When you need to use your PC again, you can resume from where you left off in just a few seconds. Your computer will always be ready to use when you need it. Sleep isn’t so good if you’re planning to be away from the PC for extended periods, as the battery will eventually run down.
  • When To Hibernate: Hibernate saves more power than sleep. If you won’t be using your PC for a while—say, if you’re going to sleep for the night—you may want to hibernate your computer to save electricity and battery power. Hibernate is slower to resume from than sleep. If you’re hibernating or shutting down your PC every time you step away from it throughout the day, you may be wasting a lot of time waiting for it.
  • When To Shut Down: Most computers will resume from hibernate faster than from a full shut down state, so you’re probably better off hibernating your laptop instead of shutting it down. However, some PCs or software may not work properly when resuming from hibernate, in which case you’ll want to shut down your computer instead. It’s also a good idea to shut down (or at least restart) your PC occasionally. Most Windows users have noticed that Windows needs an occasional reboot.



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