Sleep vs. Hibernate

Sleep and Hibernate are two terms you’ll hear in connection with saving power on your Windows PC.

So what’s the difference between the terms?

In Sleep mode, your computer goes into a low-power mode with a dark screen. The PC might appear to be off at first glance, but if you run your finger over the touchpad or move the mouse it will wake back up, typically within a few seconds. You’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.

Hibernation mode is designed mostly to be used with laptops. Your PC uses no power while hibernating. Hibernation saves your open documents and programs to your hard drive and then turns off your computer. To turn it back on, you’ll need to press the power button. Use hibernation when you know you won’t be using your device for some time and there’s no convenient place to charge it.

Sleep settings are typically found under Power in Windows 10 settings. Hibernation is a bit more complicated. We’ll cover how to use both of these settings in future articles.


2 thoughts on “Sleep vs. Hibernate

  1. Hi Cyn,

    I had the impression that W10’s new, fast “shut down” was very like the old “hibernate”.
    I have been telling my “customers” that hibernate is redundant now.

    Thanks for your tips, Keith

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