Does enabling Hibernate in Window slow the computer ?

Mike Merritt April 11, 2015

Does enabling Hibernate in Windows 7 slow down the computer?

I tried disabling Hibernate, but can’t see any difference. I know that enabling the Hibernate option creates a large file in the root of the hard-drive which may increase the time for full backups and for full system anti-virus scans, but does simply enabling ‘Hibernate’ cause the computer/CPU/processes to run slower?

Why do people say that enabling Hibernate “consumes more resources”?

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  1. Rahul Gupta
    May 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Overall, your computer will be just as fast (or slow) as it was when you put it to hibernate. The difference is in the booting process. Hard drives (and even solid state drives) are much slower than RAM. Since “Sleep” mode preserves the RAM “as-is,” it often starts up much faster than hibernation. Hibernating computers must take the effort to read magnetic data from their hard drives and then write these values into RAM, making the whole process very tedious.

  2. Jan F.
    April 12, 2015 at 6:46 am

    There is plenty of information in the previous answers but let me give you my 'twist' on it:

    Enabling hibernate won't/should not have any effect on your computers performance.
    * The exception to that is if your hard drive space is limited as it is. The hibernate file might take up the remaining free space on the system drive. With no free space your system will struggle using temporary storage, fully defragment the drive, creating system restore points among others. You should always keep 10-15% of free space on the system drive.

    Resuming operating from the hibernate state might have an impact (as does from stand-by). Basically hibernate stores the content of your systems memory into the hiberfil file and when resuming restores it's contents into the memory. Any memory used by orphaned processes or eaten up by a memory leak will not be freed up.
    An occasional issue is that your mouse is no longer working and requires a replug.

  3. Oron J
    April 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Mike, to answer your question directly, no. Enabling hibernate makes no difference to the speed of the computer. In terms of "computer resources", it's true that a ("hiberfil.sys") file is created on the disk, so backups would take a little longer, but that file is not THAT big (it's equivalent in size to your RAM).

    Enabling hibernation can sometimes cause problems on Windows system, including the system crashing after being woken up from hibernation, which can be tricky to recover from, but as I said at the start, there's no effect on the PC's speed.

    • Bruce E
      April 12, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      If a backup is configured properly, hiberfil.sys (and pagefile.sys) should never be part of any backup set, so they should have absolutely NO impact on the time it takes to do a backup or restore. After all, if a restore needs to be performed, anything that may have been in these files at the time of the backup would be completely irrelevant to restoring the machine to a proper working state. There are some backup programs that won't even let you select either of those two files when configuring a backup and others will automatically skip them even if they are included in the backup set.

    • ha14
      April 13, 2015 at 11:47 am

      perhaps hiberfil.sys (and pagefile.sys) are excluded from backup

    • Doc
      April 13, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Any backup program worth using would know to skip hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys, and probably the System Restore files as well. There is no point in backing any of these up.

    • ha14
      April 14, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      maybe bar metal backup/restore will not skip hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys, ?

    • Bruce E
      April 15, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Those files should not be there no matter what - even on a bare metal restore. If these files were included, their contents would be completely worthless upon restore, so there is no need for them. And if they are not there on the first reboot after the system is restored, they are automatically recreated by Windows if necessary.

      If paging is disabled, pagefile.sys won't be recreated and if hibernation is disabled, hiberfil.sys won't be either. But both of those conditions would need to exist at the time of the backup in which case pagefile.sys should not have even existed on the machine to be backed up although hiberfil.sys could have been there as simply turning off hibernation does not delete the file on most systems.

  4. ha14
    April 11, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Hibernate mode conserves power by copying system data to a reserved area on the hard drive and then completely turning off the computer. When the computer exits hibernate mode, it returns to the same operating state it was in before entering hibernate mode.
    Hibernation mode tells your computer to:
    •Write everything in RAM to disk.
    •Turn off the monitor and hard disk, and pc.
    •hiberfil.sys contains further information including processor state.

    Try adjust the CPU speed by changing the Processor Power Management setting in the active Power Plan. Go to Start, type Power Options in the search box and open the power options, then click Change Plan Settings, Change Advanced Power Settings, locate the Processor Power Management item and change the setting.

    Intel Speedstep® Technology?

    Windows 7 Power Options And Sleep Modes Explained

    • Mike Merritt
      April 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      @ha14 - Thank you for your detailed answer on what "Hibernate" does. However, the question was: Does simply enabling the "Hibernate" feature on Windows 7 cause the computer/CPU/tasks to run Slower ? If I simply turn OFF (disable) the hibernate feature, will my computer run better/faster ? --- It's sort of a Yes / No question --

    • ha14
      April 11, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      @Mike Merritt, normally No enabling hibernation should not slow computer Windows did not developed hibernation feature to slow down pc, but the answer is No and Yes depending the situation.
      Windows 7 computers will no longer remain slow if memory is expanded via the disabling of hibernate and the deletion of ‘hiberfil.sys’.
      Windows reserves disk space for hibernate in the hibernation file, which is named Hiberfil.sys. For Windows 7, the default size of the hibernation file is equal to 75 percent of the total physical memory on the system. For example, on a computer that has 2 GB of RAM, the default hibernation file size is 1.5 GB. So loding all the hibernation file even with windows 7 EFI system cannot provide full access with maximum performance.
      Maybe you are hit by a malware? do a scan with a live cd do a RAM cleaning
      if clean mem is not running open installation folder and click on Mini Monitor.exe you will see a small progress bar on right side bottom of the desktop so right click on it and choose Clean File Cache Now

    • ha14
      April 12, 2015 at 10:00 am

      consider hibernation like windows restore point so you recover the last environment, if somehow corruption occurs during reloading the environment then yes windows can be slow, but Microsoft never developed Hibernation to make Windows slow. So the Answer is NO then it depends...

    • Mike Merritt
      April 13, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      @ha14 - please read the user comments on that link that you suggest. Nobody in the comments believes that it's true (that enabling the hibernate feature uses additional RAM memory). The computer world would be a better place if the author of that article had not written it. Can you believe that he says: "It eats up energy along with system resources" ... HogWash !!!!

    • ha14
      April 13, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      @Mike Merritt, you are correct enabling hibernate feature does not uses additional RAM memory, because hibernation work only after you hibernate Windows. , all depends on how big hiberfil.sys is or something went wrong during the creation of important hiberfil.sys. The thing is even with EFI system windows starts to load kernel, drivers....then services, process, applications....depending on the speed of the hard drive this can take sometime and if you start working as soon as you get the desktop without fully loading the system then windows can get corrupted then eats up energy along with system resources since the processor will try to work harder. But normally if everything goes you get back your desktop clean.

      If a laptop is in a sleep state and the battery starts to run low, the system will wake up and immediately go into hibernate, which requires no power to preserve memory.

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