Windows 10 Does Have a Hibernation Mode — Here’s How to Turn It On

Ben Stegner 09-03-2016

You probably often use the Shut Down and Restart options (especially since it fixes so many problems Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why. Read More ) in Windows, but there are a couple of others that go unnoticed.


Sleep and Hibernate, though similar, perform two different functions Sleep Mode vs. Hibernate Mode: Which Power-Saving Mode Should You Use? What exactly does Sleep mode do? How is it different from Hibernate mode, which is an extra option on Windows computers? Which should you choose, and are there downsides to using them? Read More : Sleep puts your system in a low-power state and saves everything to the RAM temporarily, while Hibernate saves your current session to the hard drive temporarily and shuts down the system.

In Windows 10, you might have noticed that the option to Hibernate isn’t immediately available. To get it back, you just have to do a little digging in the Control Panel Unlock Windows Potential: Control Panel Demystified If you want to be the master of your Windows experience, the Control Panel is where it's at. We untangle the complexity of this power tool. Read More . First, open the Power Options section of the Control Panel, and click Choose what the power button does on the left sidebar.

In this new menu, you might see text near the top of the screen that says Change settings that are currently unavailable; click that and confirm the UAC prompt, as you’ll need it to add Hibernation. Now, just scroll down to the Shutdown settings header and make sure the box by Hibernate is ticked. That’s all you have to do! Make sure to click Save changes to confirm.

Now, when you click the Power entry on your Start menu, you should see Hibernate as a choice. Remember that you shouldn’t hibernate unless you need to save your current session and won’t be using your computer for a long time. For any short-term gaps, use Sleep. If you can save your work and be finished, just shut it down. Hibernation isn’t something you should need often.


Did you need Hibernation on your Windows 10 PC? Do you ever use Sleep or do you just shut down your computer all the time? Let us know below!

Related topics: Hiberation, Windows 10, Windows Tricks.

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  1. Xajell
    March 9, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I use Hibernate a lot, when I work I open a lot of applications and documents, when I want to leave I just hibernate rather than sleep coz I don't know when I'll return, maybe in 9 hours or maybe after a day.. when I return all apps and documents are up and running and I can proceed working normally... sleep might give me the same ability, but will consume power and reduce battery cycles also... I only use sleep when I'm sure that I'll return within few hours...

    I like how Mac OS X... It doesn't have hibernate mode that you can select, but when you go to sleep.. OS X will automatically save the RAM contents to the HDD/SSD... so that if power went disconnected you everything will return normally without you notice anything...

    The issue here is that you just don't know when that is going to happen, so if you want to move your Mac Pro/iMac quickly without saving documents and exiting apps, you'll have to wait and guess that it's finished... You just can't force the OS to go to hibernate mode.. and there's no way for you to know that actually...
    The other thing is Mac OS X doesn't have a way to force sleep actually... there might be a lot of apps or activities that will stop the system from going to sleep mode even if you selected sleep by your self ( talking about iMac and Mac Pro, not about macbooks ) the only thing will change is that the monitor and GPU will be turn off...

  2. Tom
    March 9, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Your directions were easy to follow. BUT. After hibernate is pushed on my HP Probook 4540s, the screen indeed goes blank but the system never shuts down as it used to. Even after waiting considerable time, the HD continues to be whirling about in some mysterious mission. This is obviously neither a 'low-power state' nor being 'turned off!'

    • Ben Stegner
      March 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Hmm, that's strange. Sounds like it could be a hardware issue to me. Does shutting down work okay?

      • Tom
        March 10, 2016 at 12:39 am

        Have taken the advice of others and pressed the key while indicating either sleep mode or shut down. And those seem to work. But for some reason the hibernate feature doesn't seem to be responsive.

  3. Rick
    March 9, 2016 at 10:18 am

    A initial start on an older laptop needs a lot of time, that's why there's sleep and hibernate. When the computer is not used for a few days it might happen that sleep drains the battery so that the system shuts down while it shouldn't. Problems might follow. So hibernation is the thing to use.

    I can only imagine that the developers run state-of-the-art hardware with SSDs an new CPUs so they never could imagine that there are entry-level laptops out there.

    • Ben Stegner
      March 9, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      The computer I've been using for several years has an SSD, so I suppose I'm used to the faster start up time. You're right about sleep being best for short-term and hibernation for longer. I use sleep when I go from class to class, but for my own use almost never need to hibernate. I'm glad it's an option though!