You are working on your laptop and need to step away, but you don’t want to close all the open programs. You want to jump right back in when you return, so you close the lid to put the machine to sleep. Sleep mode takes the computer into a low-power state, saving the battery.
But even though putting the computer to sleep will reduce the amount of drain on your battery, it will still use some. And if you keep it in sleep mode for too long, the battery will eventually die, and you will lose your work.
There is a way to keep everything running while using absolutely none of your battery power. You can put the computer into hibernation.
The Difference Between Hibernate and Sleep
There’s only one small difference between these two low-power states. In both modes the display turns off, and the machine cuts off power to all components of the computer, with one exception.
In sleep mode the power to the RAM continues to run. The RAM keeps all of the programs running and files open that you were using before you powered down the computer. In hibernation, the power to the RAM is cut off as well. The computer uses no electricity while still keeping your files and programs available as soon as you boot the machine back up.
Using hibernate is like turning off your computer without closing any programs or files. It saves the most battery power.
However, hibernate requires more available memory than sleep mode does. When your computer hibernates, it writes all of the content in RAM to a file named Hiberfil.sys. The size of the reserved Hiberfil.sys is the same as the amount of RAM in the machine. So, if you have 4G of RAM, you must have that amount of free storage space to use Hibernate.
When to Hibernate
Use hibernation if you are sure you will not use your laptop and can’t charge the battery for an extended time. Sleep only pulls a small amount of power from the battery, but over a long period that accumulates. Hibernate pulls no battery power.
Do also take note that it takes longer for a computer to boot up from hibernation than from sleep mode, as the system needs to read and load the content from the Hiberfil.sys file.
Windows 10 machines enable Sleep mode by default, but Hibernate is not listed on the power options in the Windows 10 start menu. You need to change some settings to make the option to hibernate easily accessible.
To add hibernate to your options:
1. Open Power Options one of two ways: either right-click on the battery icon in the lower right corner of your screen and choose Power Options
or type Control panel into the search box.
Click Hardware and Sound
and then click Power Options.
2. Click “Choose what closing the lid does.”
3. If you are unable to click on Hibernate at the bottom of the window, click where it says, “Change settings that are currently unavailable” at the top.
4. Click Hibernate-Show in the power menu.
5. If you want to automatically hibernate your computer whenever you close the lid, change the option under the battery power options.
6. Click “Save changes.”
Now you should see Hibernate as an option when you click on the Power icon on the Start menu.
Are you leaving your computer with programs and files open and draining your battery too often? Adding Hibernate as an option may keep you working without interruption.
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