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Sleep vs Hibernate in Windows: Key differences

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  • 2 min read

Sleep and hibernate are two power-saving options available in Windows operating systems. They both serve the purpose of reducing power consumption when you’re not actively using your computer, but they do so in different ways.

If you’re confused about when to use which mode, we’ve discussed the sleep and hibernate modes and briefly compared them.

Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is a low-power state where your computer enters a standby state. In this mode, your computer saves its current state in RAM and powers down unnecessary components. When you wake it up, your system quickly resumes where you left off, and you can start working again. This makes sleep mode perfect for short breaks, conserving power while providing speedy access.

Also read: What is Click Lock on Windows? How to enable it? 

Hibernate Mode

Hibernate mode, on the other hand, is more like a deep sleep. It saves your computer’s state to the hard drive and then completely powers off. When you turn your PC back on, it reads the saved state from the hard drive and restores your previous session. Hibernate is ideal for saving power over longer periods, such as overnight.

A brief comparison

Here is a comparison table between Sleep and Hibernate mode in Windows:

FeatureSleep ModeHibernate Mode
Power ConsumptionLowExtremely Low
Wake-Up SpeedAlmost InstantSlower (Compared to Sleep Mode)
Data PersistenceRAM contents are preservedContents are saved on the hard drive
Battery DrainMay lose unsaved data in a power outageMinimal power consumption
Data Loss RiskRisk of data loss if battery drainsData is safe on the hard drive
Ideal forShort breaks, quick accessExtended periods of inactivity
AvailabilityCommonly available on most PCsAvailable on most PCs, but may need setup
Resume WorkQuickly pick up where you left offSlightly longer wake-up time
Space RequiredUses very little disk spaceRequires space on the hard drive
Vulnerable to Power LossMay lose unsaved data in power outageResistant to power loss, data is saved

This table summarises the key differences between Sleep and Hibernate modes, making choosing the one that best suits your needs and preferences easier.

Also read: How to uninstall an app in Windows 10 and 11?

Akash Singh

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: