Difference Between Sleep and Hibernation

Both sleep and hibernation are commonly used power saving options that Windows provides to its users. However, both options have a different approach towards energy savings, method and location to save data, and boot times. There are some situations where sleeping is a better option than hibernating and some situations it’s just the opposite.

When the user opts for sleep mode, the computer goes into a low power state and the data present in the physical memory or RAM memory is saved in the internal memory, while the rest of the computer goes into standby mode . On the other hand, when the user chooses to hibernate as a power saving option, all data present in RAM, including browsers that are open and applications that are running, will be written to the hard drive post that the computer hill. All saved data is stored in a file named hiberfil.sys. Hiberfil.sys is a hidden file in the system and one can locate it in the root of C Drive.

To put the system into sleep or hibernate mode, all you have to do is press the power button once on the desktop. On a laptop, you will need to close the lid of the laptop. To get back to work on the computer, you need to press the power button on the desktop again, or open the lid again in the case of a laptop. It takes a second or two for a computer to return to normal from sleep mode, while waking a computer from hibernation mode can take longer. Sleep mode takes less time than hibernation mode because in the former the data is saved in the internal memory, while in the latter, the data is written to the hard drive and it takes a little longer for the computer to reload all the data. Saved data, open browsers and any running applications from the hard drive to memory.

Also, sleep mode is considered to be more energy efficient than hibernation mode. However, if the power supply is turned off or the batteries are exceeded, the user will lose all unsaved data since the data has been copied only to the internal memory. Using hibernate mode is advantageous in this regard, as regardless of scenarios like power outage or battery replacement, all your data will remain the same as it was before switching to hibernate mode. This is due to the fact that all data is safely stored in the hiberfil.sys file.

Sleep mode is best used if the user will be away from the computer for a few minutes, such as a quick stop at the water cooler or a quick grab or bite during lunch. Users should opt for hibernation mode when they are not going to use the computer for a few hours, such as shutting down the computer after finishing their day.

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