Hibernate vs Sleep in Windows 10: What is the difference?

If you leave a Windows 10 system unattended, it will enter a low power state called Sleep. Hibernate has a low power state mode similar to Windows 10. Just like the Sleep state, users have the option to manually set the system in Hibernate mode from the power panel.

Hibernate vs Sleep in Windows 10

Hibernate Vs Sleep in Windows 10

Many users associate Hibernate mode with Sleep mode. There are similarities between the two modes, and your system will only enter this mode if you activate it, or if you have not used it in a while. The question is, what is best and what is the difference between the two.

Hibernate vs. Cadal

The main difference between Hibernate and Sleep mode is how data is saved, or where it is saved.

Save state

  • When your system enters Sleep mode, the files you have open (and the unsaved data in them) will be saved to RAM.
  • When your system enters Hibernate mode, the files you have opened (and the date they were not saved) will be written to disk.

Use of power

  • When your system is in Sleep mode, it uses very little power to keep things going.
  • When your system is in Hibernate mode, it will not use power at all. It basically powers the system.

Feature available

  • Sleep mode is present on all PCs running Windows 10 and is enabled by default.
  • Hibernate is not present on all PCs running Windows 10 eg, it will not be available if you have InstantGo on your system. It may not be enabled by default even if it is available on a system.

SSD damage

  • Sleep mode does not damage or shorten the lifespan of SSD.
  • The hibernation mode is known to damage early generation SDDs and cause them to erupt faster. Newer SSDs do not have this problem.

Hard drive damage

  • Hibernation or hibernation mode cannot harm the hard drive.

Hardware signal

  • When your system is in Sleep mode, lights on your system may be pressed to indicate its state eg, the power button may be pressed or an SSD read / write signal / HDD, it may crack while the system is asleep.
  • When your system is in Hibernate mode, all the lights / signals will turn on. Looking at your system, you will not be able to tell if it is Shut Down or if it is in Hibernate mode until you press the power button.


  • Windows 10 will exit Sleep state much faster than it will exit Hibernate mode. The time difference is important.
  • A system can be restarted from Sleep mode by pressing the power button, or by tapping a key on the keyboard or clicking the mouse.
  • A system can be restarted from Hibernate mode by pressing the power button.

Should you sleep or fall asleep on Windows 10?

Hibernation and sleep patterns are often present on the same system. You can choose which to use at your own discretion but in general;

  • You should use Sleep mode if you are away from your system for a very short time eg fifteen minutes or an hour.
  • You should use Hibernate mode if you are away from your system for a longer period of time, but you still want to pick up work where you left it instead of pushing the system to -rithist.

Windows 10 usually has a harder time starting from Hibernate mode and you may have to restart your system anyway. That’s why, even if you plan to be away from the system for an extended period of time, sleep mode may be the best option.

Shut Down, Sleep, or Hibernate Windows 10

If the Shut Down option is on the table, ie, you are willing to shut down your system than it is better to do so instead of putting it in Hibernate mode.

The reason we do not use Hibernate mode is because it takes so long for the system to come out. Your system may turn up much faster.

For unsaved data, shutdown is a user-initiated operation that means you will be asked to save your work before the system shuts down.

The only major drawback of shutting down a system over hibernation is that you have to reopen your apps and files. Winter mode saves the current state of the system so you don’t have to.

Transgender sleep

Windows 10 has a third mode called Hybrid Sleep. It is a combination of Hibernate and Sleep mode where;

  • Data is written to the hard disk instead of RAM.
  • The system updates the memory from time to time.
  • System restart is faster than hibernation but slower than hibernation.
  • The system will continue to consume power when in Hybrid Sleep mode.


If you find it hard to remember the difference between Hibernate and Sleep mode, comment from their names. Hibernation is a much deeper state of sleep but light sleep compared to it. If your system is constantly struggling to get out of hibernation mode, you may have an app to blame for it. You can uninstall the app, keep using Sleep mode, or change it to shut down the system.

The Hibernate vs Sleep post in Windows 10: What’s the Difference? first appeared on TechtricksNg.