If you leave your Windows unattended for a while, they automatically enter sleep mode. Users have the option to customize how long a system must be left unattended before it enters sleep mode. If you’ve set a rather long time on the auto-sleep function, you can also force your system to sleep from the power menu. There’s also another mode that you can put your system in; Hibernate. Hibernate has been part of Windows since Windows 7. It is one of four options that you can usually find in the power menu, the other three being Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down. Some users might not see the option there though. In that case, here’s how you can add hibernate to the power menu.

Add Hibernate To Power Menu

You don’t need administrative rights to add Hibernate to the Power Menu. This option is added on a per-user basis.

Open the Power Options by right-clicking the battery icon in the system tray, and selecting Power Options. Alternatively, paste the following in the location bar in File Explorer and tap Enter.

Control PanelHardware and SoundPower Options

Look at the options on the left, and click the ‘Choose what the power buttons do’ option.

On the next screen, click the ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ and then scroll down a bit further.

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You will see a checkbox called ‘Hibernate’. Check this option, and click Save Changes.

Hibernate vs Sleep

Hibernate is different from a complete system shut down but it’s also different from the sleep state. In the sleep state, everything is suspended. Your files are dumped to the memory so that you don’t lose any work. Windows, and your system are both on but running in a very low power state.

In Hibernate mode, Windows doesn’t save your work i.e. open apps and files and folders to memory. Instead, it writes them to your disk i.e. hard drive, and your computer is completely turned off.

Between Sleep mode and Hibernate mode, the computer takes longer to boot up from hibernate mode. We should mention that Windows 10 has been known to have a buggy Hibernate mode. Sometimes it fails to come out of hibernate mode and users are left with a black screen. This is an old bug and almost non-existent now on the current stable Windows 10 build.

Although your computer is turned off in hibernate mode, it is not the same as a proper shut down. This means that if you’ve installed or updated software that requires a system restart e.g. iTunes, you will either need to restart your system, or shut it down and boot it again later when you want to work. If you enter hibernate mode, it will not complete the update or installation.