Hibernate vs Sleep: What is the Difference?

Hibernate vs Sleep

Windows gives you different options to save power while you aren’t using your computer which are Hibernate and Sleep. You might be using these options frequently too when you don’t want to shut down your system all the time. But did you ever wonder what the difference between the Hibernate and Sleep is?

In this article, we will discuss the difference between Hibernate vs Sleep options.

Hibernate vs Sleep


  • On sleep mode, the computer goes into a low operating state where all the actions are stopped and all the active tasks and open documents are stored in the memory.
  • When the system is on sleep mode, power is supplied only to RAM and not to any other component.
  • This mode is useful if you want a short break from work.
  • The computer does not use a lot of power in sleep mode. But it uses the minimum amount of energy.
  • When you want to resume working, the computer boots quickly in full power state mostly within few seconds.
  • The system may appear like it is shut down but it is actually still on and you can start the computer again by either pressing any key or moving the mouse.


  • In Hibernate mode, your open documents and running applications are saved in the hard disk instead of RAM. This mode is designed primarily for laptops.
  • Your system shuts down completely in Hibernate mode, however, when you want to start it again, it restores all the previously open tasks.
  • As your system is shut down, it doesn’t consume any power at all.
  • When your system is on hibernate mode, you cannot run any programs.
  • You can use this mode when you would not use your laptop for a long period of time and you don’t want to close your documents.
  • The rebooting is slower as compared to Sleep mode but a lot faster than when you shut down your system

Pros and Cons of Hibernate vs Sleep

  • There is a high risk of losing data in sleep mode as it is stored in RAM which is volatile. If there is a power outage, you may lose the unsaved data. However, in hibernate mode, data gets stored in non-volatile memory before the system shuts down. It is the biggest pros and cons of Hibernate vs Sleep.
  • The second pros and cons of Hibernate vs Sleep are system consumes no power at all in hibernate mode while in sleep mode, it still utilizes power continuously.
  • Last pros and cons of Hibernate vs Sleep are that in sleep mode, your computer or laptop resumption is instantaneous while in hibernate mode it takes a while to boot the system as it needs time to read the data back from the hard disk.