Hibernation vs Sleep Mode

Hibernation vs Sleep Mode

Most of the people may not familiar with the exact difference between the various power saving modes in a computer like Sleep, Hibernation. A computer provides several options for conserving power when you are not using your PC. These options include Sleep, Hibernate.

In this article, we will see the difference between these terms that can help you to choose the right one for your computer system.

What is sleep mode?

Sleep mode is also called standby or suspend mode. This mode is an energy-saving mode of operation in which all unnecessary components are shut down. Once the computer awakened, it returns to its former operating status. This mode is a low power mode for computers. In this mode, RAM receives just enough power to enable it to maintain data. A computer usually wakes from sleep mode through touching a key, clicking the mouse or pressing the power button.

What is the hibernation mode?

Hibernate mode is a power management mode that powers down the computer while maintaining its previous state. Hibernation is a means of avoiding the burden of saving unsaved data before shutting down and restoring all running programs after powering back on. In this mode, the current state of the system is saved from RAM to the hard drive before shutting the system down. When the user turns the system back on, the computer resumes its pre-hibernation state. Hibernation is used in laptops, which have limited battery power available. It can be set to happen automatically on a low battery alarm. Most desktops also support hibernation, mainly as a general energy-saving measure.

Let's see the differences between sleep and hibernation mode

  • Hibernate mode saves power better than sleep mode because the device is completely powered down and therefore uses no electrical power, just as if the device is switched off. In contrast, sleep mode still consuming power to maintain the contents of the RAM for an instantaneous wake-up.

  • Hibernate mode can cause faulty operations of some programs upon restarting due to some problems with the hibernation software.

  • Sleep mode simply powers down the processing functions of the device.

  • Hibernate mode may also terminate connections to peripheral devices.

  • Sleep mode only saves power. On the other side, hibernate mode totally cuts off consumption.

  • You will not be able to run any programs while your computer is hibernating.

  • While sleep puts your work and settings in memory and draws a small amount of power, hibernation puts your open documents and programs on your hard disk and then turns off your computer.

  • In sleep mode, your computer will always be ready to use when you need it.

  • Hibernate mode just takes a bit longer to resume than sleep mode does.

  • PC snaps back to life quickly in sleep mode.

  • Hibernating mode uses about the same amount of power as a computer that’s shut down.

  • Sleep mode is particularly useful if you’re stepping away from your PC for a small amount of time. You can put your PC to sleep to save electricity and battery power.

  • If you’re planning to be away from the PC for extended periods, then hibernate mode is good for that.


Hope, we explained both modes in a better way. The choice is yours. Choose the right one as your system requirement. You can tell us which one you have used; share your experiences. Thank you!