Difference between Sleep, Hybrid Sleep & Hibernation in Windows 7 | 8

Many of us are not familiar with the exact difference between the various power saving modes in a Windows computer like, Sleep, Hibernation or Hybrid Sleep. In this article we will see the difference between these terms.

Sleep vs Hibernate vs Hybrid Sleep

Sleep is a power-saving state that allows a computer to quickly resume full-power operation (typically within several seconds) when you want to start working again.

Putting your computer into the sleep state is like pausing a DVD player; the computer immediately stops what it’s doing and is ready to start again when you want to resume working.

Hibernation is a power-saving state designed primarily for laptops.

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. Of all the power-saving states in Windows, hibernation uses the least amount of power. On a laptop, use hibernation when you know that you won’t use your laptop for an extended period and won’t have an opportunity to charge the battery during that time.

Hybrid sleep is designed primarily for desktop computers. Hybrid sleep is a combination of sleep and hibernate; it puts any open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. That way, if a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk. When hybrid sleep is turned on, putting your computer into sleep automatically puts your computer into hybrid sleep. Hybrid sleep is typically turned on by default on desktop computers and off by default on laptops.

If you need to know more about Sleep vs Hibernation, visit Microsoft FAQ.

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • selig

    usefull stuff guys….not many ppl know the difference btw the 2…..

  • John

    How do you know if the PC is using hybrid sleep or sleep?

  • Dromer

    You can usually check in the Advanced Power Options under Sleep.

  • Leo

    Umm…I use hibernation every night. My computer hibernates after six hours of sleep. And I would say that hibernation fills almost the exact same role as hybrid sleep, except the computer actually comes back to life faster, for some reason. And also…when you use hybrid sleep it seems the computer actually moves everything back from the HD to memory, no matter what…so it takes a long time to use and will be quite slow at that time, so it really can’t be used. Hibernation takes a little time to “boot”, but the computer is usable almost immediately when you’re logged in.

    So thanks.

  • BOB

    want to set laptop to sleep rather than hybrinate

  • armchairnavigator

    >> Hybrid sleep is a combination of sleep and hibernate
    you dumdum – hybrid sleep is no different to hibernate – they both allow you to pull the power from a system in sleep mode without causing any problems.

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