Difference Between Sleep Hibernate And Shutdown windows 10

Difference Between Sleep Hibernate And Shutdown windows 10
By Gopal Sengar Updated

It is mandatory for a system user to execute any of these three things (shutdown, sleep and hibernate) to influence their manner of working on their PCs or laptops. Although, everyone knows what shutdown is,  but most of us fail in discovering the difference between Sleep and Hibernate. These two things are nearly the same, but bear differences at the same time, which in turn distinguishes them from one another. Each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.


While, we are going to discuss the difference between the Sleep, Hibernate and Shutdown, this article will also lay emphasis on recommending which option should be executed and when. So, amidst of this confused state, buckle up because the journey of knowledge is yet to begin in the next few segments.

Difference Between Sleep Hibernate And Shutdown windows 10

All three have the same basic function of turning off your system, but the way these works in is different from one another. How? Keep reading


This is the thing everyone must be familiar with. Shutting down the system means that you’ve turned off your system by the time you would need it again. Shutting down ends all the open programs and instructs the computer to shut down the operating system at the same time. In the shutdown state, the system uses no power and thus if you want to use it again, you’d have to turn it on, go through the typical boot-up process and then have to start your programs all over again.

The Sleep Mode

This is the state attained by the system when you close the lid of your laptop in the middle of something without actually implementing any action say sleep, shutdown or the hibernate. It is actually a half Shutdown state where the power is used just to keep the system’s memory in action while the rest of the components are passively shut down.
This is why Sleep mode consumes less power, sufficient to keep the system’s memory active. You can simply turn on your computer by pressing random keys on your keyboard or simply hitting the power button. It’s different from the shutdown thing in the aspect that the system takes just a few seconds to start from the sleep mode as the entire booting process which has to be done in case of the latter does not take place in the sleep mode.


This is actually a shutdown state. The difference lies in the fact that in hibernate mode, the contents of the RAM get dumped in a file on the hard drive. While booting up next time, the previous state of the computer will be restored as the content will be loaded back to the RAM from the hard drive.
So using this facility, you can recover your previously running programs anytime without actually ending up permanently like the system does in case of shutdown. It uses exactly the same amount of power as shutdown takes but this is less as compared to the sleep mode. In case your system is in the sleep mode and suddenly it ran out of power, it’d automatically switch to the hibernate mode to save power.
So, this was the basic difference between Sleep, Hibernate and the Shutdown mode.


How to make choices between whether to Shutdown, Sleep or Hibernate the system?

In this section we would let you know what significance that these options carry during different phases of time so that you can execute them as per the advantages they give.

In the Sleep Mode

You can bring this into action when you want to step away from your PC for a small time say 30 minutes or so. This takes the system to a low power state which is good to save electricity while the system is not in use. In the sleep mode, your running programs are taken to a paused state and thus you can resume them anytime you want without actually following a boot up to start the programs back again.

To Hibernate

Most of the users find this action helpful because it takes less power than the sleep mode and also maintains a provision of restoring that state of the system where you left it. It deals with dumping the contents between RAM and the hard drive, which is responsible for the entire restoration process.
So, if you have not been planning to use your system for a while, you can use this hibernate mode. Although, the system takes more time in resuming from the hibernate mode than the sleep mode, but the facility is better than the sleep. Even the Sleep mode later converts into the Hibernate state when the system power turns down.

To Shut Down

This option is recommended during when you want to leave your computer for a long time. Otherwise, you can choose either the Sleep or the Hibernate mode to keep your system active. This is because, booting up from the shutdown takes more time than resuming it from the Hibernate mode. Shutting down the system is beneficial in the aspect that it refreshes all the programs and fixes up the errors in case there is any, to ensure a smooth functioning.
Retrieval from the Hibernate mode might sometime trigger certain errors in the working of any specific application because of leaving the system in the pause mode for some time. Shutting down or simply a restart starts the system fresh and thus is beneficial when the user wants to run certain heavier programs on the system.

Their Simple Advantages

The Hibernate mode uses less power than the Sleep or the Shutdown. However, resuming a system from the Sleep mode is the fastest of all, and this is why most people select this option to give themselves and their system a break.

The provision of restoring the system back in the previous state lies with the Hibernate mode only. Shutting down on the other hand, is useful for fixing the errors in the operating system which is not so in case of the rest two modes.

So, each mode has its own significance which serves as the reason for their existence and use.

Configuring the Power button:

You can do multiple things with your power button as you can configure it to execute the command you’ve set for it. So, the control of what your power button would do lie in your hands and this is how you can configure it.

Step1: Click Start and search Power button in the search box. Press Enter.

Step2: The Power button options dialog box will appear on your screens.

Step3: Just configure the things as per your needs and close the window afterwards. The Window will ask for a restart to start executing your instructions from the next time.

That’s it.

So this was all about the difference between the Sleep, Hibernate and the Shutdown mode, which I hope, helped you in finding the basic difference between the three. Like and share this article to help others with the same stuff and post down your queries or any feedback about the article in the comment section to help us serve you better in the future.