Windows 10 carries on the tradition of providing hibernate. Like sleep, hibernate lets you save power when you are not using your computer. Then, when you are ready to work again, hibernate returns your desktop to the state you had left it in. This means you do not have to re-open all your applications and documents, which saves you time. However, hibernate differs from sleep in one important respect.

How Hibernate Differs from Sleep

Regardless of whether you use hibernate or sleep, your computer stores data related to your settings as well as information about any open applications or documents. However, the location in which this data is saved differs depending on which option you select. The computer saves it as a file on the hard disk for hibernate and in the random access memory (RAM) during sleep. Each option has certain advantages:

  • Using hibernate saves more power. When a computer is sleeping, it is running in a low-power state. In hibernate, the computer is basically shut down, so it is using almost no power.
  • Using sleep saves more time. When you wake a computer from sleep, it takes only a few seconds for the machine to be functional. It takes longer from hibernate because the computer has to boot up.

When to Use Hibernate

Because computers wake faster from sleep, it is a good option to use if you plan to be away from your machine for only a short time. However, if you won’t be using your computer for an extended period, you might consider hibernate as it consumes less power. This can help prevent your laptop’s battery from completely draining if you are unable to recharge it. If your laptop or desktop computer is plugged into a power outlet, it will consume less electricity, reducing energy costs.

How to Enable Hibernate

On most Windows 10 computers, you won’t see hibernate in the “Power Options” menu because it’s usually disabled by default. You can enable hibernate by logging in to Windows 10 with an administrator account and performing these steps:

  1. Click the “Start” button.
  2. Type “power options” in the search box.
  3. Select the “Power Options – Control panel” entry in the results.
  4. Click the “Choose what the power buttons do” link in the left pane of the “Power Options” window.
  5. Choose the “Change settings that are currently unavailable” option.
  6. In the “Shutdown settings” section, select the “Hibernate” check box.
  7. Click the “Save changes” button.
  8. Close the “Power Options” window.

Your “Power Options” menu should now include hibernate. If you need to leave work for several hours or even if you want to call it a day, all you have to do is click it to hibernate your computer. When you are ready to start working again, simply start up your computer. Your applications and documents will be in the same state in which you left them.