How To Hibernate Your Laptop

Put Your Laptop into Hibernation Mode

Hibernation is a useful power management feature that's often sadly ignored despite its great benefits. When you hibernate a laptop, you're essentially turning it off. So, unlike Stand By (Sleep) mode, a hibernated laptop isn't using any battery power at all - that laptop is off!

The secret behind hibernation is that before you turn off the laptop, everything you're doing with the computer is saved. (The contents of memory are saved to the hard disk.) When the computer is turned on again, it recovers from hibernating by reloading all the saved information and restoring your laptop to exactly the same condition it was in before it was hibernated.

Briefly, hibernation works like this:

1. You activate the hibernation feature.

Hibernation is activated differently depending on how it's set up.

2. The laptop hums as everything in memory is saved to disk.

3. The laptop turns itself off.

It's really and truly off: The battery isn't being used, and it's safe to store the laptop or put it away until you need to use it again.

To recover from Hibernation mode, just turn the laptop on. In some cases, the laptop may recover from hibernation when you press a key or touch the mouse pad. You can try that trick first, before you punch the power button.

Obviously, hibernation plays a key role in prolonging your laptop's battery power. And unlike when you put your laptop in Stand By mode, you can leave your laptop in a hibernated state for as long as you want. Even if the batteries eventually drain, the system returns to where you left it after the computer is plugged in and started again.

Hibernation mode requires hard drive space. So you should be aware that when hard drive space runs low, it's possible that Hibernation mode won't work.

Turning on Hibernation mode in Windows XP

In Windows XP, you have to activate Hibernation mode before you can use it. Follow these steps to activate Hibernation:

1. Click the Start button.

2. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.

3. Open the Power Options icon in the Control Panel.

4. In the Power Options Properties dialog box, look for and click on the Hibernation tab.

If you don't see a Hibernation tab, there's your answer: The laptop isn't capable of hibernating. Oh, well.

You might want to check the laptop's Setup program to see whether you can activate Hibernation there.

5. Select the Enable Hibernation option by clicking the check box to place a check mark in the box.

6. Review other options, if they're available.

7. Click OK to confirm the changes and close the Power Options Properties dialog box.

Optionally, close the Control Panel window, as well.

Some laptops may require you to restart Windows for this change to take effect.

Hibernating in Windows XP

Follow these steps to hibernate your laptop in Windows XP:

1. Save your work.

Do this as a precaution; you should always save your stuff. Even so, you don't need to quit any applications now.

2. Click the Start button.

The Start menu appears.

3. Click the Turn Off Computer button.

The Turn Off Computer box-thing appears.

4. Press the Shift key.

The caption beneath the Stand By button changes to read "Hibernate." Keep that Shift key down when you perform Step 5!

If the caption doesn't change, your laptop lacks the Hibernation feature (or you haven't enabled it).

5. Click the Hibernate button.

The laptop hums for a few moments, and then it hibernates and turns itself off.

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Comments 27 comments

shreyas the fact profile image

shreyas the fact 8 years ago from india

really helpful tip thanx

starcatchinfo profile image

starcatchinfo 8 years ago

thanks for the tip.

push 8 years ago

Thanks for info.

ezybuc 8 years ago from Hyderabad

i didn't knew what about hibernative made. thanks for the info..

ezybuc 8 years ago from Hyderabad

i didn't knew what about hibernative made. thanks for the info..

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 8 years ago from California

I am a Mac user. I don't know if Mac has this hibernative mode but I am going to find out. Thanks for the info.

And thanks for being my fan. I'll come back to read more of your hubs.

radin 7 years ago

i didnt know I can do it form TURN OFF COMPUTER button !!! i used to do it through windows task messenger, sht down button !! this is easier !! thank :)

Amanda 7 years ago

I can't get it out of hibernate mode. I tried clicking the keys and I pressed the on/off button but it isn't budging. help!

Roger 7 years ago

How can i dehibernate my laptop?

Yeshma 7 years ago

My laptop does not have the option to enable hibernation. Wah should be done?

Thank you.

Ehtisham Farid 7 years ago

it's realy work. i save my laptop battery.

kerrykerry24 6 years ago

i need help computer wont switch on after using hibernation

sumangala 6 years ago

thanks for info.i didnt kno abt it.and ws searching for wht it is exactly.


save my system profile image

save my system 6 years ago from United Kingdom - London

All the tips you mention are really working. Hibernate is great option to save much power. I didn’t know about settings to perform on laptop. It actually helps.

jane 6 years ago

my laptop has hibernate option before, then all of the sudden the hibernate option doesn't appear anymore with the shutdown and restart buttons. what to do?

pam 6 years ago

Been using hibernate for quite a while now. I usually remove my laptop's battery. When I'm done working, I don't shut down the laptop. I just unplug it (without battery). When I want to continue working, I plug it and turn on the power and continue from where I left off. Really a neat trick.

Jen 6 years ago

Can you put your computer in a mode where it doesnt shut down after not useing for a certain amount of time?

winterheart 5 years ago

Thanks for the info! :)

Sanjay 5 years ago



Karamath 5 years ago

Really Nice Tips,

Thanks for the same.

Jess 5 years ago

It was indicated in some comments that when a lap top is in hibernation mode it will start automatically when the lap top is moved or disturbed.Is it not destructive for the lap when it restarts while it is inside the backpack and the owner is traveling...with all does movements and shocks to the unit?

thank you

mohseena 5 years ago

yaa its a very good option ! and i have this option in my lappy , and m so glad !

ainee 5 years ago

t'was really helpful ^_^

anwar 5 years ago

thank you, very helpful

Cody 5 years ago

Mine hybernated once by itself when i ran out of power, it's actually a really good feature! thanks for the info!

RAJI 5 years ago


RAJI 5 years ago


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