Differences between suspending, shutting down or hibernating a PC

Differences between Shutdown, Sleep and Hibernate in Windows

If you have a PC with Windows, you have probably seen that you can choose between several ways to stop being in functioning: letting it hibernate, shutting it down completely, or suspending it. In this article you will discover the difference between them and which option is best for you according to your objective.

Windows Shutdown mode is the most common and well-known alternative to completely turn off the computer. With it, the operating system safely closes all open applications and documents and turns off the device completely.

Difference between Hibernate or Suspend a Windows computer

If you don’t want to turn off your computer completely, you have two other options: suspend or hibernate, as you will see below.

What does it mean to suspend a Windows computer

The suspend option or sleep mode is a mode that allows your computer to “rest” without having to shut down completely.

The main advantage of this function is that power consumption is reduced, but the RAM memory remains active. Thanks to this, if you had programs or documents open before activating this mode, when you turn on the device you will be able to resume your tasks without having lost anything.

It is a very optimal option for when you are going to take a break for a short period of time.

How to activate Hibernate mode in Windows

The Hibernate option is a “hybrid” between the previous two. With this function, your computer saves everything you have open and the processes that are running in a specific part of your hard drive. After, turns off completely and save energy. However, turning it back on can recover everything that was open.

Differences between Shutdown, Hibernate and Sleep in Windows

It is possible that the Hibernate button does not appear in your computer’s shutdown options menu. And since Windows 8, it is disabled by default. If you have Windows 11 installed, it is very easy to activate it:

-Access the Windows Control Panel. The easiest thing is to open the start menu and type “control panel”.

-Once inside, click on the name System and security.

-Then, click on Change the options of the start/stop buttons (it appears next to a green battery).

-Now, click on Change currently unavailable settings. By clicking on it you can make the changes you want.

-Scroll down and from the Shutdown Settings menu, select Hibernate. Click Save changes to finish. This way, when you click on the shutdown options that Windows offers you, it will also appear.

If you want to remove it from the menu, you only need to repeat the process again and deselect the option.

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