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How To Manage Hibernate Mode in Windows 7

If you don’t use the Hibernate option in Windows 7, you can save some disk space by disabling it. Here we will look at a few different ways to manage hibernate options in Windows 7.

Note: Hibernate mode is not an option on systems with 4GB of RAM or more.

Enable or Disable Hibernate Through Command Prompt

Using the Command Prompt might be the easiest way to enable or disable Hibernation. Click on Start and type CMD into the search box and it will be listed under programs. Right-click on the icon and select Run as administrator.

6hi

The Command Prompt opens and you will use the following to enable Hibernation.

powercfg /hibernate on

7hi

Type in the following to disable hibernation.

powercfg /hibernate off

7hi

Manage Hibernation Through Control Panel

Click on Start and open Control Panel then click on Power Options.

1hi

On the left side click on Change when the computer sleeps.

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Now click on Change advanced power settings.

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In the Advanced Power Options window expand the Sleep tree then expand Hibernate after and change the minutes to zero to turn it off. Or you can specify the amount of minutes you want to pass before it goes into hibernation. After you’ve made your selection click Apply and Ok then close out of the remaining screens.

8hi

Where is Hibernate?

What if you try the command line option to turn it on and Hibernate mode still isn’t available? Then what you’ll want to do is disable Hybrid Sleep by expanding Allow hybrid sleep and turning it Off.

10hi

Now you should have Hibernate and Sleep as part of the power options in the start menu and will also be an option when you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del.

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Disable Hibernate Through Regedit

Note: Changing registry values can cause your computer to become unstable or stop functioning and is only recommended for experienced users. 

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way…you might want to completely disable Hibernate mode through a registry edit. Open the Registry and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Power and change both HiberFileSizePercent and HibernateEnabled value data to zero. After you’ve made the changes close out of the Registry Editor and restart the machine.

sshot-2009-12-11-[19-45-39]

If you always turn off your computer or never do, you can disable the Hibernate mode to gain a bit of extra hard disk space. On our Windows 7 (32-bit) machine with a 300GB hard drive, disabling Hibernation gained us just over 3GB of more disk space. That may not seem like much especially with today’s high capacity drives, but if you don’t need Hibernation, why not reclaim that space?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/15/09

Comments (14)

  1. lesle

    My experience with Windows XP: The Hiberfile.sys file is NOT automatically deleted when you turn Hibernate off.

    if you choose NOT to use Hibernate, you should ALSO DELETE Hiberfil.sys from your hard drive; otherwise it will continue to take up space on your hard drive. Hiberfil.sys is usually on C:\.

    And if you backup your files, you should also delete it from your backup storage medium; otherwise it will continue to take up space on your backup storage medium.

    Pagefile is similar: I use a 3 GB partition/volume for a page file (I use P:\). Changing the page file from C: to P: does not delete the C:\pagefile. You can also delete the C:\pagefile, and any backup of it.

    Microsoft literature somewhere says that the OS can, if and as needed, make a pagefile on C:\. This has not happened to me.

  2. Siddanth

    I fixed my Vista ultimate with the powercfg method will try this on Win 7 ultimate..thanks

  3. Cobra

    I installed Win7 on a small HD for now and needed to do some clean up the hibernate off command worked great got back 800mb… Your tips and tricks are the best.. Thanks

  4. Don

    This comment appears at the top of this page. It is not correct.

    “Note: Hibernate mode is not an option on systems with 4GB of RAM or more.”
    I run an HP desktop with 6G RAM and mine didn’t work at first either until I found the answer on the Microsoft support web site. I have done a cut-n-paste below.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    This worked for me.

    1. Open Command Prompt with Administrator rights. To open Command Prompt, type CMD in Start menu and then hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Command Prompt with Admin rights.

    2. Next, type the below command and hit enter:

    powercfg /hibernate on

    3. Type exit and hit enter to close the Command Prompt.

    4. If you can’t see the Hibernate option in Start menu then do the following tasks:

    A. Type Power Options in Start menu and hit enter.

    B. In the left pane, open the link labeled “Change when the computer sleeps” and then open the link “Change advanced power settings”.

    C. Under the Advanced Sleep option, expand the Sleep tree and turn off Hybrid Sleep.

    D. Now go back to Start menu to see the new Hibernate entry.

  5. Debra

    I’m running into a different problem–I have turned hibernate/sleep/hybrid sleep off in every possible way that I can find, even using powercfg /hibernate off but the end user is still logged off every 5 minutes or so. I have the pc set to not require ctrl/alt/del at wakeup but that still comes up also. Is there a registry fix for this?

  6. IAmARobot.Beep

    @Debra: Have you checked your screensaver settings? There are 2 settings of interest here:

    - Wait [5] minutes (5 is the default)
    - On resume, display logon screen

    These 2 settings seem to match the description of your problem.

  7. Kthr

    Funny, I have a 4gb ram system, and I always had the option to put my computer to hibernate.

  8. wompus27

    I had to enable hibernation on my Windows 7 desktop with 6 GB. of RAM so it goes into sleep after 15 minutes then hibernate after 1 hour, it works.

  9. wompus27

    Microsoft informed that in certain scenarios, Windows 7 computers going into hibernation could present a stop error to the end user. In order to prevent this from happening, Windows 7 users that take advantage of the System Power State S4 option will need to adapt the hibernation file to the memory content loaded on the system. “When going into hibernate on a Windows 7-based computer, you may encounter the following error message: “STOP 0x000000A0 INTERNAL_POWER_ERROR (0x0000000B, 0x????????, 0x????????, 0x????????)”,” Microsoft informed.

    The Redmond-based company explained that the stop error is generated by the incongruity between the size of the hibernation file and the system memory contents loaded. In this regard, the software giant advises affected customers to boost the size of the hibernation file.

    “To increase the size of the hibernation file using the PowerCfg.exe utility, follow the steps below: 1. Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Accessories. 2. Right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. 3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press ENTER: powercfg /hibernate /size 100,” Microsoft revealed.

    System Power State S4, more commonly referred to as the hibernate state, is designed to offer end users a low-powered sleeping state for their machines. The main disadvantage is the fact that this state comes with the longest wake-up latency, however, it does permit the computer to use almost no power at all.

    “Operating system context, however, is maintained in a hibernate file (an image of memory) that the system writes to disk before entering the S4 state. Upon restart, the loader reads this file and jumps to the system’s previous, prehibernation location,” the company noted.

  10. the man

    This is sad . . . . i went to microsoft support and their fix didn’t work for me. but then i come here, and your solution actually fixed the problem. they could learn a thing from your support. thanks!

  11. mrhazey

    I enabled Win 7 hibernate mode, but whenever I set my pc to hibernate, it turns back on automatically after a few seconds. I looked in BIOS but didn’t see any settings I could change to fix that. Any tips?

  12. TomR

    On my Dell PC the sleep and hibernate buttons grayed out and will not reset. I have tried all the fixes. When I run the cmd.exe it says There are one or more Legacy Drivers installed: VgaSave An internal system component has disabled hibernation. Any suggestions?

  13. Stralopple

    You’re a legend, thanks! Worked perfectly!

  14. meho3

    Thanks for the help with removing hibernate – I’m running a desktop and frankly, I was surprised to discover hibernate (or rather, hiberfil.sys) when I was cleaning up after a new reinstall. I have my OS (Windows 7 Ultimate) on its own separate SSD and wanted to be sure I kept it clean – with 24GB of RAM the hiberfil.sys was 18GB!

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