How-To Geek

How to Re-Enable Hibernation in Windows 8 and 10

If you’re a fan of hibernating your computer, you’ve likely noticed that neither Windows 8 or Windows 10 offer hibernate as a default power menu option. Don’t worry, it’s really simple to bring the hibernate option back.

Readers unfamiliar with hibernation mode may be curious why so many people miss the feature and want it back. While we’ve written about it in detail before, a short summary is in order.

You’re probably familiar with sleep mode, which puts your computer into a low-power state that keeps the computer’s state in memory, allows you to start it back up very quickly.

Hibernation, as the name implies, is like the deep version of sleep mode. Instead of keeping the computer’s state in memory, though, hibernation mode writes the computer’s state to the hard drive. This allows it to turn off completely, using even less power than sleep mode. Back in the day, this was a bit of a performance hit–it would take longer to start your computer up and resume working. But with modern and speedy solid-state drives going into and out of hibernation is almost as snappy as sleep mode, so there are very few downsides.

Shutting down entirely means your laptop won’t run out of juice if you leave it asleep in your bag, which is great. (Or, if you put your computer in hibernation and lose power for a few days, you’ll still be able to resume working later.)

How to Enable Hibernation Mode

Sound useful? Who knows why the hibernation option is disabled by default in Windows 8 and 10, but thankfully, enabling it is easy.

In Windows 8, you can press Windows+I to pull up the “Settings” menu, then select “Control Panel” and then “Power Options”.

Windows 10 users also press Windows+I, but instead select “System”, then “Power and Sleep” from the left hand navigation panel, and finally “Additional power settings” at the bottom of the Power and Sleep menu.

It’s far more efficient in both versions of Windows, however, to simply press WIN+R to pull up the run dialog box, type “powercfg.cpl”, and press enter.

This command is direct shortcut to the “Power Options” menu. From here onward, the steps are absolutely identical for both operating systems.

Select “Choose what the power buttons down” from the left hand navigation panel.

At the top of the window, click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable” to enable the options we need to toggle.

Scroll to the bottom of the window and check “Hibernate: Show in Power menu.” and then click “Save changes”.

Go ahead and close the Power Options control panel. The changes are effective immediately; no reboot required.

Now when you select the power options menu you’ll see the power configuration entry you crave: “Hibernate”. Give it a click and Windows will save the memory to your hard disk, shut down completely, and wait for you to return to exactly where you left off.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/20/16
  • Phil Larson

    Can't get this to work. I've been trying--"sleep" doesn't always work, and packing away my laptop when it awakens--still packed--really heats up my device.

    I'm prevented from changing. It says, "Some settings are managed by your system administrator." But I'm the owner of this device, lock, stock, and barrel. It's not a company or school machine.

    I tried to launch powercfg.cpl as an administrator, but that didn't seem to help.

    Any suggestions? I need to make this change.

  • Any way to do this in Win 7? For some reason this particular machine I have takes 2 full minutes to come out of sleep, but 10 seconds out of hibernation.

  • Why oh why, does Microsoft keep "shooting themselves in the foot" in what they claim are improvements in Windows-8 and Windows-10? Where is the former sanity in what used to prevail at Microsoft?

  • Jason Dagless

    The problem is Windows is built by probably 50+ different teams all working on their little bit. Personally I never use hibernation. Rather have that space back on my SSD.

  • Tom Amitai

    Anybody care to guess why my pc won't respond to a wake on lan packet when it's hibernated, but will when it's off? I'm using Win10 Home 64 bit build 10586.318.

  • John Nieurzyla

    Ok I got hibernate back up and running, but will APC backup's now recognise this and restart when brownouts are over?I have written many times to APC, but APC are not interested in answering me, they just want my details, and if I want to upgrade my equipment.

  • Whitson Gordon

    I'm prevented from changing. It says, "Some settings are managed by your system administrator." But I'm the owner of this device, lock, stock, and barrel. It's not a company or school machine.

    A lot of times this is due to people using a Windows 10 "privacy" app that mucks up the system, or something to that effect. We've written about it more here.

    Of course, that's just one possibility, so if you haven't edited the telemetry settings, I'm not sure what could be causing it. Perhaps there's a way to change it from the registry?

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!