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.