Why Is Windows Hibernating Instead of Fully Shutting Down?

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Windows’ hibernation setting can be a very useful “feature” when you need to quickly start your computer, but there are times when you want or need to completely shut down your operating system every time instead of just occasionally. With that in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post has a quick and easy solution to a frustrated reader’s problem.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader Little Alien wants to know why Windows is hibernating instead of fully shutting down:

I just finished shutting Windows down and rebooted into Linux. When I try to access the Windows partition, it says that Linux cannot mount it because Windows is hibernating. This means that Windows 10 only hibernates instead of fully shutting down. How do I fix it so that Windows 10 actually shuts down all the way?

Why is Windows hibernating instead of fully shutting down?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor LPChip has the answer for us:

This is expected behavior. Windows 8 came with a new form of shutdown process that is also present in Windows 10, which closes all programs and then hibernates the computer so that the next time you start Windows, it will start much faster.

This is also the same reason why it takes much longer to reboot your computer than to power off and power on. Here is how to disable Windows Hybrid Shutdown feature (also known as Fast Startup):

  1. Right click the Windows start menu button and choose Power Options.
  2. Click on Choose What the Power Button Does.
  3. If there is a Windows UAC shield at the top with Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable, click it and choose Yes or enter your password to reopen the dialog with administrative privileges.
  4. At the bottom below Shutdown Settings, it will say Turn on Fast Startup (recommended). Deselect the option and press Save Changes.

Now when you shut Windows down, it will shut down normally and not go into hibernation.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Image Credit: Long Zheng/Flickr

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .