What’s the Difference Between Sleep and Hibernate Mode?
When your computer is not in use, Windows has different options to help you conserve power, whilst allowing you to pick your work up again quickly later. Of course, it is always possible to simply power down your computer, but when that isn’t ideal, sleep mode and hibernate mode are there to save you.
Sleep mode is also known as “standby mode”, and is best used if you only wish to stop working for a short period of time. Not much power is used by the computer in sleep mode, and all actions on the computer are put into memory, once you return to your computer you may resume work within a few short seconds.
Hibernate mode, however, is better for saving power over a longer period of time. When hibernate mode is activated, the computer is effectively off and uses no power at all. What differentiates hibernate mode from simply powering a computer down, is that in hibernate mode, all your open programs and documents are automatically saved to your hard disk. Once the computer is powered up again, everything will resume from where it was left.
There is a third option meant for use with desktop computers, which is a cross between hibernate and sleep mode. Hybrid Sleep mode saves any open programs or documents into both your memory and your hard disk. The computer is then put into a low-power mode and can quickly be reopened to resume work. Hybrid sleep is very helpful if a power cut occurs, since data is saved into two locations at once.