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Hibernation, Sleep and Power Save Modes

There are multiple modes when it comes to the way your computer runs. This is a quick guide to help you understand the uses and advantages to each one.


Power Save Mode

This is a feature of your computer or electronic device designed to actively reduce its power consumption when not in use. Almost any electronic device might benefit from having a power save mode, but the most common is for portable computers and devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

How to turn it on and off.

  1. First go to Start>Control Panel.
     Control Panel
  2. Select "Hardware and Sound" and then access the Power Options.
    > If you have the Iconic view instead of Category view, just directly select "Power Options" 
     Power Options
  3. Select the desired power plan from the list available.

        Select Power Option


Sleep and Hibernation Modes

Sleep Mode and Hibernation Mode are both modes that are available to place your computer into when you step away for either a short or long period of time. The difference between each is that Hibernate is a shutdown version for long periods of time whereas Sleep Mode is for briefer times. Why? Read on.

Hibernate Mode:

When you place your computer into Hibernate mode, it takes a snapshot of everything you have on your RAM("random access memory," which is any currently running programs and even your Winows Operating System) and saves it to a "special" hard disk file and then shuts the computer down. This makes it boot up a bit faster than normal power boot up, but it does not consume any power when the computer is off. You want to use this method when you are not going to use the computer for a few hours or more.

Sleep Mode:

When sleeping, your computer is pretty much shut down except for some necessary components like RAM. This makes it so the next time you resume, the computer boot up will be practically instant, but this method consumes battery power. You want to use this feature when you are just stepping out for a few minutes or an hour - for example at lunchtime or in between classes.



If you are having difficulties with your computer seeming to not be on, but the power button is on, you have probably entered hibernation or sleep mode. To fix this, just any key, move the mouse, or press the power button on the computer for a brief time to have your computer resume.


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