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What is the Difference between Sleep and Hibernate?

Jun 13, 2016

Sleep puts your computer into a very low-power mode, and saves its current state in its RAM. Your computer continues drawing a small amount of power to keep that RAM powered on. When you turn on your computer, it can immediately resume from where it left off in just a second or two.

Hibernate, on the other hand, saves your computer’s state to the hard drive, and shuts down completely. Your computer won’t draw any additional power, like it does with sleep. When you turn your computer back on, it will load the data from the disk into RAM and resume from where it left off. You’ll go right back to where you were with all your programs and documents open. It’ll take a bit longer to resume, but it won’t take as long as booting up if you had shut down your computer. How long it takes depends on the speed of your hard drive–if you have a speedy solid-state drive, it should be pretty quick. In other words, Hibernate is literally the same as shutting down your computer–only with all your work saved exactly as you left it.