Sleep vs. Hibernate vs. Hybrid Sleep vs. Shutdown in Windows

What’s the difference between Sleep, Hibernate, Hybrid Sleep and Shutdown power options in Windows 10? In what condition should I use each of these power options?

pause computer sleep hibernate

See also: How to Set Shutdown Timer in Windows 11

Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is a state where your ongoing works and open documents are saved in your computer’s RAM. RAM requires power to stay active and hold memories. That is why sleep mode requires your PC to have continuous power supply although it uses a very tiny amount of power. When you wake your computer, your works and open documents will be restored and resumed exactly the way they were from the RAM.

Due to it relying on continuous power supply despite needing just a bit of power, sleep mode is only useful when you want to take a short break from your work or entertainment. The speed of waking your computer from sleep mode is always faster than that from hibernation mode.

hybrid sleep hibernate shutdown windows 10


Hibernate mode is a state where your works and open documents are saved in your hard disk instead of RAM. Hard disk saves data without the need of continuous power supply. Thus, hibernation mode doesn’t need your computer to stays on. You can cut the power off while your PC is in Hibernate mode. When you wake your PC from hibernation mode, it will resume your works from your HDD (If you have a SSD, it will resume slightly faster than a normal HDD).

Hibernation mode is useful when you want to walk away from your computer for a really long time. If you are using a laptop, it’s always better to use hibernate because it doesn’t consume any battery power.

Hibernate mode is disabled by default on desktop PC. Read here to learn how to enable hibernate mode in Windows 10.

Hybrid Sleep

Hybrid sleep is a mix of both Sleep and Hibernate modes. It saves your ongoing works and open docs to both your RAM and HDD. It still requires your computer to have continuous power supply throughout the sleep state. However, if a power outage occurs and your RAM loses its data, your computer will still be able to restore your works from the HDD. Hybrid Sleep mode is like a more secured pause mode with a backup plan. You can safely sleep your computer without worrying if your computer will encounter power outage.

Hybrid sleep mode is enabled by default. Hybrid sleep is also the reason why hibernate mode is disabled by default on desktop PCs. It is, in every way, better than hibernate. Hybrid sleep is the way to go no matter how long you going to be away from your computer.

Follow the steps below if you want to configure settings for Hybrid Sleep mode.

  1. Go to Start menu and type “Control Panel”. Select it.
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click on Power Options.
  4. Beside the currently selected power plan, click on Change plan settings.
  5. Then, click on Change advanced power settings.
  6. Scroll down and expand Sleep.
  7. Under Allow Hybrid Sleep setting, you can set it to either on or off.allow hybrid sleep power option


Power’s off. Nothing is saved. The next time you boot your PC, you have to start fresh, thus the name Shutdown.

If you have more questions about any power options in Windows 10, or if you are currently having problems with these power options, drop us a comment below and we will try to help.

Description for sharing: What are the differences between Hibernate, Hybrid Sleep, Sleep and Shutdown in Windows 10? Should I Hibernate my laptop or desktop PC instead of Sleep? Which option should I use?

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on
Categories: Windows 10