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We will periodically publish an article that contains helpful information for you and your computer. All articles will be explained in the simplest terminology possible. For more information or if you would like to suggest a topic please contact us.

Hibernate Your Computer

Think of hibernating your PC as telling it to pause everything that it is doing and go to sleep. When you tell it to wake up, the computer resumes the state it was in. All of your programs are still open, any open documents are available, and even things you placed on the clipboard are intact.

Hibernating takes far less time to complete than a normal startup or shutdown. Unlike the standby feature in Windows, hibernate does not use your laptop battery while it is shut down.

Here is a perfect example of when hibernating is handy: you are sitting in the airport. You are writing a letter on your laptop when they announce your plane is ready to board. Normally you would save your document, close the word processor, then wait for Windows to shut down.

When you are ready to resume working on your letter, you would start up your laptop and Windows, wait for everything to load, open your word processor and then open your document.

Now let’s look at the same scenario with hibernate: when you hear the announcement that your plane is ready, you simply choose ‘Hibernate’ within Windows. In a few seconds your laptop is ready to close and put in your bag.

When you are ready to resume working on your letter, you simply open your laptop and press the power button. In a few seconds your laptop is right back at your letter exactly as you left it.

To enable your computer for hibernation (or verify it is done), follow these steps:

1. Click on Start, then Settings, then Control Panel. (Depending on how your computer is setup, the order may be: Start, then Control Panel.)

2. (This step may not be required). Do you see “Switch to classic view” on the left? If so, click it.

3. Double click on the “Power Options” button on the right.

4. A new window will open. On this window, click the tab along the top called ‘Hibernate’.

5. The first option with a checkbox is called “Enable hibernation”. Make sure this item has a check next to it. If it does not, click within the box to add a check.

6. Click “OK”.

7. Close the Control Panel.

You’re ready to go. To hibernate your computer, follow your normal procedure to shutdown the computer. However, when you get to the “What do you want the computer to do?” screen, choose “Hibernate”.

Example: Click on Start, then Shut Down. Depending on how your computer is setup, either click the “Hibernate” button or change the drop down box to say “Hibernate” then press OK.

You will see a progress bar as your computer hibernates. To bring it back, simply press the power button.

Go ahead and give it a try. Once you see how fast hibernate works, you will use it all the time!

Remember that as long as your computer is hibernated, anything that is scheduled to run (such as antivirus updates or disk defrags) will not run.

If you hibernate your PC often or overnight, remember to manually perform your important updates. See our Windows Updates article for more information.

Although you can hibernate while most programs are running, we do not recommend hibernating while you have network applications open. A network application is an application that is concurrently used by more than one person in the house or company.

If you are on a company network, check with the person in charge to make sure hibernating is okay with your environment. They make have certain tasks scheduled during the night that will not run if your computer is hibernating.

On most laptops you can change the behavior of your power button. We usually recommend you change your power button to perform a hibernate. This way when you are ready to hibernate, all you have to do is press the power button.

To enable this feature:

1. Follow steps 1, 2 and 3 above to get to the “Power Options” window.

2. Click the tab along the top called “Advanced”.

3. Look for the option “When I press the power button on my computer:”. Change this to Hibernate.

4. (Optional step) You can also change the “When I close the lid of my computer” to a preference of your choice. We prefer to have the laptop “Do Nothing” when we close the lid. This way if we need to move our laptop or want some privacy we can close the lid without the computer doing anything.

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