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What is the difference between suspend and hibernate in Windows?

Or why you do not need to turn off your computer almost never . Nobody likes a slow PC, and the truth is that when we first start the system after a shutdown, it usually takes longer to start, as opposed to when we return from a state of suspension, where everything continues exactly as we leave it and the start is almost immediate.

The truth is that both the hibernation mode and the suspension of the computer in Windows and other operating systems is much more convenient and practical than turning the machine on or off every time we use it and stop using it. It is simply not necessary and we will explain why.

Both the suspension and the hibernation have the same purpose: to conserve the current state of the system and to save energy . You would believe that nothing can conserve as much energy as the shutdown, but you would be wrong.

Hibernate versus Suspend

When we suspend the computer, the computer automatically enters a mode of minimum power consumption, only the one it needs to keep the RAM memory turned on. In this RAM memory the current state of the system is stored , so that when you return you will find all the windows and applications that you had open as they were. If you have a laptop with good battery, it can last up to more than a day like this without running out of juice.

When we use the hibernation mode almost the same thing happens, the difference is that instead of storing the current state of the computer in RAM, it is stored on your hard disk or in solid storage. This means that the energy consumption will be zero. A computer that is hibernating, is basically off, does not consume power because it does not need to keep any component on.

Suspending the team is like a deep dream, while hibernating is more like cryogenization.

What hibernation mode does consume is disk space. The Windows hibernation file can occupy a few gigas of space , and besides this, when you wake up a computer from hibernation the process is usually a bit slower than when you wake up from a suspension, although this also depends on the speed of your disk

Reactivate hibernation mode in Windows 10

For some reason Microsoft decided that in Windows 10 the hibernation mode does not need to appear in the system shutdown menu. When we right click on the start button and choose Shut Down or Close Session , we can see only four options, and Hibernate is not one of them. The mode still exists, but to be able to use it you have to activate it manually.

Press the Windows key, type Control Panel and press Enter. Once inside the options, click on System and security , then select Energy options and in the left menu click on Choose the behavior of the start / stop buttons .

Now click on the option that appears at the beginning of the window: Change the configuration not currently available . This will cause the Hibernate option to appear in the Shutdown Configuration .

Check the Show box in the Start / Stop menu and then press Save Changes to finish. Now you just have to right click on the start button again and you will see that the Hibernate option appears next to Suspend, Close session and others.

From that same configuration panel you can decide if you want your computer to turn off, enter hibernation or suspend when you press the power off buttons or close the lid of a laptop .

Which is better?

Well this will depend on your needs. Suspend is what most computers do automatically when they stop being used for a long time, or laptops when we close the lid. This preserves the state so that we only have to press a button when waking or simply lift the lid, but it will continue to consume energy no matter how minimal.

If you have a laptop to which the battery does not yield much, hibernating is definitely your option. But if you have very little storage space, you may prefer to opt for the suspension , because the hibernation file can take up a lot. In fact it was one of the things we recommend to delete to recover some space in Windows 10 if you have little .

If you suffer from both deficiencies, or are paranoid about the electricity bill in your home, do not mind having to wait a slower start and having to open everything again every time you sit at the computer, turn it off and live as in 1998.


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