Windows 8: How to Restore Hibernate Mode

Dennis Faas's picture

Here's one of several similar letters we've received recently at Infopackets:

"Dear Infopackets Team:

Thanks so much for your clear, concise information on Windows and related matters.

I'm starting to get the hang of using the new Windows 8 operating system. But I haven't found the secret of activating what we called the "Hibernate mode" in older versions of Windows.

Does it still exist? How do I work it?


Jeremy J."

My Answer:

Hibernate mode is a way of powering down a Windows computer while remembering its current state -- including what applications are running, what windows are open, and so forth. Later, you can power the computer back up and resume your work exactly where you left off.

It's a handy feature, and you can still make use of it in Windows 8. You just have to change the default setting so as to make the Hibernation option visible.

Sleep Versus Hibernate Explained

As you may know, there are some subtle differences between a Windows computer's Sleep mode and Hibernate mode. While both are useful choices, the one that's right for you depends on the circumstances when you make your choice.

Sleep mode uses a very small amount of power to retain your computer's current status, and will allow a system to boot back to full functionality in less time than Hibernate mode.

Hibernate mode requires a somewhat longer recovery time to return to full operating status, but it uses significantly less power.

The lack of power consumption is what makes hibernation a better choice if you expect to leave your computer "off" for a full day or longer. (Source:

Enabling Hibernate Mode in Windows 8

Your computer automatically goes into Sleep mode when you close the lid of your laptop, or when you leave any Windows computer idle for more than a few minutes. Putting your Windows computer system into Hibernate mode, however, involves executing a few simple steps.

To begin, you must access your computer system's power settings to make the Hibernate option visible. You can do this several ways.

One way is press the Windows key and the letter 'W' at the same time, to bring up the Settings Search menu. Then, type in the word 'Power.'

Next, click 'Change what the power buttons do,' and then select 'Change settings that are currently unavailable.'

You can now scroll down to the bottom of the screen to find the 'Shutdown Settings' section. Putting a tick mark in the box next to the 'Show Hibernate' option will enable this helpful feature.

Finally, click the Save Changes button to store the Hibernate mode on the computer's main page. (Source:

Now when you choose to power down your Windows 8 computer, you'll see the Hibernate option in the list of choices (in addition to Sleep, Restart, and Shut Down). Select it, and your computer will Hibernate nicely.

To bring your computer back to wakefulness, briefly touch the power button. On some computers, it's enough to touch any key or click any mouse button. If in doubt, check with your computer's manufacturer.

Few Familiar Features Could Spell No OS Commitment

Hibernate is one of several familiar Windows options that Microsoft has left out of Windows 8. Most notably, the absence of the traditional Start button has led to frustration and complaints from many Windows 8 users. (Source:

For some users, not seeing these common and familiar features in the new operating system may be enough for them to revert back to the more familiar Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

Fortunately, with a little time, effort, and know-how, it's possible to restore most of the "lost" features to the new Windows 8.

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