Should You Shutdown, Hibernate or Sleep Your Laptop?


Do we need to turn off the laptop once we have done working on it or this is fine if we do not shut it down? A laptop / desktop user must know which best option is and what harms the machine? System user is given with three main options including Sleep, Shut Down and Hibernate. Each has its own functions and purpose which needs proper understanding in order to use them effectively.

There has always been debate going on for deciding which option is best and till date mostly people even do not exactly know about how they differentiate. Each option uses in specific scenario and having own efficiency.


It was also known as “Standby” in the time of Windows 95 and 98. Once computer is in sleep mode, it enters a low-power state. Only the RAM gets continuous power supply and other components get disconnected. Only RAM is working in the Sleep mode and helps in saving the work which was opened at that time before switching to sleep mode, RAM also enables resume the work from where user left. Sleep mode consumes more power comparing to Shut Down and Hibernate option. Furthermore, since RAM is a temporary memory saving the last work until any power cut event occurs and all data can be lost in Sleep mode. You are recommended saving data first and then switch to sleep mode.

  Shut Down

Most of our readers will be conversant with the technicality of Shut down which sends the machine into power-off state. On the Shut-down of machine, RAM memory gets cleared and nothing remains saved which was holding by temporary memory. Once the computer is shut down, it is using almost no power. You have to turn-on the machine from the start and going through the complete boot-up process and re-load everything.


Hibernate is an option in between the state of sleep and shut down. In the hibernate mode, all the existing files and data used to be saved by RAM is actually saved to the hard drive means all contents were holding by RAM. Once you resume the operations, the work will be reloaded from the hard drive and can continue the work from where it was left. Hibernate mode uses less power comparing to sleep mode but takes more time in resuming the all work.

When should Sleep, Shut Down or Hibernate

The choice is depending upon the situation which makes you taking a break from work. For Instance, you take multiple breaks in a day which means sleep and hibernate are the two best options. In case, you are using machine only once for few hours then always shut down the system.