If you're browsing your computer for large files, you almost certainly stumbled upon something hiberfil.sys. This Windows file is responsible for handling the computer hibernation. What is hibernation for anyway? Do you need this file or should you delete hiberfil.sys to save space?
We'll answer these questions and more as we examine hiberfil.sys in Windows 10.
What is hibernation?
Hibernation is one of several power options in Windows 10. Shutting down will of course completely shut down Windows and make it safe to disconnect. Sleep and hibernation are the other two important options.
Sleep mode Saves your current session in RAM and puts Windows into a power saving mode. When you're ready to move on, you'll be back in action almost immediately, right where you left off. This mode is best when you are taking a short break from using your PC.
Hibernation goes one step further. Instead of saving your session in RAM (which is lost when the battery runs out or the computer is not connected), hibernation temporarily saves it to your hard drive and then shuts down. In sleep mode, you can unplug your desktop for a week, plug it back in, and then pick up right where you left off.
Hibernation is a good choice when you won't be using your computer for an extended period of time, or when you need to save your session without worrying about draining your computer's battery. This is also a great option for laptops as it allows you to save your status while also ensuring that your computer doesn't accidentally wake up in your backpack.
Don't have an option to hibernate in Windows 10?
If you don't see that Overwinter If you click the power icon from the Start menu, you can make a quick change to turn it back on.
To do this, open the settings and navigate to System> Power & Sleep. Under Related settings Right click Additional energy settings to open Energy options Control Panel menu.
Here in the left sidebar you will see a link that says Choose what the power buttons do— click on it.
In the menu that appears, click Change settings that are currently unavailable Text above so you can make changes. Then check that out Overwinter Field to activate it in the power menu.
You can turn off other options here if you'd like, but it's usually not required. The exception is quick start, which can lead to slow start times and other problems.
What is Hiberfil.sys in Windows 10?
Windows uses the hiberfil.sys File for saving your idle session. Of course, all of the programs and files that you opened when you went to sleep must go somewhere.
Depending on how much RAM you have, this file can take up 10GB or more. If you never use hibernation, you can turn the feature off and reclaim that space.
How to delete Hiberfil.sys in Windows 10
However, deleting the file itself won't work as Windows just recreates it. Instead, you can turn off hibernation by running a command in the command prompt:
- Right click on the Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Enter the following command to turn off hibernation:
Once you do, Windows will delete that hiberfil.sys File and you will not see Overwinter as an option in the power menu no longer.
If you want to turn it back on later, just open another Admin Command Prompt window and run the command to turn it back on:
powercfg -h a
If you are not sure that everything was working correctly, you can verify that the hibernation file no longer exists by looking for your file in the root directory C: Journey. C: hiberfil.sys is its location.
However, you will need to change some folder settings before you can see them. Open a file explorer window and select the view Tab, then the Options Button. Switch to view In the window that appears, click the tab to select two options:
- Show hidden files, folders and drives: Activate this.
- Hide protected operating system files (recommended): Make sure this check box is not selected.
Should you turn off hibernation?
While removing hiberfil.sys is easy enough, whether you should or not is another question.
Really the only reason to disable and wipe hibernation hiberfil.sys is to save storage space. If you have a small SSD with only a few gigabytes free, disabling hibernation makes sense if you never use it. However, you can also try other methods to free up space in Windows before exiting hibernation.
For larger drives (500 GB or more), 1 to 5 percent of the space is not used as much for a useful function.
Unless you leave your PC on all the time, you should try hibernating to see if it is working for you before disabling it. When you use hibernation, you don't have to close all programs and shut them down at the end of the day if you want to open the same apps the next morning.
Hibernation does not consume any additional power and your PC starts up faster than if you had shut it down. However, you should know that if you turn off hibernation, neither the quick start nor hybrid hibernation features will work.
As mentioned above, Fast Startup is designed to help your computer start up faster by loading some Windows components before it starts. It will save you a few seconds, but it has also been known to cause problems. And Hybrid Sleep is supposed to help your computer load faster when you wake up, but it's not a big change either.
To sleep or not
Now that you know all there is to know about Windows Hibernation, how to turn it off, and if it is a good idea. For most people, we recommend trying hibernation and see if it saves you time. If you end up never using it and need some extra storage, turn it off — Fast Startup doesn't offer much of a benefit anyway.
While it is safe to remove the hibernation file as described above, there are other standard Windows files that you should never touch.
Credit: bilhagolan / Depositphotos
6 Standard Windows Files and Folders That You Should Never Touch
Here are some Windows files and folders that you should always leave alone to avoid damaging your system.
About the author
(1551 articles published)
Ben is the Assistant Editor and Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. For over six years he has been a professional writer reporting on technical tutorials, video game recommendations and more.
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