Activate Hibernation on Windows PCs - dummies

By Dan Gookin

Can’t find the Hibernation feature on your PC? Well, here’s how to troubleshoot that. The Hibernation feature must be activated in Windows before you can use it and, obviously, before it shows up on any Shutdown menu.

When hybrid sleep is active in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the Hibernation command doesn’t appear on the Shutdown menu.

Activate Hibernation in Windows 7 or Vista

To quickly activate hibernation in Windows 7 or Window Vista, follow these technical but efficient steps:

  1. Pop up the Start menu.

  2. Choose All Programs→Accessories.

  3. Right-click the Command Prompt item.

  4. Choose Run As Administrator.

  5. Deal with the User Account warning: Click the Yes button or the Continue button, or type the administrator’s password.

    The Administrator Command Prompt window appears — in all its ugly Text mode glory.

  6. At the command prompt, type powercfg -h on and press Enter.

    That’s powercfg, a space, a hyphen, the letter h, a space, and then on.

    There’s no feedback for the command.

  7. Type exit (and press Enter) to close the Administrator Command Prompt window.

To deactivate hibernation, repeat these steps but substitute the word off for on in Step 6.

Activate Hibernation in Windows XP

To activate hibernation in Windows XP, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel’s Power Options icon.

  2. Click the Hibernate tab.

  3. Place a check mark by the option Enable Hibernation.

  4. Click OK and close the Control Panel window.

After hibernation is active, the next step toward using it is to find the option: In Windows XP, the Hibernation command hides itself behind the Stand By option in the Turn Off Computer window. When you hold down the Shift key, the Stand By option changes to Hibernate. Click the Hibernate button to hibernate the PC.

The Disk Cleanup tool can render hibernation inoperable. When using Disk Cleanup, be sure not to remove any hibernation files, such as the Hibernation File Cleaner.