How to enable or disable Hibernate feature in Windows 7

Hibernation is a feature in Windows that enables you to turn off your computer and later on, resume all work and running programs to where you left off. Windows does this by safely saving all the content in memory (RAM) to the hard drive, in a file called hiberfil.sys.

Hibernation is a pretty useful feature, but one thing that you have to keep in mind is that when enabled, Windows will reserve the necessary space in the hard drive to save all the content in memory (RAM) to the file hiberfil.sys; so you should expect to have a hiberfil.sys file as large as the amount of physical RAM memory installed in your computer, that nowadays it could be about 2, 4, 8 or even more Gigabytes.

OK, now that you have a basic understanding of how hibernation works, let’s get to the actual procedures.

To enable Hibernate follow these steps:

1. Go to Start and type cmd in the search box.

2. From the result, right-click cmd and select Run as Administrator, and at the prompt window click Yes.

3. Now in the command prompt, you need to type the command line powercfg.exe /hibernate on, and press enter.

4. You are all done, to exit the command prompt, type exit and press enter.

CMD Hibernate ON

Now that Hibernate is enabled in Windows, you will notice the Hibernate option will be visible from the Shut down menu, and also you can now easily configure hibernation in the Power Options settings.

Windows 7 Power Options - Hibernate

Windows 7 Shutdown menu - Hibernate

To disable Hibernate follow these steps:

This is pretty much the same process as we did before.

1. Go to Start and type cmd in the search box.

2. From the result, right-click cmd and select Run as Administrator, and at the prompt window click Yes.

3. Now in the command prompt, you need to type the command line powercfg.exe /hibernate off, and press enter.

4. You are all done, to exit the command prompt, type exit and press enter.

CMD Hibernate OFF Windows 7

Windows 7 Power Options without Hibernate

Windows 7 Shutdown menu without Hibernate

If you enabled hibernation, but you only need to turn it OFF, follow these steps:

1.Go to Start , type Power Options and press enter.

2. Under the currently power plans, click Change plan settings and then click Change advanced power settings.

3. Or an easier way is to press Windows Key  + R to open Run and type control powercfg.cpl,,1 and click OK.

4. Then in the Power Options – Advanced Settings, expand Sleep and Hibernate after.

5. Change Setting (Minutes) to Never.

6. And under Allow hybrid sleep, change Setting to OFF.

7. To finish click Apply and then OK.

If you ever change your mind, you can always come back and click the Restore plan defaults, Apply and OK.

Windows 7 Power Options - Hibernate

And remember that hibernation cannot only help you to shut down the computer without losing any work and running programs and restart your computer faster, but it can also help you to save energy when you schedule to hibernate your computer after X amount of time.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].