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Is Sleep Mode Bad For PC Sleep Mode On A Desktop PC Updated

Is Sleep Mode Bad For PC

Is Sleep Mode Bad For PC

Is Sleep Mode Bad For PC? Sleep Mode On A Desktop PC, Laptop 

Is Sleep Mode Bad For PC: Computers can sleep, hibernate, shut down, or, in some cases, use a hybrid sleep? Learn the differences and decide what’s suitable for your laptop. A computer shutdown uses almost no power, but you must go through the complete startup when you want to use it. A sleeping PC uses just enough power to keep its memory active and comes back to life almost instantly, making it suitable for when you’re not using the PC for the short term.

A hibernating PC saves its memory state to the hard drive and essentially shuts down. The startup is a bit faster than starting up from a complete shutdown, and power use is lower than when sleeping. Some people leave their computers running 24/7, while others shut down computers the moment they step away. Laptop computers require you to be power conscious about your habits—especially when running on battery.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a deeper look at them.

Shut Down vs. Sleep vs. Hibernate

Each of the four power-down states appears to shut off your computer, but they all work differently.

  • Shut Down: This is the power-off state most of us are familiar with. When you shut down your PC, all your open programs close, and the PC shuts down your operating system. A PC that’s shut down uses almost no power. However, when you want to use your PC again, you’ll have to turn it on and go through the typical boot-up process, waiting for your hardware to initialize and startup programs to load. Depending on your system, this can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Sleep: In sleep mode, the PC enters a low-power state. The PC’s state is kept in memory, but other parts of the PC are shut down and won’t use any power. When you turn on the PC, it snaps back to life quickly—you won’t have to wait for it to boot up. Everything will be right where you left off, including running apps and opening documents.
  • Hibernate: Your PC saves its current state to your hard drive, essentially dumping the contents of its memory into a file. When you boot up the PC, it loads the previous state from your hard drive back to memory. This allows you to save your computer’s state, including all your open programs and data, and return to it later. It takes longer to resume hibernation than Sleep, but hibernation uses much less Power than Sleep. A computer that’s hibernating uses about the same amount of power as a computer that’s shut down.
  • Hybrid mode is intended for desktop PCs and should be disabled by default for most laptops. Still, you might come across the option at some point. Hybrid is like a combination of Sleep and hibernation. Like hibernate, it saves your memory state to a hard disk. Like Sleep, it also keeps a trickle of power going to memory so that you can wake the computer almost instantly. The idea is that you can essentially put your PC into sleep mode but still be protected in case your PC loses power while sleeping.

The reason laptops don’t bother with the hybrid mode is just because they have a battery. If you put your computer to sleep and the battery becomes critically low, the PC will automatically go into hibernate mode to save your state.

When To Shut Down, Sleep and Hibernate

Different people treat their computers differently. Some people always shut down their computers and never take advantage of the convenience of the Sleep and hibernate states, while others run their computers 24/7.

  • When To Sleep: Sleep is beneficial if you’re stepping away from your laptop for a short time. You can put your PC to sleep to save electricity and battery power. When you need to use your PC again, you can resume where you left off in just a few seconds. Your computer will always be ready to use when you need it. Sleep isn’t so good if you’re planning to be away from the PC for extended periods, as the battery will eventually run down.
  • When To Hibernate: Hibernate saves more Power than Sleep. If you aren’t using your PC for a while—say, if you’re going to sleep for the night—you may want to hibernate your computer to save electricity and battery power. Hibernate is slower to resume than Sleep. If you’re hibernating or shutting down your PC every time you step away from it throughout the day, you may be wasting a lot of time waiting for it.
  • When To Shut Down: Most computers will resume hibernation faster than from a complete shutdown state, so you’re probably better off hibernating your laptop instead of shutting it down. However, some PCs or software may not work correctly when resuming from hibernates, so you’ll want to shut down your computer instead. It’s also a good idea to occasionally shut down (or at least restart) your PC. Most Windows users have noticed that Windows needs an occasional reboot.

The power is used by Sleep and hibernate on the PC, although sleep mode generally uses just a few more watts than hibernate. Some people may sleep instead of hibernating so their computers will resume faster. While it uses more electricity marginally, it’s undoubtedly more power efficient than leaving a computer running 24/7.

Hibernate is particularly useful to save battery power on laptops that aren’t plugged in. if you want to take your laptop somewhere and don’t want to waste valuable battery power, you’ll want to hibernate it instead of putting it to sleep.

Making Your Choice

Once you’ve made your choice, you can control what happens when you press the power button on your computer or close the lid on your laptop.

In Windows 7-10, hit Windows+R to open the Run box, type “powercfg. cpl,” and then hit Enter.

In the “Power Options” window, click the “Choose what power buttons do” link on the left-hand side.

In the “System Settings” window, you can choose what pressing the power button, sleep button, or closing the lid does. And you can set those options differently for when the PC is plugged in or running on battery.

You also can modify your computer’s power-saving options to control what it does automatically when you’ve left it idle. Check out our article on Sleep vs. hibernation for more information. And if, for some reason, you’re using a laptop running Windows 8 or 10 that does not provide a hibernate option, check out our guide to re-enabling hibernation.

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