Question of the Month

Question of the Month

Dennis Snider

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Question: Which uses less battery power on a Windows laptop, sleep or hibernate mode?

Answer:
If you own a laptop, sleep mode is your default every time you close your lid. You probably find a low or dead battery when you open the lid later. There’s a quick solution for this problem; put your laptop in hibernate mode instead. Hibernating your device for long periods of time can actually make the battery last longer.
There’s a time and place for sleep mode but you have to decide ahead of time whether you’re going to take a short or long break. A short break might include a meal break or a power nap (pun intended). A long break might mean your closing up the laptop and transiting to another location.
To be clear, both modes sip juice. When you place your device in sleep mode, you move it into a low power state while keeping your programs and data alive in random access memory (RAM) or current state. Your battery continues to drain but a little more slowly. And that can sap your battery over a matter of a few hours in some models.
Hibernation is a more complex process. It takes a snapshot of the RAM to your hard drive and completely shuts the laptop down. While the laptop is shut down, it draws almost no power, leaving the level of juice in your battery almost untouched. The only real downside to hibernating is the startup time when you reboot to the previous state when it’s time to get back to get back to work.
You should also verify your power setting for hibernate mode has not been disabled. It’s a quick fix to reenable it. If you replace your laptop’s hard drive with a solid state device (SSD) you’re boot time will be faster, so you can get back to work much more quickly.