sleep mode

Sleep, Hibernate or Shutdown – Which is Best?

It’s the end of the day, you have the choice to put your computer in sleep mode, hibernate the computer, or do a shutdown. What is best option? Let’s examine each so you can decide:

Sleep – When you put a computer into sleep mode, it saves your current working environment to memory and then partially powers down.  Your computer is still running, but it uses much less energy than if it were completely on. Later, when you come back and “wake up” the computer, it powers up again and picks up right where you left off.  This process is faster than a regular startup.  Laptops often automatically go into sleep mode when you close the lid.  A potential downside of sleep mode is that sometimes things like scanners don’t wake up correctly.  I’ve even seen this problem with keyboards and mice.

Hibernate – the hibernate mode saves power and stores all your memory contents on your hard drive, including your running software and open files.  After everything is stored, your computer shuts completely off.  Then, when you power it up again, it loads your previous session and allows you to pick up right where you left off.  Like Sleep mode, this process is faster than a regular startup.  Because this procedure doesn’t clear your RAM, Downsides are the same as sleep mode.  Sometimes, everything doesn’t work correctly when the computer comes back out of hibernate.

Shutdown – This means closing all of your software and completely turning off your computer. Keep in mind that when you turn on your computer again, there will be boot up time, since you are starting fresh. This option is best for energy saving and for the longevity of your computer as long as you don’t mind the boot up time.  Additionally, your RAM is completely cleared when you reboot.

The best option really depends on how long you plan to go before using your computer again, whether you are interested in saving energy/power, and whether you’re using a laptop or a desktop. Now that you know the options, try each one to see how it works on your own computer.  Once you know that, you can choose the best option depending on your individual situation.