Windows 8.1: Sleep and Hibernation Settings

Windows 8.1: Sleep and Hibernation Settings

The sleep and hibernation settings in Windows 8.1 offer a lot of options. We'll look at the differences in sleep and hibernation, how to find power settings in Windows 8.1 and troubleshoot related problems.

The first thing to realize about Windows 8.1's sleep and hibernation is there are lots of settings. So it follows that people experience a wide range of hibernating related problems.

My point is that you have to work hard to find a description of the exact same predicament that you are troubleshooting, but don't worry, I have lots of scenarios to help you understand Windows 8.1's snoozing habits.

Windows 8.1 Shutdown MenuWindows 8.1 Shutdown Menu

Changes In Windows 8.1 Sleep Menu

In a nutshell, Windows 8.1's new hybrid boot technology brings much more responsive awakening from sleep than previous Microsoft operating systems.

Finding the Power switch in the Metro UI is a little different from the classic Windows 7 start menu. As such, there are at least 2 ways of causing a machine to slumber!

My favorite method is activating the Metro 'Charms' with Winkey +c, then choosing 'Settings'. You should see the Power switch at the bottom right - see screenshot.

Metro Charms to Power ButtonMetro Charms to Power Button 

The Difference Between Windows 8.1 Hibernate and Sleep

A sleeping computer awakens quicker than if you set the same machine set to hibernate. The price to pay is that a sleeping computer could lose unsaved data if someone turns it off, this is because the information is stored in RAM, which is cleared if the operating system powers down.

Although a hibernating machine takes longer to return to its previous state, the data is safe because it reloads the contents of a physical file called hiberfil.sys into memory. Consequently, if your co-worker accidentally turned off your machine while it was hibernating your data would still be just as you left it.

One more point, Windows 8.1 has a setting called 'Hybrid boot', which combines the speed of sleep with the data security of hibernate.

Finding the Sleep and Hibernate Settings

Microsoft provides four methods of finding the Windows 8.1 Power Settings:

Plan A: Control Panel
Hit the 'c' key on the Metro UI, Select 'Control Panel'
Hardware and Sound --> Power Options

Manage Windows 8.1 Power SettingsManage Windows 8.1 Power SettingsPlan B: Search Settings
Call for the Charms, Winkey +c
Select 'Search',
Key Point select 'Settings'
Type 'Power '

Plan C: PowerCFG
Launch cmd, seek 'Run as Administrator'
At the command prompt type
powercfg /?
powercfg -q (Query settings)
powercfg -h on

Plan D: (Only if you have battery!)
Switch to the Desktop
Right-click the battery in the Navigation Area,
Left-click the battery and
Select 'More Power Options'

Before you start changing the Power settings consider what you want to achieve, for example, conserving the battery, changing the Power Button options, altering the wake-up triggers, or simply improving security when you are away from the machine.