a Brief guide to the modes and energy-saving Windows

By | 10.12.2018

A brief guide to the modes and energy saving Windows

Once, at the dawn of computer technology, the only way to shut down the computer was fully off – as any other electronic device. With the advent of more advanced graphical operating environments, and particularly after the notorious Windows 95 changed that. Today, any modern PC offers at least three alternative shutdown mode and the good old Shut Down is just one of them.

None of them, however, is not universal, and the most suitable for your specific needs depends on many factors – do you use a laptop or desktop computer, are you going to leave the system for a few minutes or want to finish work for the day, etc.

To know exactly which option to use and when, here is a brief description of each of them – each with their own pros and cons.


All modern systems based on PC (read: running Windows 7 or newer), be it desktop or mobile, have three main ways to «shut down». The word is taken in quotation marks because only one of the three modes (Shut Down) actually is a complete power failure. The other two – «Hibernate» and «hibernate» are rather different degrees of compromise between speed of run and the amount of energy consumed.

When you shut down the computer, i.e., use the option Shut Down, practically, you completely block his access to food. The shutdown is accompanied by a complete cessation of activity of the operating system and all hardware components, this will also close all open documents and running programs. After the completion you can be assured that the car will not consume any energy during inactivity. In other words, if you turn off this way the laptop and turn it on later, you will find that the battery is on the same level at which it was when finished with the device.

The disadvantage of this traditional method of completion is that the subsequent process of resumption of work takes much more time than in the case of the other two modes.

As for Sleep mode, then when the machine goes to «sleep» state, Windows stops the power of almost every component of the computer except for the RAM. This is because RAM memory is volatile, i.e. the stored data is stored only as long as silicon chips, of which it is built, get electricity. Therefore, any PC in sleep mode consumes a certain amount of energy, but much less than in active, working condition. However, due to this, the recovery operation takes place almost instantly, usually within seconds – much faster than a cold start after a complete shutdown.

The mode of «hibernation» is a kind of compromise between the two modes (Sleep and Shut Down) is an attempt to combine their advantages. When receiving a command Hibernate, Windows saves the contents of all the active memory to the hard disk of the computer. After operating the system safely disconnects power from the RAM chips without the risk of losing your business data, information, and user files. «Awakening» from hibernation takes a little more slowly than after sleep, but being in this state, the computer consumes virtually no energy – almost like when you use the classic shutdown.

The most suitable for you?

Of course, the best shutdown mode does not exist and each of the three described methods is applicable depending on how and when you use the computer.

For example, sleep mode is convenient when you need to briefly leave the laptop and want to save precious battery power. Imagine the following scenario: a long overseas flight, you need to go to the bathroom for a few minutes – does it make sense to leave your mobile PC in working condition, especially knowing that the ability to charge the battery expected very soon?

Hibernate is an option that is particularly suitable when you do not intend to use the laptop for a long time, but then want to continue where you stopped before shutting down. Here it is possible to return to the example of a transatlantic flight – you have decided to take a NAP for hours, knowing that you will have to hurry to continue their work after the holidays. Yes, in such situations also you can use hibernate, because Hibernate consumes much less energy, it will help squeeze a little more battery life from your laptop.

In the case of a complete shutdown impact on battery life no. If you are not in a hurry and can wait for the download process from scratch, then this mode is for you.

Make your choice permanent

Each of the three described options are available from the menu «shutdown», but if you usually use only one of them, configure the operating system to activate it by default when you press the power button (Power) or when closing the laptop lid.

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