Suspend the computer or hibernate

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Sooner or later, every PC user needs to take a break, either because they are tired or because working hours demand it. The first logical reaction is to turn off the computer, but if the break is going to be brief, it may not be worth doing this, especially waiting for the operating system to load again.

In this case, next to the Shutdown command and the Restart command we see two other functions on the PC: Suspend and Hibernate.

What is the difference between hibernating the computer and suspending it?

Is not one the same as another? In themselves, both functions share elements, although in others they differ considerably. That is why these two actions can confuse users who do not know exactly the differences between using one and using the other, just the ones that we are going to tell you about here. We start with the fact that both share putting the team in a power saving mode, previously saving all the data to keep the user session open with all the programs running and windows, websites and open documents that it had.

What is this for? Well, in order to start the computer again faster than if it were completely shut down, since it would have to load the entire operating system and we would have to open one by one all the things that the shutdown has closed. If we are in an office and we stop for an hour to eat, or if we are writing something and we are going to leave the house for a couple of hours, both functions save us time. But depending on the situation sometimes it will be better to use one of them and sometimes another.

Suspend / Hibernate
There are two main differences in separating the two functions: how to save the information of the user’s current session, and energy saving. Putting the PC or laptop in Sleep mode means that the data and settings of the device are saved in the RAM of the computer, while the Hibernation mode will store this data directly on the hard drive under the file hiberfil.sys.

What does this mean? Well, when you restart the session, the PC ‘will wake up’ and start sooner if we have suspended it than if we have hibernated it, although either way they guarantee that it will open faster than if we turned it off.

But the problem with the Suspend mode is that when pulling the RAM its energy saving is less, so if we are in a laptop with the battery it will drain before if the computer is suspended than if it was hibernated, since in hibernation energy saving is greater and more complicated than consuming the entire battery.

Another advantage is that if having it suspended the battery is depleted, then when turning the PC on again it will be as if we started it after having turned it off, thus losing all the documents, websites and programs that we had open. In Hibernate mode by cons, when using the hard disk to store the data, it does not matter that the power goes out, since when it has power again the system reads from the saved file and not from RAM.

Therefore, as we see using one or the other function, it depends on the situation we are in. If we are going to be 30 minutes or a couple of hours away from this and then return, the Suspend function is the one that interests us the most since it allows us to continue where we left off more quickly. If we are going to stay longer but we do not want to turn off the computer, the best option is to opt for the Hibernate function.


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