I was always using Sleep mode and I thought that if I turn off electricity while PC is sleeping, it will just «hard» shutdown without saving any data / open apps, etc.
Today I accidentally turned off electricity for my PC (when it was sleeping), I was quite surprised when I turned it on and after boot I saw all these open apps, just like it was sleeping all the time without power interruption.

So does Windows 10 use a combination of hibernation and sleep instead of «just sleep»?

I'm pretty sure that in previous versions of Windows hibernation and sleep were two different things, now it seems that Windows saves state on disk everytime in case of losing power source and just still keeps it in RAM to instantly turn on.

2 Answers 2


So does Windows 10 use a combination of hibernation and sleep instead of «just sleep»?

Yes, that is exactly what Windows is using in your case. It is a mode called Hybrid Sleep. While it is still possible to setup Windows to go into a strictly sleep or a strictly hibernation mode, by default Windows 10 sleep mode is set as Hybrid Sleep on desktop computers if supported by the system. (The command powercfg /a gives you a list of actually supported power states regarding your system.)

From thewindowsclub.com article Difference Between Sleep, Hybrid Sleep, Hibernation in Windows 10/8/7

Hybrid sleep is designed primarily for desktop computers. Hybrid sleep is a combination of sleep and hibernate; it puts any open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk and then puts your computer into a low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. That way, if a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk. When hybrid sleep is turned on, putting your computer into sleep automatically puts your computer into hybrid sleep.

Hybrid sleep is typically turned on by default on desktop computers and off by default on laptops. You will be able to see the settings under Power Options > Advanced settings.

  • Nice, just wanted to confirm that it's set like that by default. Thank you.
    – user0103
    Nov 18, 2017 at 11:31

Hybrid sleep - Well maybe not.

Windows 10

I noticed the same thing. I opened my Laptop after the weekend when I am sure I had put it to sleep - essentially I wanted to test how much battery Sleep used, it had seemed quite modest. I was prepared for the worst.

The power light was NOT gently pulsing as it does when in Sleep mode and I feared it had crashed out of sleep mode.

I was delighted when it did BIOS stuff then Windows boot but came up quite swiftly with all the apps open. So it had hibernated itself. Battery was good.

Hybrid sleep is OFF. On a laptop this is really just a potential battery flattener. It is really Sleep with Backup. It Sleeps AND saves the state to a hibernate file so that if power is lost it will seamlessly recover. It still uses some power to maintain the RAM for sleep mode.

There seems to be a Sleep-->Hibernate timer. I cannot find a description of it after a quick look but it seems self evident how it is supposed to work.

Click on the battery symbol in the Taskbar/ Additional Power settings/ Change Plan Settings - of the relevant power plan/ Change advanced power settings/ Open the Sleep 'folder'/ Open Hibernate after


There you will find two timer settings (Plugged-in and Battery) that I assume will cause the Sleep state to change to Hibernate when the timer expires.

My new to me "work" Laptop (fancy AD managed so may or may not be default) is set to 180mins.

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