Is Hybrid Sleep on Windows 7 the same as on Windows Vista?

As I understand it so far, it is like sleep, except the content of the RAM is also saved onto the hard drive, so when there is power loss or power outage, the state of the computer is not lost.

Will that involve saving all the RAM to the hard drive? So if my computer has 6 GB or 9 GB or even 12 GB, will that involve saving 12 GB of data to hard drive?


Is Hybrid Sleep on Windows 7 the same as on Windows Vista?

In a word, yes.

In Hybrid Sleep mode, the system saves any open documents and programs to memory and to your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state as in normal Sleep/Standby state.

An advantage of hybrid sleep is that if a power failure occurs, Windows can restore your work from your hard disk. If a power failure such as a power outage occurs when your work is saved only to memory (as in Sleep mode), all work is lost.

In Hyrid Sleep mode, if the computer suddenly loses power, users can still recover to the last working state as when the computer enters hybrid sleep mode, because all data in memory is saved in the hiberfil.sys hibernation file. In this case, the computer is acting exactly the same with hibernation mode to resume computer activity and yet still enjoy the benefit of fast return to full operation from Sleep mode.


  • Note that it probably isn't needed on a laptop, because the battery will protect you from power failures, as long as it is set to hybernate after a time so that the battery isn't exhausted. – user114447 Oct 5 '12 at 23:30
  • @kristianp, Provided the battery isn't old and the laptop controller isn't old and the battery hub isn't old and no one accidentally nudge the laptop, knocking the battery off its position. – Pacerier Dec 31 '14 at 17:55

Yes, it the same in Windows 7 as in Windows Vista. It's really sleep plus what Windows calls hibernation, which is where the contents of RAM is written to the hard drive.

So yes, it will involve written everything in RAM to the hard drive. If you look on the root of your C drive (if hidden files are displayed) you'll see Hyperfil.sys is the same size as your physical RAM. Although I assume Windows is smart enough that it only copies the RAM that is actively in use to the hard drive.


A few more words on that RAM usage.

I've read somewhere that hiberfil.sys file is usually 75% of your RAM size. It's a reserved space, so it's actually locked all the time. Of course Windows would normally write to disk only the contents of RAM (which you can easily check by openening Task Manager with CtrlAltDel and going to Performance tab), so you might want to check a few (dozens) times how much memory is used during your normal work (or at the state you might put your computer to sleep) and reduce the hiberfil.sys size.

Read more here: Change Size of hiberfil.sys File

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