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How to use hibernation to extend battery life on Windows 11

Windows 11 power and battery settings
Windows 11 power and battery settings (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, you can enable and configure the "Hibernate" feature to extend your computer's battery life. The feature works by saving the data in memory onto the hard drive using the "Hiberfil.sys" system file that allows you to turn off the laptop or desktop computer to save power and resume where you left off the next time you turn on the device.

The feature isn't as fast as sleep mode. However, it is still a great feature to preserve battery life when you are not using the device or running low on battery power. Your laptop might be experiencing fast battery-draining issues due to a system or app bug, or because the battery is depleted, or because you have to replace the battery and can't close the work you are doing.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to configure hibernation to extend your laptop's battery life while preserving the current session.

How to enable hibernation on Windows 11

To enable hibernation on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to confirm the hibernation status and press Enter:powercfg /availablesleepstates

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm whether Hibernate appears disabled.
  2. Type the following command to enable Windows 11 Hibernate feature and press Enter:powercfg /hibernate on

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, hibernation will be enabled on your Windows 11 laptop.

This feature is not available on all system configurations. If you can't enable hibernation, there are several reasons why it's not available. For example, the graphics card driver does not support the power state, which you could fix by updating the latest video driver.

It could be that hibernation is supported, but it's currently disabled on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). If this is the case, accessing the motherboard firmware and adjusting the settings using your manufacturer support instructions may resolve the problem.

If hybrid sleep is enabled, you will need to disable the feature before hibernation becomes available for the device. Also, it could be that the hardware doesn't support hibernation. In this case, you won't be able to use the feature.

How to add hibernation option to Power menu on Windows 11

To incorporate the "Hibernate" option in the Power menu of Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Control Panel and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Hardware and Sound.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click on Power Options.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Choose what closing the lid does option from the left pane.Quick tip: If you're using a desktop computer, you can select the Choose what the power buttons do option to get to the settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Change settings that are currently unavailable option to modify the Shutdown settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Check the Hibernate option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Save changes button.

After you complete the steps, you will now see the "Hibernate" option when opening the Power menu.

How to configure hibernation settings on Windows 11

Once you enable hibernation, there are a few settings you can customize to get the most out of the feature. For example, you can change the power button or laptop lid to put the computer in hibernation mode as soon as you press the button or close the lid. Or, if you want to prolong the battery as much as possible, you can adjust the power settings to allow the device to hibernate automatically after some time of inactivity.

Configure hibernation settings

To change the hibernation settings on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Control Panel and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Hardware and Sound.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click on Power Options.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Change plan settings option for the current power plan.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Change advanced power settings option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Expand the Sleep settings.
  2. Expand the Hibernate after settings.Quick note: This setting may not be available on all hardware configurations.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Use the On Battery option to set the number of minutes of inactivity before the device goes into hibernation mode when the laptop is running on battery.
  2. Use the Plugged in option to set the number of minutes of inactivity before the device goes into hibernation mode when the laptop is connected to a power source.
  3. Click the Apply button.
  4. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the computer will hibernate automatically after the specified time.

Set power button to hibernate

To change the power button or the laptop lid behavior to use hibernation, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Control Panel and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Click on Hardware and Sound.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click on Power Options.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Choose what closing the lid does option from the left pane.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Under the "Power and sleep buttons and lid settings" section, use the "When I press the power button" setting and select the Hibernate option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. (Optional) Use the "When I press the sleep button" option and select the Hibernate option.
  2. (Optional) Use the "When I close the lid" option and select the Hibernate option.

After you complete these steps, your computer will enter into the hibernation state, depending on your configuration.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

1 Comment
  • I rely on hibernation since my surface pro suffers from the infamous sleep of death issue. It was a hassle to enable it in W11. But most importantly, auto hibernation doesn't work in W11, only manual hibernation through the start menu.