Difference Between Hibernate and Standby

The computer is such a convenient yet complex machine. As much as its features help in work from day to day, it even has modes for its well-being.


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Hibernate and Standby are two computer modes that help in power saving while the computer is not in use but is also not shut down.

Hibernate vs Standby

The difference between Hibernate and Standby is that Stand by mode cuts off power to almost zero leaving the main system on and saving the work, whereas Hibernate mode cuts off power and doesn’t even save the work. These two options are available on Windows XP as a modified version of the sleep mode.

Hibernate vs Standby

Hibernate mode is a categorised sleep mode. In this, the computer cuts power to monitor, RAM, and other hardware and goes into hibernation mode.

It does not save any previously done work before going to hibernate mode and also takes a lot more time to restart or wake up from the hibernate mode.

Stand by is yet another transverse feature of the sleep mode in Windows XP.  In this, the power is cut off to the hardware like monitor, hard disk, etc. and only the central system is powered.

In this mode, the previously done work is saved before switching to the Stand by mode, and it is also quicker to restart the computer from Stand by mode.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHibernateStandby
Data savingData is not saved before going into Hibernate mode.Data is saved using power before going into Stand by mode.
Power savingHibernate mode saves more power.Stand By mode saves less power.
RestartingRestarting from Hibernate mode takes a longer duration of time.Restarting from Stand By mode take less duration of time.
Power CutIf power cuts in Hibernate mode, all data is saved before shutting down the computer. If power cuts in Stand by mode, all data will be lost.
VisibilityThis option is not always visible.This option is available as default and is always visible.

What is Hibernate?

Hibernate, just like its name suggests, is a mode in a computer system that is very helpful in saving power. The first version of Windows to support hibernate option was Windows 2000.

This feature is like a subset of the sleep option in the computer. In this, all the hardware, including monitor, display, RAM, etc., are entirely cut from power, and the system goes into hibernation.

It is not the same as switching the pc off but is quite similar to it.

Hibernate mode is like taking a picture of the desktop capturing all the windows applications and files that are open. The data is saved on the hard disk, and then the computer is turned off.

It might appear like the computer has shut down, but it is not the case. At any instant, the main power is cut then the data on the computer will be saved before shutting the computer down.

It is a great factor in Hibernate mode as it recovers the computer’s last activity along with all the applications files and windows that were left open.

To search the Hibernate mode in windows, it will require you to go to the control panel. From there, one can simply go to hardware and sound and then further to power options.

After clicking on choose what the power buttons do, one can change the power menu settings and include the Hibernate option.

What is Standby?

Standby mode is a very well-known power option that is the most commonly used feature of computers.

Whenever there is a requirement of leaving the PC unattended for some duration of time, but it is not suitable to shut the computer down, standby is the best option to choose. It is the best power-saving mode, and it is helpful in many ways.

In standby mode, the power cut from the hardware switch is not being actively used like the display monitor and all other hardware, but still, the computer’s main system is supplied with power to keep it on.

It can be said that the computer is in the lowest power mode when it is kept on standby. It is most useful in devices like laptops which are taken from here, and there are frequently. 

Standby is a defaulter option and was included in the Windows system from the start. It is also easier to restart the computer from standby mode as it takes less time.

One drawback of the standby feature is that if the main power gets cut, then work on the computer will not be saved, and the computer will shut down immediately, leaving unsaved work deleted forever.

Main Differences Between Hibernate and Standby

  1. In Hibernate mode, data is not saved, whereas, in Stand-By Mode, Data is saved first.
  2. Hibernate mode is more efficient in saving power. On the other hand, Stand by mode saves less energy.
  3. In case of a power cut, if the computer was in Hibernate mode, then the data will be saved before shutting off, while the data will be lost if in Stand by mode.
  4. Restarting from Hibernate mode takes more time while restarting from Stand by mode takes less time.
  5. Hibernate is not a default option and isn’t visible in many cases, while Stand by is a default option.
Difference Between Hibernate and Standby


  1. http://mujournal.mewaruniversity.org/JIR%202-2/JIR2-2.pdf#page=160
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146760
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