Kim Barloso

What is hiberfil.sys, how to remove this file in Windows 7 and 10


Content :

    No one will argue that the computer plays a very important role in our lives. Sometimes we use it more than once a day and we do not always switch it off. If the above could be applied to you then take a look at your local disk. Does it get smaller over time? Try poking around in the folders on that drive and you will most likely come across the hiberfil.sys hibernation file. Most of all you will be surprised by its size: the file takes quite a bit of your memory.

    You might have a number of questions: What is this file? Where did it come from? What do I do with it? This article attempts to answer all these questions.

    What is Hibernation?

    Hibernation is an operating mode for both desktop and notebook computers serving as an energy saver which allows to write processes which occurred while the computer was turned on to the hard disk before shutting down in order to resume the OS operation.

    How to disable the hibernation feature in Windows 10

    1. Hitkey Win + X > select "Power Management".

    2. Go to "Power & Sleep".

    3. In the right column select "Advanced Power Settings".

    4. Key to the current power scheme (marked with a checkbox) click on "Power scheme settings".
    5. Click the link "Change the extra power settings".

    6. Display the section Sleep by clicking on the plus sign.
    7. Set the options "Hibernate after" to "Never", "Enable Hybrid Sleep" to "Off".

    8. Press OK to disable hibernation permanently.

    Why hiberfil.sys

    Hiberfil.sys is a hidden system file that is automatically created when the device goes into hibernation mode. This is done in order to preserve the information previously handled.

    Hiberfil sys is usually located on the C System Drive and takes up several hundred to several tens of GB (usually equivalent to the amount of RAM).

    If you do not wish to waste memory on hiberfil.sys, you should remove this file from the hard disk and disable hibernation without problems. The algorithm is simple but depends entirely on your operating system version.

    Uninstalling hiberfil.sys

    After you have disabled hibernation on your device, you can safely remove hiberfil.sys. To do this you would:

    1. Open "Command prompt" as administrator with Start,
    2. Enter the command powercfg -h off.

    3. If you would like to enable hibernation in the future you can also do this with the command line but enter powercfg -h on.
    4. This file is removed although the command line will not react to the command entered.

    Optimize the size of the hiberfil.sys file

    Windows has a set of commands which allow reducing the size of the hiberfil.sys file. This is useful if your system disk is running out of space and a "snapshot" of RAM can weigh tens of gigabytes. You can simply leave the hiberfil.sys file with only the data it needs, and optimize it for performance. How to do this?

    1. Execute the command line as administrator.

    2. Enter the command powercfg -h -type reduced, hit Enter.
    3. The console will display the resulting file size.

    One command reduces the size of the hibernation file by half!

    Disabling hibernation in Windows XP

    If you are a true conservative who uses this operating system you are in luck, because the process to disable hibernation is much easier than for users of other operating systems.

    For this you have to:

    1. Go to "Control Panel", which is the "Start" menu;
    2. Find the section "Power supply" where you will find the tab "Hibernate";
    3. Uncheck the box "Allow hibernation" and save.

    Disabling Hibernation mode in Vista

    While previous versions of Windows had two power saving modes - Stand By and Hibernate, in Vista these two modes are combined to form Sleep mode. So it's installed instead of the computer shutdown button (mentioned above).

    Sleep mode, meanwhile, is another feature that takes away free disk space quite a bit. When going to "sleep", the computer performs a "snapshot" (dump) of RAM into the file hiberfil.sys, which size depends on the size of RAM. It is impossible to delete this file without deactivating the power-saving function. Disabling the unused Hibernation function will free up a few hundreds of megabytes of free space.

    1. Open "Run" (Winkey+R).
    2. From the context menu choose "Run as Administrator";
    3. In the command line window enter "powercfg -H OFF" (without the quotes), press "OK".
    4. If the User Accounts Control dialog appears, click on "Continue".
    5. The hiberfil.sys file is ready to be removed.

    How to disable hibernation in Windows 7

    If you are a user of a more advanced Windows 7 the path to the end result is slightly different.

    1. We also go to "Control Panel" via the "Start" menu,
    2. Click the item "Power",
    3. Look for "Large icons" in "Preview" to find this item more quickly.
    4. In the window on the left side open click on "Adjust sleep mode"
    5. Locate the item "Change advanced power settings".
    6. In the monitor screen you should see quite a big list of options among which you should open the "Sleep",
    7. Click on "Enable Hybrid Sleep Mode"
    8. Select the option "Off",
    9. In the "Hibernate after" option set the value "0".
    10. After performing all these actions save the changes and click on "OK".

    What is the difference between Standby mode and Hibernate

    Let's recall the other modes of desktop and notebook computers.

    Pc shutdown

    • All data and processes you have not saved are unloaded from the operating system;
    • You cannot start working from "same place";
    • The computer completely shuts down.

    Wake mode

    • The computer works but consumes less power;
    • Most devices are turned off (e.g. monitor, cooling system, hard disk drive);
    • Less power is applied to the CPU, wireless modules and RAM;
    • Can resume exactly where you left off.

    Hibernation features

    • The device is switched OFF and completely deenergized (as in shutdown);
    • The local drive (C:) doubles the RAM which is restored at power-up, i.e. It is possible to resume working exactly where you left off (like in hibernation mode);
    • The file recorded when entering this mode occupies sufficient memory;
    • It consumes less power and is more suitable for notebooks.

    Hibernation is a kind of synthesis of shutdown type like "Shutdown" and "Hibernation". After choosing this type of shutdown your computer takes longer to start than after hibernation but faster than after shutdown.

    Pros and Cons of Hibernation

    To understand whether you need hibernation or not let us consider the advantages and disadvantages of this mode.

    Plusses Cons
    • The hibernation mode provides a very short term shutdown and resumption of the computer operation;
    • All /files and processes are automatically locked in this mode, which is certainly suitable for laptops.
    • The hiberfil.sys file that appears in hibernation takes up significant hard disk space;
    • The disk file may contain outdated /files;
    • Not all programs tolerate hibernation "painlessly";
    • In some operating systems hibernation is not safe due to lack of encryption of the hiberfil.sys file.

    “Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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    Kim Barloso