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Which Should You Do? Shutdown, Sleep or Hibernate?

Moderator

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Do you leave your computer running 24/7 or you shut it down the moment you’re done using it? When it’s time to disconnect from your computer, what do you do? Computers can sleep, hibernate, and shut down. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at their differences.

 

What is Sleep Mode?

It stores your computer session from opened files, software and other data into the computer’s RAM and puts the computer into a low power state. In other words, the RAM continues to draw power from its battery or outlet to continue to stay awake while the rest of the computer shuts down from its processor, hard drive, etc. So, when you wake up your computer from sleep mode it quickly reopens and gets right back where you left off before you put it into sleep.

 

Pros of Sleep Mode

  • Uses very little battery power
  • Restores your progress instantly
  • Simple to initiate — just close the lid

Cons of Sleep Mode

  • Battery will drain slowly over the course of hours or days in Sleep Mode
  • Computer’s RAM can become full or overloaded

 

What is Hibernate Mode?

It completely powers off your computer, but all your progress and sessions from your opened data, running apps and software are stored in the hard drive. It’s like Sleep Mode but will take several seconds to a few minutes to reboot your computer and return to your exact screen when you put it on Hibernate Mode.

 

Pros of Hibernate Mode

  • Stores all progress securely on the hard drive
  • Uses no battery or power outlet

Cons of Hibernate Mode

  • Takes longer to boot back up
  • Does not help the computer run faster

 

What is Shut Down?

It turns the computer completely off, which closes all software, programs, files, and processes. It also clears all the memory in your laptop’s RAM. It’s a must to save your work first before shutting down since you won’t be able to pick up where you left off without reopening everything.

 

Pros of Shut Down

  • Runs faster with its clean RAM
  • Uses no power
  • Forces you to save your work’s progress

Cons of Shut Down

  • Isn’t easy and fast to resume working
  • Might lose your work’s progress if you didn’t save it

 

When to Shut Down, Sleep, and Hibernate?

Sleep Mode is the best option when you want to resume where you left off after stepping away from your computer/laptop for a small amount of time.

 

Hibernate Mode is usually the best choice when you won’t be using your computer for a longer time, but don’t want to manually save your progress or reopen programs.

 

Shutting Down isn’t a great option if you don’t like to save your progress and reopen programs. However, it is best to shut down to clear your computer’s RAM and free up the memory and its processing power.

 

Do you shut down, sleep or hibernate your computer? Let us know down in the comments

 

 

~ Carla
1 Comment
Honored Advisor

Thanks @Carla_P 

 

To be clear, do not own Google Shares or sell Chromebooks. Just a happy user.

 

Making another plug for Chromebooks. Reasons:

 

  1. Fast bootup - Literally seconds. So no need to consider whether to Sleep or Hibernate. Just Shutdown.
  2. Fast setup - Connect to WiFi, sign into Google Account, start working.
  3. Hassle Free - No need to install Anti Virus or Firewall. Chrome OS updates are painless.
  4. Long Batt Life - Easily 8 hours.
  5. Work Offline - Chromebooks work best with an internet connection. However, they can work offline. Examples include Google Play Books (make the relevant material available offline before hand and they make useful reference). Google Docs/ Sheets/ Slides are available to be edited offline. Files will autosync when reconnected to the internet. Personally use Chromebooks for class. Of course these days, it is online. Worse case, use the mobile or Wireless@SG when available to connect if necessary. Very little data is used. Media such as PDFs, Photos, Videos, Podcasts, Music can be played if downloaded.
  6. Install Google Play Apps - Google Play Apps can be installed on Chromebooks. Note that not all apps are compatible. However some handy apps include Google Contacts, Calendar, Keep, Play Books. HP12C Calculation via Chrome Web Store), These work offline and will autosync.
  7. Powerwash - Encountered a problem (rare)? Do a Powerwash. Backup local content to a USB drive, Google Drive. Powerwash done in minutes. Connect to WiFi, Sign into Google Account and you are back in business.
  8. Choice - Take your pick of make, model, size and colours!
  9. Cost Effective - Chromebooks are available from USD 220 via Amazon and are useful as either a primary or even secondary computing device.

Chromebooks are suitable for most. However, they work best if:

  1. Comfortable with Google Ecosystem i.e. Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, Photos, Keep, Google Play Apps
  2. Favourite applications are available online via web apps or Google Play

 

Naturally, Chromebooks are unlikely to be suitable for:

  1. Heavy duty gamers
  2. Specialized Windows applications that need to be installed

For best experience, recommend Chromebooks with:

  1. At least 4GB RAM
  2. Personally prefer larger screen i.e. 14 inch but 11 inch are more portable
  3. Touchscreen
  4. USB C ports are great. Allows Hubs to be connected which allows for HDMI, USB and even MicroSD/ SD card. This is useful for external screen, keyoard and mouse which makes for good ergonomics