Every Windows 11 Hibernate, Explained

There are a total of six sleep states in Windows 11. Each is determined by a different level of power consumption and activity on your computer. Understanding how your computer uses and conserves power can be the first step to reduce power consumption and extend battery life.

So let’s see which sleep modes Windows 11 supports and how to check which ones are supported on your PC.

Windows 11 power states explained

Windows 11 has a range of power states, and each has a specific purpose.

Working State – Sleep 0 (S0)

Your computer is defined as in sleep mode 0 when it is fully operational and usable. In other words, it is awake. There are no internal hardware components in power-saving mode. Your monitor can be on or off in this sleep mode.

Sleep – Sleep Mode 1 – 3 (S1 – S3)

Sleep states 1 to 3 refer to increasing levels of computer sleep. The longer your Windows computer is idle, the deeper it goes into these three states. Hardware components will gradually enter the different sleep states based on their importance to the system.

Not all computers will go into the deepest of these three sleep states. The system will automatically go to the deepest state supported by the activation devices enabled on your computer. For example, the keyboard, trackpad, and USB devices can be left on so that they can wake the computer when in use.

Volatile memory, such as RAM, is refreshed. This allows the system to maintain the state it was in when it went to sleep.

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These individual sleep states are not user selectable and you are unlikely to be able to tell the difference between them. To you, the system will appear awake, asleep, or turned off.

Sleep Mode – Sleep Mode 4 (S4)

Hibernation is the deepest level of sleep. When your computer is in sleep mode, it appears as if it is turned off. This sleep mode even disables volatile memory such as RAM. The contents of the volatile memory are stored in a new file called the hibernation file when the system reaches this state.

You can enable hibernation in Windows 11 Power Options. Once enabled, the option to enter hibernate mode will appear in the Power menu next to Sleep, Shut Down and Restart.

Soft Off – Sleep Mode 5 (S5)

Also known as Full Shutdown, Soft Off occurs when a computer is restarted. When you restart your computer, it may seem like it shuts down for a second or two. It doesn’t. Instead, it goes into this hibernation state before rebooting.

Hybrid Sleep

Hybrid sleep is an additional sleep mode available on some computers. It combines the activation of a hibernation with a higher power (S1 – S3) with the creation of a hibernation file. If the power goes out while the system is sleeping, it can be recovered from the hibernate file. It is not available on all systems and is usually reserved for desktop computers.

What sleep modes can my PC use?

Not every PC supports every sleep mode. To check which one can reach your PC, see our guide on how to check the supported power states on Windows 11 for more information.

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Sleeping States 1-3 Vs. Modern standby

Modern Standby is an instant sleep/wake mode. It is also known as S0 Low-power Idle Mode. In this sleep mode, parts of the system continue to run in the background. This allows it to perform system actions without exiting sleep mode, but wakes up immediately when real-time action is required.

Allows a computer to wake up from sleep mode faster than in standard 1-3 sleep modes. It’s similar to the kind of sleep mode a smartphone uses.

Although it was introduced in Windows 10, Modern Standby is not available on all Windows devices. To find out if this status is available on your computer, check out our article on how to enable and disable Modern Standby.

Understanding Windows 11 Sleep Modes

You can’t choose between all the different sleep modes in Windows 11. But by better understanding how your system uses power, you’ll be in a better position to conserve power and extend laptop battery life.

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