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Windows 7/8/10 Delete Hibernation File (hiberfil.sys)

If you’re looking to free up space on your hard drive, there are some great options to remove. You may have noticed the size of hiberfil.sys and wondered what it is and why it is so big.

This file is responsible for managing the computer’s sleep mode by helping your computer reboot from power hibernation mode. So, can you remove hiberfil.sys? Is it generally safe?

What is Hiberfil.sys?

Your Windows 10 system has several power management options, one of which is hibernation. Hibernation is a convenient option to quickly reboot your system. It works by temporarily saving your current user configuration (such as programs, files, and folders) to your hard drive.

When you reboot your system, hibernation restores everything on your desktop exactly as it did. You can hibernate your system for days or even weeks and it will still recover in the same way.

When you click the Hibernate button, it saves all of your data to your local drive, while creating the hiberfil.sys file. This file contains the system configuration that hibernation uses to start your system.

Are sleep and hibernation different?

Sleep and Hibernation are different Windows power modes. While they seem very similar, there are some hidden differences.

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While in hibernation mode, the current state of the machine is saved to a file on the hard disk, while in sleep mode, the state of the machine is saved in RAM. Windows also does not shut down completely, but goes into a low power state. This combination allows your system to recover incredibly quickly.

Can I delete Hiberfil.sys?

The problem with hibernation is that the file associated with the process may grow. It can take up quite a lot of hard disk space, taking up tens of gigabytes (although how much depends on the amount of memory installed on your system).

On a desktop with a lot of memory, you might not notice that the hibernation file is taking up space. But on a laptop with limited memory? You will definitely notice the compression.

Before deleting hiberfil.sys there is a lot to think about.

Are you using the hibernation feature? If you are using Hibernate when you want to leave your computer for a while, then deleting Hiberfil.sys does not make sense. Windows 10 will recreate the file the next time you use Hibernate and you will be back to square one. If you want to stop using Hibernate and start using Sleep instead, read the next section of the article.

So the answer is yes, you can safely delete Hiberfil.sys, but only if you disable the hibernation feature in Windows 10.

Having problems deleting or accessing a file? Here are the easiest ways to fix the “You need permission to do this action” error.

How to disable hibernation in Windows 10

If you want to proceed and remove Hiberfil.sys, you must first disable the hibernation option.

  1. Enter power in the Start menu search bar and select Power and Sleep Settings.
  2. In the Power and Sleep Settings window, select Advanced Power Settings on the right, which will open. Power supply parameters.
  3. Now select “Choose what the power buttons do” in the left column, and then select “Change settings that are currently unavailable.” At this point, you may need to enter your Windows user account password. This will unlock the grayed out options at the bottom of the window.
  4. Uncheck Hibernate and select Save Changes.

The power settings menu has other uses as well. For example, learn how you can use power settings to improve gaming performance!

Disable Hibernation Using Command Prompt

If you feel like there are too many clicks, you can disable hibernation from the command line.

  1. Enter a command in the search bar on the Start menu and select Run as administrator.
  2. Enter powercfg -h off to disable hibernation.

If you decide to enable it again, enter powercfg -h on.

The command line is a powerful tool. Check out the commands every Windows user should know and start using!

How to delete Hiberfil.sys in Windows 10

After shutting down Hibernate Windows will automatically delete the hiberfil.sys file. If you want to double-check that it is gone, you can find the hiberfil.sys file at the root of your C: drive, C: hiberfil.sys is its default location.

However, if your system is hiding protected operating system files (which is a reasonable option for many users!), You still won’t see this file.

To check if the hibernation file is gone, a few folder settings need to be changed.

  1. Open File Explorer, then select the View tab from the top menu.
  2. Select Options, then open the View tab in a new window.
  3. Select Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives.
  4. Uncheck “Hide protected system files” (recommended). When the warning appears, select Yes.
  5. Now select Apply.

Head over to your C: drive. You should now see some new files. If you do not see the hiberfil.sys file, the process was successful.

I highly recommend you go back and hide protected operating system files again. Follow the steps above, but check the box in step 4.

Is deleting Hiberfil.sys useful?

If you are using Windows 10 and are not using hibernation, you can safely remove hibernation. This has no negative side effects, you create extra storage space, and you can still use the sleep option to temporarily shut down.

Plus, if you really want to turn it back on, you now know how to do it.

Want to free up disk space? Here are the best ways to free up space on Windows 10.

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