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Hibernate vs. Standby: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Hibernate saves the computer's state to the hard drive and powers off, while standby keeps the computer in a low-power state with data in RAM.
Hibernate vs. Standby

Key Differences

Hibernate mode saves all current data to the hard drive and shuts down the computer, allowing no power usage. Standby mode, however, keeps the computer in a low-power state, using a small amount of power to maintain data in RAM.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023
On resuming from hibernate, the computer reloads the saved state from the hard drive, which can take longer than waking from standby. Standby allows for quicker resume times, as data is kept in RAM and the computer does not fully power off.
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Nov 16, 2023
Hibernate is ideal for extended periods of non-use, as it conserves more energy and the computer’s state can be preserved indefinitely without power. Standby is better for short breaks, as it provides a faster start-up while still saving energy.
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In hibernate, the risk of data loss due to power failure is minimal since the data is stored on the hard drive. In standby, a power outage can lead to data loss as the information is only held in temporary memory (RAM).
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023
Hibernate requires enough hard drive space to store the contents of the computer's RAM. Standby does not have this requirement, as it continues to use RAM albeit with reduced power consumption.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Power Consumption

No power used
Low power used
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Data Storage

Saves data to hard drive
Keeps data in RAM
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Resumption Time

Longer resumption time
Quicker resumption time
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Ideal Usage

Extended periods of non-use
Short breaks
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Risk of Data Loss

Minimal (data saved on hard drive)
Possible with power failure (data in RAM)
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Hibernate and Standby Definitions

Hibernate

A mode for long-term inactivity of a device with data storage on the hard drive.
I prefer hibernate mode for my computer during vacations.
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Nov 16, 2023

Standby

A state of readiness with reduced power usage.
My computer is on standby, so I can quickly start working again.
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Nov 16, 2023

Hibernate

To put a computer into a low-power state by saving its state to the hard drive.
I hibernate my laptop overnight to save energy.
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Nov 16, 2023

Standby

A mode of minimal power consumption while the device is not in active use.
Standby mode is perfect for short periods away from my desk.
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Nov 16, 2023

Hibernate

A process of shutting down a computer while retaining its current state.
After hibernating my computer, I can resume work exactly where I left off.
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Standby

A temporary low-power mode maintaining current session in RAM.
Standby mode keeps my documents open and ready to use.
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Hibernate

An energy-saving mode that fully powers off the computer.
Hibernate mode helps in extending the lifespan of my computer's battery.
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Nov 16, 2023

Standby

A power-saving state where a computer runs at low power while keeping data in RAM.
I put my computer on standby during lunch breaks.
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Nov 16, 2023

Hibernate

To be in a dormant or torpid state during a cold period, especially during the winter.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Standby

One that can always be relied on, as in an emergency.
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Hibernate

To be in an inactive or dormant state or period
"In Lawrenceville people hibernated and life passed them by" (Jacqueline Susann).
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Standby

One kept in readiness to serve as a substitute.
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Hibernate

To spend the winter in a dormant or inactive state of minimal activity, low body temperature, slow breathing and heart rate, and low metabolic rate; to go through a winter sleep.
Hedgehogs and bears are two of the many mammals that hibernate in winter.
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Oct 19, 2023

Standby

A mode of operation for a computer, television, or other electronic device in which the power is on and the device is ready for immediate use.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hibernate

(intransitive) To live in seclusion.
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Oct 19, 2023

Standby

Kept in reserve for use when needed
A standby generator.
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Hibernate

To enter a standby state which conserves power without losing the contents of memory.
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Standby

Of, relating to, or waiting for unreserved travel space that is made available by an airline only shortly before departure
Standby passengers.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hibernate

To winter; to pass the season of winter in close quarters, in a torpid or lethargic state, as certain mammals, reptiles, and insects.
Inclination would lead me to hibernate, during half the year, in this uncomfortable climate of Great Britain.
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Standby

On a standby basis
Flew standby to New York.
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Hibernate

Sleep during winter;
Bears must eat a lot of food before they hibernate in their caves
Certain animals estivate
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Standby

A state of readiness without immediate involvement; remaining in preparation for (a sudden or unforeseen event or situation).
The troops were on standby in case of an attack.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hibernate

Be in an inactive or dormant state
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Oct 19, 2023

Standby

(electronics) sleep mode
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Oct 19, 2023

Hibernate

A state where a computer completely powers off, preserving its session.
Hibernate is useful for conserving battery when not using my computer for a while.
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Nov 16, 2023

Standby

(travel) Waiting at the airport in the hope of getting a seat on a flight that is already booked out.
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Oct 19, 2023

Standby

Something that is standard, well-tested, or frequently used.
That recipe is an old standby, and she keeps the ingredients around in case of unexpected guests.
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Oct 19, 2023

Standby

To wait briefly, as for additional communication by radio or telephone; stand by
Standby while I check that for you.
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Oct 19, 2023

Standby

Something that can be relied on when needed
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Standby

An actor able to replace a regular performer when required
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Standby

Ready for emergency use;
A standby generator
A standby crew
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Standby

A low-energy state that allows for quick resumption of activity.
I use standby to quickly access my files after short meetings.
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Nov 16, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

How long can a computer stay in Hibernate?

Indefinitely, as it does not use power and data is stored on the hard drive.
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Is Hibernate more energy-efficient than Standby?

Yes, as it powers off the computer completely.
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What is Hibernate mode?

A mode where a computer saves its state to the hard drive and powers off.
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Can data be lost during Standby?

Yes, if there's a power failure, since data is stored in RAM.
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Is Standby suitable for overnight?

It's less efficient than Hibernate for long periods.
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How does Standby differ from Hibernate?

Standby keeps the computer in a low-power state with data in RAM, unlike Hibernate.
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What happens to open applications in Hibernate?

They are saved and restored upon waking the computer.
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Does Hibernate take up hard drive space?

Yes, it requires space equivalent to the RAM size.
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Is Standby a good option for short breaks?

Yes, it's ideal for quick pauses in work.
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How quickly can a computer wake from Standby?

Very quickly, as data remains in RAM.
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Can all computers Hibernate?

Most modern computers support Hibernate, but it depends on the operating system and hardware.
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How do I enable Hibernate on my computer?

It can typically be enabled in the power settings of the operating system.
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Is Standby the same as Sleep mode?

Yes, in many systems, Standby and Sleep mode are interchangeable.
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Is Standby less secure than Hibernate?

Not necessarily, but Hibernate ensures no data is left in volatile memory.
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Can Hibernate help in saving battery life?

Yes, as it completely powers off the computer.
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How does Hibernate affect computer performance?

It has no negative effect; performance resumes as normal after waking.
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Does Standby mode require a continuous power source?

Yes, it requires a small amount of power to maintain data in RAM.
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Can I schedule a computer to Hibernate?

Yes, many operating systems allow scheduling of Hibernate.
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Does waking from Hibernate require a password?

It depends on the user settings, but usually it requires login like a normal startup.
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Can updates install during Standby?

Generally, no, updates require the computer to be active or a restart.
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Nov 16, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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