How to enable or disable the Hibernate option in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced the Fast Startup feature which performs a hybrid shutdown of your PC by logging you out of your user account and then hibernating the PC when you click Shut Down. Full shutdown is possible by holding down the Shift key while clicking Shutdown. Because fast startup is essentially logoff+hibernation, the regular Hibernate option which turned off the PC without logging out is hidden and disabled by default. In this article, we will take a look at how you can enable the Hibernate option so you can hibernate without logging out and don't have to use the Shutdown option.


If you have Windows 8.1 Update 1 installed, and you have the Power button on the Start screen, the power menu will show like this by default:

To enable the Hibernate option, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Open the Start screen.
  2. type po bu right on the Start screen (short for 'power buttons'). It will show you directly the 'Change what the power buttons do' page in the search results. Click it.
    Tip: See how to speed up search on the Start screen in Windows 8.1 for more details.
    Change what the power buttons do
  3. The following window will appear on the screen:
    fast startup
    Tip: You can open the same page in Power Option using another way. Open the Control Panel and go to the following path:
    Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options

    Then click the 'Choose what the power buttons do' link on the left.

  4. Now click on the 'Change settings that are currently unavailable' link to make the greyed out Shutdown options available. Confirm the UAC prompt if it asks you.
  5. Check the Hibernate option:

That's it. Now, when you open the Shutdown menu from the Start screen: you will see the 'Hibernate' option there.
Hibernation4If you access the classic Shutdown dialog by pressing Alt+F4 on the Desktop, there also you will see the Hibernate option now.
Hibernation5To disable the Hibernate mode option, uncheck the Hibernate option you enabled earlier.

You can also turn off the PC's hibernate mode using the built-in command line powercfg tool. When hibernation is disabled, the 'Hibernate' option will be removed automatically from the Shutdown menu (This disables the Fast Startup feature as well).

  1. Open an elevated command prompt.
  2. To disable hibernation, enter the following command:
    powercfg hibernate off
  3. To enable hibernation, enter the following command:
    powercfg hibernate on

Tip: You can change the size of the hibernation file and free up some disk space by compressing it as shown in this article.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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