Hibernation is a great feature of Windows which was introduced in Windows XP. Hibernation enables Windows to save all the data in RAM to the hard drive so that the computer can be shutdown without losing the current state of the system. When the user wants to start the computer again, Windows will attempt to restore the the state of RAM that was saved when hibernating.

Windows 8 also comes with the hibernate option which comes in handy when a user wants to shutdown the system without losing the present state of his work. But the hibernate option in Windows 8 is not enabled by default. You will need to enable the option in order to make it visible in the Power options. We discuss three ways to enable Windows 8 hibernation option.

If you enable hibernate option in Windows 8, it will create a file called hyberfil.sys. This file’s size is equal to that of your RAM. You will need to make sure that there is free space in your system drive at least equal to the RAM memory size.

Using Command line

powercfg hibernate on in Windows 8

The easiest way to enable or disable hibernation option in Windows 8 is through command line.  Follow the steps below to enable hibernation through command line:

Open command prompt with administrative privileges and issue the following command:

powercfg -h on

This should enable hibernate option instantly without restarting your computer. You can confirm this by expanding  Windows 8 power button and see if the hibernate button is available.

Windows 8 power button expanded

Similarly, you can easily disable the hibernate option from the command line by using the following command.

powercfg -h off

Please make sure that you are issuing these commands in command prompt with administrative privileges. Otherwise the commands will not run.

Using Registry

You can also enable or disable Hibernate option in Windows 8 through registry. This can be useful especially if you are in a network and want to replicate this behavior in all the computers across the network.

enabling Hibernate option through registry editor

To enable hibernate using the registry, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Run (WinKey + R) –> regedit
  2. Go to the following registry key:
  3. In the right hand pane, double click “HibernateEnabled” and set its value to 1.
  4. You will need to restart your computer in order for the changes to take effect.

Please note that editing Windows registry is an advanced task. You should only do it if you are confident about using the registry editor. You should always backup Windows registry before performing any operations.

Using Power Options (Visual)

To enable the hibernate option visually, go to Control Panel –> Hardware and Sound –> Power Options.

If you are using a laptop, you can simply right click on the Power icon in system tray and select Power Options.

choose what the power buttons do

Check the Hibernate option on the next screen and save changes. This should enable the hibernate option immediately.

Power options system settings

Sometimes you will  find that all or some of the shutdown settings are grayed out like the screenshot below:

Power options system settings greyed out

You can simply click on the link at the top that says “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.

Change settings that are currently unavailable

I hope this will be helpful for you. Which method will you prefer to enable or disable hibernation in Windows 8? If you know of any other way to do this trick, please let us know through comments.