Tip of the Week: Your Best Option for Powering Down Your Computer

Tip of the Week: Your Best Option for Powering Down Your Computer

While you most often concern yourself with your computer while it is powered up and active, it pays to be aware of your different options when the time comes to walk away. Let’s take a few moments and review the options that you likely see when putting your computer to rest.

The Options in the Power Menu

This part is pretty straightforward, and you’re likely already familiar with what you’ll see if you open the Start menu and click into Power:

  • Sleep
  • Hibernate (depending on the hardware used or any group policies that may be in place)
  • Shut Down
  • Restart

Each of these options kicks off a different process that, depending on your situation, could be the best option for you. Shut Down turns off the system, while Restart turns off the system before carrying out a complete startup process again. The other two options, Sleep and Hibernate, are a little more complicated than that.


Sleep mode is a state where your computer is rendered inactive without being turned off completely. This allows you to conserve power without sacrificing any speed when the time comes to resume your work. Once your monitor and peripherals awaken as full power is restored, you’ll be good to go.

This is because all your system’s data is stored in the RAM as the computer sleeps. This isn’t without its drawbacks—any power loss could wipe the data that is being saved for later—so it is important that you regularly save your progress, regardless.


Hibernate is a kind of middle ground between putting your computer to sleep and shutting it down completely, as it allows you to turn your system off while still enjoying the quick resume time that waking it up from Sleep would enable. This is thanks to the use of your device’s actual storage drives to store your data, as compared to the RAM. While this better protects your data against loss, your hard drive could easily fill up if you aren’t careful.

Waking up your device from hibernate is as simple as pressing the power button.

Is One of These Options Missing?

There is a chance that your work computers don’t offer the Hibernate option. This could be caused by two things: the hardware your system relies on, or the administrative options set by the organization.

If you want to learn more about the IT that your business relies on, you can always turn to the pros at BNMC. Give us a call at 978-482-2020 to find out what we have to offer you.



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