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Windows 10, Power and Sleep Settings - a mystery solved!

There is a war on the internet, a war trying to demystify the Power and Sleep Settings of Windows 10. Is it good to put your computer to sleep, hibernate or shut it down completely. This war started in my head too after upgrading to a SSD on which my operating system is installed. To make things even more complicated there is also a setting called Hybrid Sleep. Let's break this mystery today through this post where I will tell you what each setting is and what I finally ended up doing with my power and sleep settings on my Windows 10 Desktop computer.

Let's first understand on how to get to your power and sleep settings on your computer; note it doesn't matter if you have a Laptop OR a Desktop, to get to the settings you can use the same method as long as your OS is Windows.

1. Press the Windows Key + I to open settings

2. In the settings window hit enter on System

3. In the list go to where it says Power and Sleep. Hit enter and on the right side of the window you will see the settings for Power and Sleep which you can customize as per your need

Understanding what Sleep, Hibernate, Shutdown and Hybrid Sleep settings are:

Sleep: Sleep uses very little power, your PC starts up faster, and you’re instantly back to where you left off. You don’t have to worry that you'll lose your work because of your battery draining because Windows automatically saves all your work and turns off the PC if the battery is too low. Use Sleep when you’re going to be away from your PC for just a little while—like when you’re taking a coffee break. For a lot of PCs (especially laptops and tablets), your PC goes to sleep when you close your lid or press the power button.

Hibernate: This option was designed for laptops and might not be available for all PCs. (For example, PCs with InstantGo don't have the hibernate option.) Hibernate uses less power than sleep and when you start up the PC again, you’re back to where you left off (though not as fast as sleep). Use hibernation when you know that you won't use your laptop or tablet for an extended period and won't have an opportunity to charge the battery during that time. First check to see if this option is available on your PC and if it is, turn it on.

Shutdown: To turn off your PC in Windows 10, select the Start  button, select the Power  button, and then select Shut down. But wait, your PC might not actually shutdown if you have Fast Start-up enabled; this is a new feature with Windows 10. You can also shutdown by getting to your desktop and pressing the keys ALT + F4 and hitting enter on the Shutdown option from the drop down menu that pops up. Just make sure you have closed and saved all work before you do this.

If you have Fast Start-up enabled; how do you completely shutdown your computer? ALT + F4 and when the Shutdown option is selected in the new window press shift and then enter on it. This completely shuts down your computer, take my word for it!

What is Fast-Start up, how do I check if I have enabled it?

The Fast Startup feature in Windows 10 allows your computer start up faster after a shutdown. When you shut down your computer, Fast Startup will put your computer into a hibernation state instead of a full shutdown. Fast Startup is enabled by default if your computer is capable of hibernation.

To check if this is enabled on your computer:

1. Type and search [Power & sleep settings] in the Windows search bar①, and then click [Open]②.

2. Click [Additional power settings]③.

3. Click [Choose what the power button does]④.

4. If the fast startup option is grayed out in Shutdown settings, please click [Change settings that are currently unavailable]⑤.

5. Select/ Unselect the check box [Turn on fast startup]⑥, to enable or disable it, don't forget to save your settings and restart your computer

Hybrid Sleep: Hybrid sleep is a type of sleep state that combines sleep and hibernate. When you put the computer into a hybrid sleep state, it writes out all its RAM to the hard drive (just like a hibernate), and then goes into a low power state that keeps RAM refreshed (just like sleep.

I know this is a little heavy to digest at first and you must wonder what should I do so that I get the best experience from my Windows 10 computer. I will share with you the settings I have made on my computer, which might help you decide - remember I am a Desktop computer user; if you are a Laptop user this may not be the best setting for power and sleep for you.

1. I have Fast Start-up enabled

2. In the Power and Sleep settings I have set my display to turn off after 3 minutes

3. PC goes to sleep in 10 minutes

4. Additional power settings, I have selected the High Performance power plan and have customized it as below

5. Hybrid Sleep is ON, Hibernate is Never by using this setting my computer will go into Hybrid Sleep after 10 minutes and I can get back to my computer after anytime and wake it up by tapping a key on the keyboard or shaking the mouse

If there is a power failure, I will get back to Windows to where I left it by pressing the Power button on the CPU unit. If you understood every bit of this post, you should in the comments answer this question: How did Windows resume from where I left off after a power failure?

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  1. You push the power button to wake it up after a power outage.
    This post reminded me of when VR updated my Windows 7 to Windows 10. I worry about Windows 11 coming out. Now that I’m out of VR it’s up to me to figure out how to pay for my technology. That can be very pricy! Especially since I don’t have the in kind allowance my grandpa once gave me. I miss my allowance.


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