What is Hiberfil.sys File on Windows and Can I Delete It?

What is Hiberfil.sys File on Windows and Can I Delete It?

/ Shayne Sherman

If you are reading this, maybe you have problems with your storage as a gigantic file named Hiberfil.sys occupies most of your free storage. Perhaps you are wondering if this file is a virus or if you can even delete it.

Windows has a feature that lets you hibernate your computer to save power when you are not using it but don’t want to turn off your system entirely.

Hibernate allows you to retain your system’s current progress, including all the running applications on your computer. It conserves power by writing the information in memory to the hard drive and shutdown itself while saving all your progress.

This is where the large hiberfil.sys file comes into place; your Windows operating system creates it to store the current state of your computer before going into hibernate mode.

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This way, the computer can start up faster and restore all your progress after coming out of hibernation instead of booting up Windows again when you shut down your computer.

Hiberfil.sys is usually hidden on the file explorer, and the only way to see it is when you enable the “Show Hidden Files” option on the Windows File Explorer.

In this case, if you don’t want to use this feature already, as it takes up a lot of space on your hard drive, we will show you how you can get rid of the large Hiberfil.sys file on your computer.

Let’s get started.

How to Disable Hibernation Mode Using Command Prompt

Since Hiberfil.sys is a system file, your operating system is currently using it. You can’t just delete the file using file explorer. In this case, you would need to perform a few steps first.

The first thing that you can do to try and avoid large Hiberfil.sys file on your hard drive is to disable Hibernation mode on your computer. Disabling hibernation mode on your computer is technically the same for all versions of Windows.

You would need to run the action using Command Prompt, which requires you to have administrative privileges on your computer.

Check out the steps below to guide you in disabling hibernation mode on your Windows system.

1. On your computer, press the Windows key + S and search for Command Prompt.

2. After that, click on Run as Administrator to open the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.

run command prompt administrator

3. Lastly, inside Command Prompt, type powercfg -h off and hit Enter.

powercfg cmd command

Now, this command will disable the hibernation feature on your Windows computer. You will notice the difference when you try to turn off your computer; the Hibernate option is now gone. 

On the other hand, if you wish to use Hibernate again, follow the steps above and go to the Command Prompt again. Instead of typing powercfg -h off, type powercfg -h on to enable the feature again on Windows.

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How to Disable Hibernate Feature using Registry Editor

Suppose you want another option to disable the hibernation feature on Windows operating system. You can also use the Windows Registry Editor to turn off the feature on your computer to save storage space.

Check out the steps below to guide you through the process.

1. On your computer, press Windows Key + R on your keyboard.

2. After that, type regedit and click OK.

regedit

3. Now, inside the Registry Editor, navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlPower

4. Next, inside the Power tab, double-click on HibernateEnabled.

5. Lastly, edit the value to 0 if you wish to disable it and 1 if you want to turn it on again.

edit dword value

After editing your registry, exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer. Now, navigate back to the File Explorer to see if the huge Hiberfil.sys file on your hard drive is already deleted. Also, check the Power options on the Start menu to see if the Hibernate option on your computer is already disabled.

Conclusion:

The hiberfil.sys file is a hidden system file that Windows uses to store the data of all open apps and documents when you enter hibernation mode. The hibernate feature is turned on by default in Windows, but you can easily disable it using Command Prompt or Registry Editor.

If you want to delete hiberfil.sys, turn off the hibernation mode first. Otherwise, you may lose important data stored in the file. Although if you delete hiberfil.sys you will save disk space, we recommend leaving it enabled unless there’s a specific reason to do otherwise.

One such reason is if having the file present causes problems with features like Fast Startup and Wake-On-Lan not working correctly after upgrading Windows.

Other Windows guides & fixes include: windows 10 audio troubleshooter, Microsoft printer troubleshooter, and RPC Server is Unavailable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are protected operating system files?

Operating system files are protected because they contain crucial information about the inner workings of a computer system. If these files were to fall into the wrong hands, it could jeopardize the entire system’s security. By protecting these files, we can ensure that only authorized individuals can access them.

Is hibernate mode safe?

Hibernate mode is a power-saving state in which your computer writes open documents and programs to your hard disk and then powers off the hardware components that aren’t needed to maintain data on the disk. When you wake up your computer from hibernate mode, it reads the information back into memory and returns to its pre-hibernation state.

What is the difference between sleep and hibernate mode?

The main difference between sleep and hibernate mode is that hibernate mode saves all your open documents and programs to your hard disk, then completely powers off your computer. In contrast, sleep mode only puts your computer into a low-power state, keeping it ready to resume work quickly. So, if you’re going to be away from your computer for more than a few hours, it’s best to put it into hibernate mode.

Where is the hibernation file located?

The hibernation file is typically located in the root directory of the primary hard drive. In Windows, it is usually found at C:\hiberfil.sys. The file may be hidden and have a system attribute, so it may not be visible in Windows Explorer unless you enable the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option in Folder Options.

Is it safe to delete hibernation file?

The hibernation file, hiberfil.sys, is a file used by the Windows operating system to store data about the state of the computer when it is turned off. This data includes any open files and programs, as well as the current state of the system memory. When you delete hiberfil.sys, you are essentially deleting all of this data, which can lead to problems when you try to turn the computer back on.

How do I view hibernation files?

Hibernation is a process that helps conserve energy in animals by reducing their body temperature and metabolism. When an animal hibernates, its body temperature and metabolism drop significantly, allowing it to save energy and survive on less food. Hibernation is an important adaptation that helps animals survive cold winters or periods of food scarcity.
To view hibernation files, open the file explorer and navigate to the C:\hiberfil.sys file.

How do I clear my Hiberfil.sys?

Hiberfil.sys is a file that Windows uses to store a copy of your system memory on your hard drive. When you hibernate your computer, the contents of your system memory are saved to this file so that you can resume your session when you restart your computer. If you don’t want to use hibernation, you can delete this file and reclaim the space it was using on your hard drive.

How do I delete Hiberfil.sys Windows 11?

To delete the Hiberfil.sys file in Windows 11, you will need to take the following steps:
Open the Control Panel.
Click on “System and Security.”
Click on “Power Options.”
In the left-hand pane, click “Change when the computer sleeps.”
Under “Sleep,” uncheck the box next to “Hibernate.”

Where is the Windows file manager?

The Windows file manager can be found in the Start menu. To access it, click on the Start button and then click on the File Manager option. The file manager will then appear on the screen.

What happens if I disable hibernate mode?

If you disable hibernate mode, your computer will not enter hibernation when you shut it down. This means that your computer will not save its current state to disk and will instead turn off completely. This can lead to data loss if you have unsaved work, so it is generally not recommended to disable hibernate mode.

How do I stop my computer from hibernating automatically?

To disable hibernation on your computer, you will need to follow these steps:
Click on the Start menu and then select Control Panel.
In the Control Panel, click on Power Options.
On the Power Options page, click on the Hibernate tab.
Uncheck the box next to Enable hibernate support.
Click on Apply and then OK to save the changes.

Should I enable hibernation?

Hibernation is a process where your computer saves all open files and the current state of your system before powering off. When you enable hibernation, your computer will save this information to a hibernation file on your hard drive. When you restart your computer, it will read the hibernation file and restore your system to how it was when you turned it off. This can be helpful if you need to power off your computer for a long period, like overnight.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.