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Hiberfil.sys – What is it and how to delete it

You might discover unusually large files on the computer with the name Hiberfil.sys. These files can actually chew up space and limit the amount of storage that is usable for other important files storage or use. There is no need to worry however, this file is not a sign of malicious infections or anything of that sort. It’s simply a way for the Windows system to execute hibernations and return to use without a hitch or data loss. It’s therefore quite useful if the user is intermittent and sometimes leaves the computer unattended or inoperative.

The main drive for file creation is a power saving feature. By allowing the computer to hibernate when not in use, all windows systems become inactive hence reducing power consumption and saving on both battery life and actual power costs. This is specifically for long periods of inactivity, unlike the sleep feature. The ‘hibernate’ option will give the user a quick start-up and resume time which can be very convenient.

When the ‘hibernate’ mode is selected, the computer quickly writes all the status information to the hard drive to enable the computer’s return to present state on demand. The size of the Hiberfil.sys file is, therefore, dependant on the services that were being used at the time of the hibernate command.

See also: How to remove pagefile.sys in Windows 10

How to delete Hiberfil.sys?

Since the file has such a specific use, not all users will utilise it. To free up more space, the file can be deleted when the user is not that interested in using the hibernate feature. The process, however, is not as obvious as it may seem and, more importantly, it must be safely done considering that Windows deliberately places it there. It is also different across Windows’s systems.

The file can be safely deleted by all users who do not utilise the ‘hibernate’ option on Windows Vista and Windows 7-10 operating systems by a process of a few commands which are basically a de-activation of the hibernate mode.

  • Bring up the start search bar first and search for Command Prompt. Reveal the options by right-clicking on it and select to run the program as administrator.
  • A popup will ask if you agree to make changes to the computer with the app. Agree and proceed.
  • Once you agree, a window terminal will pop up. Type in the command ‘’powercfg -h off’’ as it is including the spaces and then press return.
  • Close down the window and navigate back to where the file was initially found. If the process was executed correctly, the file should be gone at this point because shutting down the ‘hibernate’ option automatically deletes the data storage file for that mode.
  • If at some point the user wishes to use the ‘hibernate’ option after all, then just repeat the process but this time around type in the command ‘’powercfg -h on’’ instead and you’re good to go!

For Windows XP, the file can be deactivated with a slightly different and somewhat simpler process.

  • In the control panel, select the power options and open the ‘’hibernate tab’’.
  • Once open, there will be options to enable or disable it. Select disable and close down the window.
  • Once disabled, you have to manually delete the file in its source folder and you’re also good to go!

Getting rid of the file can save memory, however, the hibernate option is always better than the complete shutdown because of reduced boot time and also because it automatically saves work progress in the event that the user forgets to do so which is something that often happens for most users. Once disabled, you will notice that the hibernate option automatically disappears in the power options which is a safety feature to avoid mistakenly selecting it and resulting in data loss or boot issues.

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