Long gone are the days when you can either just shut down or restart your computer. These days, you have more options to choose from depending on your needs. What if you do not want to fully shut down your computer yet you still want to save energy? What if you want to start working where you left off and you don’t want to go into the trouble of opening all your files again the next time that you boot your computer? Well, these things are now possible with the help of the new standby, hibernate, and shut down commands in your computer.. Which of these three options is best for your computer?

Going on standby

Putting your computer on standby or sleep mode is like a student dozing off during class. This is best done when you are leaving your computer open during a brief period of time. What happens during standby mode is that your computer is still running, although it is operating on low energy levels. The applications that you left open will still be running, so that when you return to it after a short while, it becomes easier to open these files.

Sleep mode definitely requires a constant source of power, but experts say that your computer actually spends less energy when it is kept running as compared to booting it up every now and then. So even though you do not spend energy when your computer is completely turned off, sometimes it is more advisable to keep it on sleep mode so that you do not waste power in turning on your computer repeatedly. But in most cases, sleep or standby mode should be used when you are going away for a short time.

Hibernating blues

 If standby mode is dozing off, hibernation mode is more like taking a nap. Just like the standby mode, your applications and documents are left open for easier retrieval, but the difference is your computer’s power is off. You can look at it as a cross between standby and shut down. Also, when you hibernate your computer, it will take a short while before you can “wake it up,” since it has to load all the files that you kept open before you went on hibernation mode.

While you do not use any power during hibernation, the thing is it has the ability to automatically start up during scheduled tasks, such as a scheduled scan. And because it loads all the files that you left, it takes more energy to boot it up. In this aspect, it wastes energy.

Shut down knockout

Following the sleep analogy, shutting down your computer is like giving it a full night’s sleep. If you are not going to use your computer for quite some time, then this is unarguably the best option for you. It turns off the power completely, and you are sure that you are not wasting energy on that. Because of that, it is the most environmentally friendly option since you can even unplug your computer during this time, also enabling you to save financially.

Perhaps the reason why Microsoft devised these three options is to avoid leaving your computer idle during long periods of time. A lot of energy is wasted by computers which are left idle for a long time. Also, these three options are said to give your computer’s battery an “exercise,” therefore contributing to its longevity.

Standby, hibernate, or shut down: What is best for your computer? The answer depends on a case-to-case basis, but the important thing here is that you try to save as much energy as you can depending on your needs and computer usage.