Delete Hiberfil.sys to regain space

Just incase you didn’t know when you activate the hibernate function on your laptop or computer, Windows takes a snapshot of your running programs, open files, etc. and writes that information to your hard drive in a file. The hibernate function was designed to speed up shutdowns and restarts and save power on laptops.

Hiberfil.sys, is the name of the file to where Windows saves the hibernation data. This file is equal to the size to the amount of RAM in the computer.  If you have plenty of hard drive space on your computer then this isn’t much of a problem, but if you’re running low on hard drive space and you never use the hibernate feature, then the hiberfil.sys file just sits around eating up unessisary space.

You could attempt to manually delete hiberfil.sys file, but it will just come back when the system takes another snapshot. To get rid of the file once and for all, you must disable the Windows Hibernate function. You can do this through either Windows or the command line.

Windows XP

On Windows XP systems, you can easily disable Hibernate

   1. Open the Control Panel and access Power Options.
   2. Select the Hibernate tab in the Power Options Properties dialog box.
   3. Clear the Enable Hibernation check box and click OK.
Windows XP – Power Options – Hibernate

If you would prefer to disable Hibernate through the command line, you can use the steps outlined below.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

Completely disabling Hibernate through Windows Vista and Windows 7 is significantly more difficult than on Windows XP. The Hibernate settings are still stored under the Control Panel’s Power Options applet, but they are buried under each power plan’s advanced power settings submenu. I have had problems removeing hiberfil.sys by altering the appropriate Power Options on either Windows Vista or Windows 7

The only surefire method of disabling Hibernate, and thus removing hiberfil.sys, on Windows Vista and Windows 7, is through the command prompt and the following steps:

   1. Open a command prompt with administrative privileges.
   2. Enter “powercfg.exe -h off” (Figure D).
   3. Exit the command prompt.

As soon as you clear the check box or execute the above powercfg.exe command, Windows should delete hiberfil.sys. Though I suggest that you just take a minute to check the file’s exsistance for yourself to be sure.

To turn the Hibernate function back on, simply recheck the Enable Hibernation setting under Power Option Properties or enter “powercfg.exe -h on” at a command prompt with administrative privileges.

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