Understanding and Managing Large hiberfil.sys Files for Optimal PC Performance

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Understanding how your computer works might seem like an uphill task, especially when jumbling through a series of technical terms and applications. If you’ve ever come across hiberfil.sys and wondered what purpose it serves or why it occasionally gets large, this article aims to provide tangible insights on this subject.

Definition of hiberfil.sys

Hiberfil.sys is a system file that is critical for the functioning of your computer. It’s housed in the root folder of the drive where your operating system is installed, often invisible to the untrained eye since it’s hidden by default to prevent accidental tampering.

Understanding its relevance to the system

When you choose the hibernate option on your computer, Windows creates this file to store the current state of your PC, including all open applications and documents. In essence, hiberfil.sys functions as a snapshot of your Windows session, allowing your computer to resume exactly where you left off when turning it back on after hibernation.

Explanation on why hiberfil.sys can get large

Given its role to restore your session, hiberfil.sys can take up a considerable amount of disk space – often amounting to roughly 75% of your computer’s RAM. Consequently, for high RAM computers, hiberfil.sys can become quite large, eating up valuable storage space.

What is Hibernation and The Role of Hiberfil.sys

Explaining computer hibernation

Hibernation is a power-saving state that’s designed to save your open documents and programs to your hard disk and then turn off your computer. Unlike Sleep mode, which puts your PC into a low-power state, Hibernation closes your computer, giving you the liberty to unplug it and move around without loss of data.

How hiberfil.sys contributes to hibernation

As earlier stated, hiberfil.sys is the file that holds data about your current session to facilitate this safe shutdown and fast startup process. It preserves your desktop setup, ensuring that any open files and applications are accessible for instant use when you turn back on your computer.

The Impact of a Large Hiberfil.sys File on Your Computer

The effect on the system’s resources

The larger your hiberfil.sys file is, the more system resources it uses. This is because the file size is directly proportional to the amount of RAM used by your computer. It might lead to slowed processing speeds, especially for computers with lower hard drive capacities.

The effect on the performance of the system

Having a large hiberfil.sys file may result in your system performance taking a hit. The size of this file can impede your computer’s speed and efficiency, especially during startup, when the system needs to read and load the data stored within the file.

The taking up of hard disk space

Perhaps one of the most noticeable effects is the amount of storage space the large hiberfil.sys file occupies. In some cases, this might leave you with limited space for other functions or data storage, affecting the overall usability of your computer.

Reasons Why Hiberfil.sys Gets Large

Discuss factors that contribute to increasing size

The primary reason hiberfil.sys becomes large depends on the quantity of data being saved before your computer enters hibernation mode. This data includes all opened files, applications, services, and other ongoing operations. The more data that needs preservation, the larger the hiberfil.sys file.

Explain the correlation between hibernation settings and file size

Your hibernation settings also influence the file size. For instance, a computer that uses the hibernate feature frequently is likely to experience an increase in the size of the hiberfil.sys file compared to one that doesn’t hibernate as often.

How to Identify Hiberfil.sys Size

Guide to find out the size of hiberfil.sys on your computer

To determine the size of your hiberfil.sys file, you need to delve into your system settings. By checking the Properties of your system drive (usually C:), you can find the file size under the Size on disk section.

Using built-in OS tools

Windows users can utilize built-in OS tools such as Command Prompt and Powershell. By running a simple command, users can view the size of the hiberfil.sys file, providing valuable insights into the space it occupies.

How to handle a Large Hiberfil.sys file

Resizing the hiberfil.sys file

If hiberfil.sys has become too large, one way to handle this situation can be decreasing the size it occupies. Users can do this by adjusting the Hibernation File Size Type according to their needs.

Disabling hibernation

One of the most straightforward methods to reduce the hiberfil.sys size is to disable hibernation altogether. This action will effectively delete the hiberfil.sys file, freeing up disk space equivalent to about 75% of your RAM.

Deleting the hiberfil.sys file

Another alternative is to remove the hiberfil.sys file directly, essentially dispelling all traces of your saved session data. However, because it is a system file, Windows will recreate it unless hibernation is deactivated.

Necessary precautions and steps

Before you proceed with deleting or disabling the hiberfil.sys file, ensure all your work is saved. Furthermore, you should remember that once hibernation is disabled or the file removed, you won’t be able to use the hibernation feature unless reactivated.

Pros and cons of each approach

While disabling hibernation and deleting the hiberfil.sys file might save you substantial storage space, it also comes with the disadvantage of reducing your computer’s power options. Users who frequently use hibernation might find these options inconvenient.

Prevention Measures

How to prevent hiberfil.sys from enlarging

Regular maintenance can help keep your hiberfil.sys file size in check. Limiting the number of open applications before entering hibernation can directly influence the file size.

Optimal hibernation settings

By adjusting your PC’s hibernation settings, you can control how much data is stored in the hiberfil.sys file. By optimizing these settings, you can strike a balance between speed and space usage.

Regular maintenance and tools

Maintaining and monitoring your PC’s performance and storage space regularly can remedy a sizeable hiberfil.sys file.


In summary, while hiberfil.sys is a system-file that facilitates quick recovery from hibernation, its size can occasionally become a concern. Regular system maintenance, optimizing hibernation settings, and being mindful of your system’s resources can help manage and control the hiberfil.sys file size effectively.


What is hiberfil.sys?

Hiberfil.sys is a Windows system file used to store the machine’s state whenever it goes into hibernation.

Why is my hiberfil.sys so large?

The size of hiberfil.sys is directly proportional to the amount of data it needs to save during hibernation. The more open files and applications you have, the larger it will be.

Is it safe to delete hiberfil.sys file?

Yes. However, bear in mind that deleting this file means you won’t be able to use the hibernation feature on your computer unless the file is re-created.

How can I reduce the size of hiberfil.sys file?

The primary way to reduce the size of hiberfil.sys is by disabling the hibernation feature on Windows. Alternatively, you can limit the amount of data saved in it.

How often should I check my hiberfil.sys file size?

It’s advisable to check the size of hiberfil.sys occasionally, especially if you’re running low on disk space or if you often use hibernation.

What happens if I disable hibernation?

Disabling hibernation deletes the hiberfil.sys file, freeing up your system’s disk space. However, it also means you can’t hibernate your computer.

Is there an automatic way to manage my hiberfil.sys file size?

Albeit there isn’t a direct automatic way to manage this file size, regular system maintenance and optimal hibernation settings can go a long way in ensuring your hiberfil.sys file remains manageable.