What Is hiberfil.sys and Should I Delete It?

Hiberfil.sys is one of the most annoying files for anyone not using the Hibernate function. It can take up multiple GB of space, and it always returns if you delete it. Well, we are here to show you how to delete it for good.

What is this file?

This file is there for a reason. However, to understand it, we must first understand the Windows Hibernate function. In essence, activating the Hibernate mode will cause Windows to create a snapshot of your running programs. It will then write that data to the hard drive. So, when you are shutting down or restarting your system, the Hibernate function will make it a lot faster.

And hiberfil.sys is the name of the file that Windows uses to store the information. So, this file will commonly reach the amount of the RAM memory you have. Of course, for many users, this is not an issue. If you have terabytes of free space, there is no reason to worry about it. However, if you are running out of disk space and don’t require this function, it is just using up too much space. And, as we said, in order to delete the file, you will first have to disable the Hibernation feature.

Disabling Windows Hibernation

If you want to free up some space instantly, you can delete the file manually. However, the file will just come back in a matter of days. After all, the Hibernate function will still store all of the data in it. So, you will have to disable the function first. Follow the guide below to see how to do it:

For Windows XP

If you are still using Windows XP as your OS, you can simply disable this option through the Graphical User Interface. Follow 3 simple steps:

  1. Go to the Power Options in your Control Panel
  2. Open up the tab that says “Hibernate” and locate the “enable Hibernation” box
  3. Uncheck the box right there and select “OK”.

You can also disable it through the command line. We will show you the guide a bit later on.

For Windows 7 (or Vista)

Disabling this option through the GUI is not nearly as simple as it is on Windows XP. While you can still find the settings in the Power Options, it will take you a while to find them. The reason for this is that there are now separate options for Hibernate for each power plan. So, if you are using Windows 7, disabling it through the command prompt might be the easiest way to go. Remember, you will require administrative privileges to do this.

Start command prompt, type in the following command and then press enter.

powercfg.exe -h off

hibernate file cmd off

That’s pretty much it. Once you do this, Windows should remove the file itself. However, if you still find it, you can manually remove it. And, if you change your mind and want to reactivate the Hibernate function, you can do it with the same message. Just enter “on” instead of “off” in the command prompt line.

powercfg.exe -h on

hibernate file cmd on


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