WTF is Hiberfil.sys and Can You Delete it? Clear Up Disk Space

08/14/2019     Author: Billy Gray

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably noticed that there’s a massive file on your Windows called Hiberfil.sys. So can you delete it to clear up space?


You may have noticed that there’s an outrageously large file on your computer called Hiberfil.sys – it can take up around the 20 GB mark if left unchecked. That’s a bit too much disk space, isn’t it?

If you’re trying to clear out some memory, then this might be the first place you’ll want to look. It’s a huge file that serves a specific purpose and if you don’t use this function then you can get away with deleting it. So what the hell does this file actually do? And can you delete it?

That depends. Let’s have a look.


The Hiberfil.sys here takes up more than 13 GB!

What is Hiberfil.sys?

Hiberfil.sys is the file that represents the data you save when you hibernate your computer. Let’s rewind. When you’re not using your computer, you can turn it off, put it to sleep, or hibernate it. All three of these options do different things.

SLEEP: This is the one that most people choose as it’s the quickest. When you put your computer to sleep (the same as just closing your laptop), it maintains just enough power to keep the memory going. This is why when you close your laptop and leave it unused for a couple of days, it still runs out of power. It’s still active in sleep mode, just on a very low amount of power so that the memory of what you were doing on it is saved.

TURN OFF: This is the one that no one really does because it takes so damn long to turn back on. Sort of speaks for itself really… we feel like we don’t need to explain what turning off your computer means.

HIBERNATE: This is the one that really matters here – it’s the one responsible for that massive Hiberfil.sys file. When you put your computer in hibernate, it doesn’t turn off, meaning that you can start it up again very quickly – but it uses much less power than it would in sleep mode.

Hibernate saves the memory of what you were last doing in the Hiberfil.sys file and then runs on extreme low power mode. Hopefully you’re now starting to figure out why the Hiberfil.sys file is so large and what it’s made up of.

If you regularly put your computer on hibernate, then the Hiberfil.sys file is going to save more and more memory and get bigger and bigger. If you never hibernate your computer, then this file is totally useless and you can delete it.

How to delete the Hiberfil.sys file

This sounds as easy as pressing delete – it isn’t. But don’t worry, it’s not a difficult process, just follow these simple instructions to delete the Hiberfil.sys file from your computer.

Simply deleting the file isn’t going to work because Windows will just make a new one. In order to get rid of it you’ll need to disable it as well.

  1. Open Start menu and type Command Prompt
  2. Allow the app to make changes to your system
  3. Terminal will open – type powercfg -h off
  4. Press Enter and close the terminal

This will deactivate hibernation and delete the Hiberfil.sys file. If in the future you want to reactivate it, then simply do the same process, but type powercfg –h on instead. Simples.

You can check to confirm that the file has been deleted just to make sure. If it hasn’t, then the machines are likely rising up to destroy us all and we recommend you run for the hills.

Why delete the Hiberfil.sys?

Simply put, everyone loves a bit of disk space. If you’re not using the hibernate function – which most people probably aren’t – then there’s really no reason to have this large file on your system.

If you’re using a low-spec computer, then disk space is precious and having a minimal amount available isn’t just inconvenient, but it also affects the functionality of your computer and can cause problems that will lead to you needing to buy a new one.

This can all be avoided by ensuing that you have enough disk space available. Aside from deleting the hiberfil.sys file, we also recommend that you install a disk space cleaner and get rid of those junk files that are taking up space on your drive. You’ll thank us for it later!

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