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MS-Windows Troubleshooting

How to delete hiberfil.sys (and disable hibernate)

Windows creates a file hiberfil.sys in root of the C drive. This is hidden system file which Windows dumps the contents of memory to when the system hibernates. The idea is that hibernating can save time both on shutting down and on start-up.

The c:\hiberfil.sys file and hibernation go hand in hand. You cannot delete the hiberfil.sys file without disabling hibernation, and you cannot have hibernation enabled with Windows creating the hiberfil.sys file.

If you do not use the hibernation feature of Windows then by turning of hibernation the hiberfil.sys file should automatically be removed.

To disable hibernation (In Windows Vista and Windows 7):

  1. Start > All Programs > Accessories, right click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run as administrator".
  2. Enter:
    powercfg -hibernate off
    and press Return.

That should be it. You can now close the "Command Prompt" window, and you should find that the hiberfil.sys file has disappeared.

Should you ever need to restore the hibernation feature then follow the same procedure but instead use: "powercfg -hibernate on".

If you get the error:

You do not have permission to enable or disable the Hibernate feature.

This will be because you did not open the "Command Prompt" with "Run as administrator".


These notes have been tested with Windows Windows Vista and Windows 7, and may also apply to other versions of Windows.

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