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Questions about hiberfil.sys


In looking for ways to free up space on my C Drive,* I discovered a file entitled hiberfil.sys which is taking up over 12 GB.  Interestingly, it is not listed in Windows Explorer despite having selected the folder option to view hidden files.  I found it using TreeSize as shown here:1Google took me to this link:  

where I found the following:
As from our last post, why your hard drive is always shrinking even though you did not do anything, we talked about using the freeware TreeSize to view where you have the largest chunk of data on your hard drive. If you look deep enough you will found out that there are two files called pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys that occupy over few GB of hard drive space. If you are the kind person that does not use Hibernate then this article is for you.

When you turn off your computer using hibernate, the operating system needs to store all your current running program states onto hard disk so that programs can resume where they left off when you power up your PC again. To achieve this, the OS need to save all the information into a file called hiberfil.sys. Windows OS (7, vista, XP) usually stores this as a hidden file under your C directory or your main OS partition.

So if you never use hibernate, than its time for you to get your hard drive space back.

[Note: Hibernate mode is not sleep mode. When hibernating your computer completely shuts down, however, under sleep mode your PC is not completely shut down; it still consumes a small amount of power.]

The best way to delete hiberfil.sys or disable hibernate:

Go to Start menu, type “cmd” open up command prompt
Type “powercfg.exe -h off” [make sure you are an Administrator]
Type “exit”

RESTART YOUR PC and you are all set

After restart you should be able to see more free space on your hard drive.


1) Is the above information accurate?
2) Does the fix it describes represent the best solution?
3) By eliminating that file, will my system lose its ability to hibernate (i.e. does the file simply contain data only from previous hibernates or does it also include something which is required for the hibernation process)?
4) Do you have any other suggestions that may help me increase the amount of free space on Drive C — besides emptying the recycle bin  :) — or the overall performance of my system?


*FYI, the computer was custom-built and configured with the intent that whenever possible, user data (i.e. My Documents-type files) will be stored on Drive E with Drive C (which is solid-state) being reserved for Windows and Program Files.  Following are the specs:

  •Processor:  AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1090T Processor  3.20 GHz
  •Memory:  16.0 GB
  •Operating System:  Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
  •Drive C:  Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5-inch SATA Solid State Drive
  •Drive D:  HL-DT-ST BD-RE WH12LS30 ATA Device
  •Drive E:  WD 500GB SATA/600 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive
  •Drive F:  Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C HDS721010CLA332 - hard drive - 1 TB - SATA-300
  •Video:  ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
3 Solutions
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
1-3 Yes this is correct

folder option to view hidden files

You have to enable viewing of system protected files as well to see this
Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
Disk cleanup utility, defrag hdd, adjust windows for best performance under the advanced tab of system properties.  Cleanup startup programs with msconfig, services.msc and disable  services you do not use.
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
If you don't ever hibernate your machine, get rid of hiberfile, and move your users onto one of your other drives
Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the very helpful responses.

I found a couple of good resources for this and a similar issue:

Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
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