Changing Power Options in Your Computer

Imagine a scenario wherein a user has to switch off the system temporarily, but he/she doesn’t even have the time to save the program/application on which he/she is working. If the user is aware of the various power options available with Windows, he will definitely use them during such scenarios. This article informs change the power options in the computer.

Windows provides a host of power options, some of which we rarely use. We mostly tend to use the 'Shut down' option because we do not know what the other options are meant for. Let us see the various power options in the computer, their utilities, and ways to change the power options.

Power options in the Computer

Shut down - This is the one option most of us use. This command shuts down all programs and applications that you are running. When you restart your computer, the system restarts afresh.

Hibernate – A very useful power option that helps users save their session. In this mode, you can minimize the applications and programs that you are working on and put the system to hibernate. The system saves our session and lies dormant until the time we restart it. When we restart the computer, our session is restored, in other words, all the programs and documents that we were working on previously before hibernating the system are intact.

Sleep – This can be used in cases when you have to leave the system for a very short period of time. Sleeping is similar to human beings taking a nap! In this mode, the system keeps your session in memory and puts the computer in a low power state. You can resume working quickly, by just pressing the Windows-Start button on the keyboard. The 'standby' option on desktops using Windows XP is more or less similar to the 'sleep' option.

Enabling and changing power options

Follow these steps to enable power options like 'Hibernate':
If your system is a desktop/laptop with Windows XP, you can enable 'hibernate' in the following way:

If using Windows XP, go to Start-> Control Panel ->Performance and Maintenance->Power Options. When you click on 'Power Options', a window titled 'Power Options' appears. Click on the tab 'Hibernate'. Here, you will find a check box saying 'Enable Hibernation'. Tick the check box. When you shutdown the computer, you will find three options namely 'Standby', 'Shutdown' and 'Restart'. Now, press the Shift key on your keyboard. You will see that the Standby button transforms itself to Hibernate. Hereafter, whenever you wish to hibernate, just press the 'shift' key and click on the 'hibernate' button simultaneously.

If using a desktop/laptop with Windows 7/Vista, go to Start-> Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound->Power Options. To the left of the Power Options, you find a list. Click on 'Choose what the power buttons do'. There are three options here namely, 'When I press the power buttons'; 'When I press the sleep button'; and 'When I close the lid'. Using the drop down list corresponding to each of these commands, you can choose whether you wish to hibernate/sleep/shut down your system when you close the lid of your laptop/when you press the power button/when you click on the sleep button.

These are the ways to change power options in a computer.

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