Is Hiberfil.sys a Virus or Malware?

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You are probably here because you found a large file in your computer called hiberfil.sys, and you are not sure of what to do with it. You may have even considered it as a virus. Don’t worry because it is what Windows uses to wake your PC from hibernation.

We will explain more about this file in the next section. And if you worry that it takes an unnecessarily sizable amount of storage, we will also show you how to remove hiberfil.sys from Windows. Let’s get started.

What is the Hiberfil.sys File?

The Windows operating system offers different ways to save power when you are not using your PC. Obviously, you can turn it off if you are going for a long break. If you are taking a short break like stretching your body or grabbing a coffee, you may send it into a sleep mode since it is usually the quickest. Hibernate is ideal for longer durations and is a bit slower. Basically, when your PC goes into hibernation mode, the Windows OS keeps your RAM data on the hard disk. Unlike Sleep, the hibernate mode conserves the system state without consuming power and boot right back to the previous state.

The Windows OS relies on the hiberfil.sys file to wake your PC from hibernation. It is where all the information for hibernate mode is kept. So, depending on what you are running on your PC, the file can grow in size to several GBs, which can be an issue if using a storage-challenged device.

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Is Hiberfil.sys Safe?

Hiberfil.sys is a Windows system file, so it is relatively harmless. It can only be dangerous if a virus infects the file. It is also possible that some hackers may have created malware with the same name. That is why you should scan your PC with a reliable anti-malware program.

Can Hiberfil.sys be Deleted?

If you don’t use the hibernate feature frequently, then it is perfectly okay to get rid of it. However, it is not as straightforward as throwing it to the Recycle bin. Nonetheless, it is safe to delete the file.

We do not recommend deleting this file, but if it limits the performance of your PC, then you can get rid of it. Actually, the main reason why some users delete this file is because of memory issues. While the file enables Windows to shut the system completely, therefore, saving power, it usually takes notable space on your hard disk.

So, if you have limited space on your computer because the file took up a huge space on your disk, then it is okay to delete it. Just know that you won’t be able to send your device into hibernate mode without the file.

Alternatively, you can resize the file using a special command. By default, the hiberfil.sys file takes up three-quarters of your RAM, and it usually is hosted in the C drive. So, when you resize, the 75 percent occupied space will be slashed down to 50 percent.

To resize the hiberfil.sys file, open the Command Prompt, and then execute this command: powercfg.exe /hibernate /size 50

Important tip: before executing the command, it is vital to check if the hibernation feature is on. To do so, Open Windows Explorer in C and check if the file is enabled. Here is the process:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System, then choose Power & Sleep.
  2. Click on Additional power settings.
  3. Choose the power plan to adjust settings.
  4. After that, check if hibernation is on for the provided settings.

How to Remove Hiberfil.sys from Windows?

The method for disabling hibernate mode is almost the same in Windows 10/11, 8, 7, and Vista. To remove it from Windows, you will need to use an elevated Command Prompt. The good thing is that it is just a simple command. Here is how it goes:

  1. Click on Start, then type command prompt into the search field and hit Enter.
  2. When the search results appear, right-click on the Command Prompt app, and then select Run as administrator.
  3. Once the Command Prompt window opens, type the following command, then press Enter: powercfg -h off

The command will disable the hibernate option immediately. You will notice that Hibernate Mode is missing when you click the Shutdown option. You can also confirm that the file has been deleted by opening your C drive. If everything went well, then you will get back the space occupied by the hiberfil.sys file.

If you change your mind later, and you want to re-enable hibernate mode, open the Command Prompt, and then execute this command: powercfg -h on

Additional Tip

Besides removing hiberfil.sys, you may also want to get rid of other space hogs on your hard drive. We have seen many Windows users resolve storage issues and improve their device performance by just cleaning them with the best PC repair software. Keeping junk in your system often causes performance issues.

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