The Hiberfil.sys file occupies a lot of space on the system disk (C drive). This section describes how to move and relocate the hibernate file to free up disk space.
Modern Windows uses something called hybrid sleep to put the system to sleep. Hybrid sleep, as the name implies, provides a nice combination of both. This means that even if the drive shuts down completely after going to sleep, no system state is lost.
If you have limited hard disk or SSD capacity, using hybrid sleep or hibernate can be costly. For example, if your system disk (C drive) is only 60 GB in size, it is not practical to allocate 5-10 GB for the Hiberfil.sys file.
hiberfil.sys is located in the root of the C drive. To view this file in File Explorer, you must unhide the protected system files.
So how do I move the hibernation file to another drive?
Moving hibernation files to another drive
The title of this article says “How to move hibernation files”, but actually you can’t move the hiberfil.sys file from the boot partition to another drive!Yes, it is. It just is.
Sure, I’ve seen some methods that use merging or registry editing to force the file path to change and move it. But those methods don’t work. At least not reliably. In fact, I have tried several of these methods with no success. At best, hibernation did not work, and at worst, the system crashed with a BSoD error.
Thus, even if you find a magical way to modify hibernation files, I would not recommend it. It is unstable and not worth the trouble.
Why can’t I move the hiberfil.sys file?
I won’t go into technical details, but here goes.
When hibernating or hibernating Windows, the system state is stored in the hiberfil.sys file. This allows the system to continue to operate from the point where it was deposited. As a result, the hiberfil.sys file is required at the beginning of the boot process.
The problem is that the boot process is a small file system that does not understand the various disk mount points. If you move the hiberfil.sys file to another drive, the boot process needs to know the new location and mount point. This requires access to the Windows Disk Management service, which is not available until you boot Windows.
Due to the complexity of hard disk configuration, Windows has decided not to support moving hiberfil.sys to another disk.
It must reside on the system disk, i.e., the C drive.
For more information, see TechNet article by Microsoft engineers.
Reduce hiberfil.sys file size
While the Hibernation file cannot be moved, it is possible to reduce the hiberfil.sys file size by up to 60%. For example, if the hiberfil.sys file is approximately 10 GB in size, it can be reduced to approximately 4 to 5 GB without affecting performance.
As you can see, this simple trick allows you to recover storage space without losing functionality.
Here is how to reduce hiberfil.sys on Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
- Open the Start menu.
- Request “Command Prompt”.
- Right click on the command prompt.
- Select “Run as Administrator.”
- Run the following command. Powercfg -h -size %60
- Exit the command prompt application.
- Restart Windows.
- Next, select the file size of hiberfil.sys.
First press the Start button on the keyboard to display the Start menu.
Next, search for “Command Prompt” in the Start menu. Right-click on the “Command Prompt” result and select “Run as Administrator. This will run the Command Prompt with administrator privileges.
In the Command Prompt window, execute the following command. By default, the command is reduced to 70% of its original size. Increase or decrease the percentage as needed.
Important: Do not reduce to less than 50%.
The command will display the new size of the hiberfil.sys file in the command prompt window.
That is all. It is as easy as moving or reducing the hiberfil.sys file.
We hope this simple and easy guide to working with Windows has been helpful.
If you get stuck or need help, please email me and I will do my best to help.
If you liked this article, check out how to add the missing [Hibernate] option to your Start menu or elsewhere.