The Hiberfil.sys file takes up a lot of disk space on the system (C Drive). Here’s how to move and relocate the hibernation file to free up disk space.
Modern Windows uses something called Hybrid Sleep to put the system to sleep. As the name implies, Hybrid Sleep gives you the best of both worlds. That is, you won’t lose the system state even if the device is fully powered off after putting it to sleep.
If space on your hard disk or SSD is limited, using the Hybrid Sleep or Hibernate feature can be costly. For example, if your system drive (C Drive) is just 60GB in size, allotting around 5 to 10 GB to the Hiberfil.sys file is impractical. To reclaim the disk space, you can, disable hibernation, reduce hiberfil.sys file size, or move hiberfil.sys to another drive.
The hiberfil.sys is located in the root of the C drive. You must unhide protected system files to see this file in File Explorer.
So, how do you move the hibernation file to another drive?
Move hibernation file to another drive
Although the title of this post says “How to Relocate Hibernation File,” the truth is that you cannot move the hiberfil.sys file from the boot partition to any other drive. It is simple as that.
Sure, I’ve seen some methods that use junctions or registry edits to forcefully change the file path to move the file. But those methods just don’t work. At least, not reliably. In fact, I tried a few of those methods with no success. At best, the hibernation did not work, and at worst, the system crashed with BSoD errors.
So, even if you found some magical way to change the hibernate file, I won’t recommend it. Because of its instability, it isn’t worth the trouble.
Why can’t you move the hiberfil.sys file?
Without getting too technical, this is the explanation.
The system state is saved in the hiberfil.sys file when you hibernate or put Windows to sleep. This allows it to pick up where you left off with the system. As a result, the hiberfil.sys file is required early on during the boot process.
The problem is that the boot process is a small file system that has no understanding of the mount points of various drives. When you move the hiberfil.sys file to another drive, the boot process needs to know the new location and mount point. For that, it requires access to the Windows Disk Management service, which is not available until you load up Windows.
Given the complexity of hard drive configurations, Windows chose not to support relocating hiberfil.sys to another drive. It has to be in the system drive. i.e., C drive.
If you want to learn more, read this TechNet article by a Microsoft engineer.
Reduce hiberfil.sys File Size
Even though you can’t move the hibernation file, you can reduce the hiberfil.sys file size by up to 60%. For example, if your hiberfil.sys file is around 10GB, you can reduce it to around 4GB to 5GB without any performance penalty.
As you can guess, this simple trick will let you reclaim storage space without losing functionality.
Here’s how to reduce hiberfil.sys file size in Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
- Open the Start menu.
- Search for “Command Prompt.”
- Right-click on Command Prompt.
- Choose the “Run as administrator” option.
- Execute the below command. Powercfg –h –size %60
- Exit the Command Prompt application.
- Reboot Windows.
- With that, hiberfil.sys file size.
Steps with more details:
First, press the Start button on your keyboard to bring up the Start menu.
After that, search for “Command Prompt” in the start menu. Right-click the “Command Prompt” result and choose “Run as Administrator.” This action launches Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
Execute the following command in the Command Prompt window. By default, the command shrinks the file by 70% of its original size. The percentage can be increased or decreased as needed.
Important: Do not go below 50%.
Powercfg –h –size %60
As soon as you execute the command, the command window displays the new file size of the hiberfil.sys file.
That is all. It is that simple to move or reduce hiberfil.sys file.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or require assistance, please write me an email and I will do my best to assist you.
If you like this article, check how to add the missing Hibernate option in the start menu and other places.