What makes your SSD last longer – Sleep, Hybrid Sleep, Hibernate, or Shut Down?

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The change in storage technology that arrived with Solid-State-Drives (SSD) requires to rethink some computer usage habits, e.g. the daily reboot.

SSDs are in many ways superior to traditional Hard-Disk-Drives (HDD): performance, stability, noise-level, form-factor, efficiency, etc.
The only thing to worry about SSDs is their longevity. While SSDs in general are more durable than HDDs, their life-time is limited by a fixed number of write-accesses. Writing processes happens all the time when you use your computer. Reading does also some wear down, but much less than writing. However, some tasks, like duplicating big files, are more “expensive” in this regard. This also applies to the question whether you should send your computer into Sleep-Mode, Hibernate or Shut-Down when you go off.

Sleep, Hibernate, or Shut Down?

Let me give you a short overview of the options we have at hand.

Sleep barely writes anything and you’re instantly back to where you left off. If you work on a laptop and your battery is going low, Windows saves all your work and turns off your machine. This state is called Hybrid Sleep. The memory of the system is still active in the RAM, but also written to the disk – this is what Hibernate does: a lot of writes (at least your whole used memory). Afterwards the system and your previous work is restored from disk – which could take a while. A Shutdown writes a bit and requires you to fully Reboot your computer (which causes much reads). With a superfast SSD and Windows 10 all these options won’t take very long. The question that remains is: Which causes lesser wear down for your SSD?

The Answer: It depends – on you and your computer

First, we must distinguish here between desktops and laptops.

If you use a laptop and constantly on the run, I would advise to go with the default Hybrid Sleep. A laptop cannot be upgraded and maintained like a desktop computer. In my experience the piece that dies first in a laptop is the battery or the GPU or – if you have an old-timer – the HDD. But not the SSD. So, for convince and peace of mind, I would go with the default Hybrid Sleep.

If you have desktop computer, well, it also depends: Do you use your PC all the time or just frequently?

I you are a heavy user, I recommend to stay away from Hibernate and Hybrid Sleep, just use the Sleep-Mode. Since desktops normally have a larger amount of memory, writing all of its contents to the disk will cause much wear. And if you live in an area where power failures are an unfamiliar thing, you do not have to rely on hybrid sleep (but anyway, always save your work, before you went off.) To disable hibernation, simply open your command prompt as Administrator, type powercfg.exe /hibernate off, and press Enter or us this Microsoft quick fix. No more hibernating!

If you use your computer only frequently, a regular Shut Down should be fine.

That’s all folks.

If you have any comments, suggestions or additions: Put them down in the box below.

PS: If you want o measure how much data is written while you do work / sleep or reboot give SSDLife (record Data written before and after sleep / shutdown) or SsdReady a shot.