Windows 8 Power Settings
Power Plans (official Microsoft descriptions)
Balanced – Offers full performance when you need it and saves power when you don’t. This is the best power plan for most people.
Power saver – Saves power by reducing PC performance and screen brightness. If you’re using a laptop, this plan can help you get the most from a single battery charge.
High performance – Maximizes screen brightness and might increase PC performance. This plan uses a lot more energy, so your laptop battery won’t last as long between charges.
I use all 3 plans: High Perf on the desktop, Balanced on a laptop, and Power saver on the laptop while traveling. Of course I make further adjustments to each.
Windows 8 is configured by default with the Balanced power plan. While this is a safe middle of the road plan it is neither optimal for desktop performance for plugged-in performance or battery life for laptops. These settings are easily adjusted to your needs.
Why I recommend not using hibernate / hybrid sleep for desktops:
–Sleep is a power saving mode that powers down your computer after a predetermined time.
–Hibernate is a power saving mode primarily aimed at laptops. What it does is save your work and shut off the computer after a predetermined time. It does this by saving this work to hard disk.
–Hybrid Sleep is a cross between Sleep and Hibernate designed for desktops. What it does is save your work and shut off the computer after a predetermined time. It does this by saving this work to both memory and hard disk.
Hibernate and Hybrid Sleep by default create a file called hiberfil.sys that is 75% of your RAM in size. This can be a fragmentation issue for your hard drive (also, Windows cannot defrag this file though some third-party defraggers can). Although I do not consider it a major performance issue for most people (in the short term) it will also populate your RAM with these files. While all this makes booting up faster my observations are that Hybrid Sleep does cause performance issues long term as most systems I’ve dealt with tend to get sluggish over time. However this is easily remedied by rebooting.
It should also be noted that for a variety of reason hibernate / hybrid sleep has been known to cause many a folk no end of issues (Google search it).
In the end Windows 8 boots fast and I do not believe the few seconds Hibernate / Hybrid Sleep saves you outweighs the aforementioned issues for desktops. IMHO it is better performance wise to just shut the computer off when you’ll be away from it.
To Disable Hibernate / Hybrid Sleep Permanently
Press the Windows + R keys > type cmd > type powercfg.exe /hibernate off
(note – this removes hibernate / hybrid sleep options from the Power Plan settings. It also deletes hiberfil.sys.)
(*warning – This is a global setting that disables hibernate for ALL power plans. It should not be used on a laptop.)
To Re-enable Hibernate
Press the Windows + R keys > type cmd > type powercfg.exe /hibernate on
Source: How to disable and re-enable hibernation on a computer that is running Windows
To just disable Hybrid Sleep
Open Control panel Power Options (see below) > select your current plan > choose Change plan settings > go to Sleep > Hibernate after > under setting choose or type Never.
To configure Power Options:
Press the Windows + R keys > type powercfg.cpl (this is Control Panel/Power Options).
To disable all power options:
1 – Disable hibernate (shown above)
2 – Choose the High performance plan > Change plan settings >
Change advanced power settings >
Turn all options to Off, Disabled, or Never. (note – You may have to manually type in Never) >
click Apply > click OK
Power Plans For Laptops
Windows 8 allows for 3 separate power plans. Configuring each plan according to your needs is easy, can increase performance while plugged in, and increase battery life while you are not. For Plugged in there is no reason not to disable/turn off all power settings (do not disable hibernate as mentioned earlier). For On battery how much you turn a setting up or down will depend entirely on how you use your laptop. You’ll want to play with these settings over time to fine tune it to your specific needs. There is a third power plan called Power Saver. These default settings are very low and I only recommend this when you know you are going to be away from a charger a long time.
Windows 8 Fast Startup
Windows 8 sort-of has the ability to start faster. Labeled as a gimmick by some, this setting really never shuts down the computer, “Essentially a Windows 8 shutdown consists of logging off all users and then hibernating.” Allow the Geek in me to rephrase, “With fast boot, when you restart Windows 8 all the crud normally removed at shutdown will be there when you restart.”
I understand some folks may find this feature helpful but I don’t. I want a lean, mean, fightin’ machine when I power up. I disable fast startup.
Disable Fast Startup
Press the Windows + R keys > type powercfg.cpl (this is Control Panel/Power Options) > click Choose what the power buttons do > click Change settings that are currently unavailable > uncheck Turn on fast startup > click the Save changes button.
Windows Mobility Center
There are several options you can change in an app called Windows Mobility Center (not available on desktop computers). Settings you can adjust are:
To get there press the Windows + R keys > type mblctr > hit Enter (or type mblctr in the Search charm).
Use the Power Menu ( Win + X > Mobility Center)
Add a Windows Mobility Center shortcut to your desktop.
There are 2 ways to do this.
1 – While in Control Panel (view – Large icons) drag the Windows Mobility Center icon to the desktop.
2 – Right-click on the desktop and choose New > Shortcut > browse to (or type) C:\Windows\System32\mblctr.exe and click Next >
Optionally type a different name for the shortcut > click Finish.