I’m trying to understand better this hibernation feature in Macs. However, what’s really the difference between resuming from safe sleep and just to plain old “reopen windows when logging back in”. I mean, if you have saved all your files, what's the difference?

1 Answer 1


The system will re-open apps, but it won’t open unsaved documents. If you shut down instead of hibernating you have to decide whether to save or discard every unsaved document.

It’s also quicker to hibernate/wake than it is to shut down/boot.

This is a really bad example, but here it goes:

  • Hibernate is like Han Solo being frozen in carbonate.
  • Logging in is making a new baby and growing him up to be Han Solo.

(As if either were possible in a world other than science fiction). Logging in starts a sequence of application starts and not all apps save their state so hibernate generally gets you closer to where you were without keeping the system alive and consuming energy during the rest period.

  • I see, so if you have saved your documents (I always do) there isn't any other difference? Thanks for your answer. Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 13:01
  • I sense you have watched Star Wars recently. Not sure why just sense that. XD Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 20:29

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