It recently occurred to me that there are many power saving options with modern Operating Systems, and most people are hardly even aware of them, let alone how helpful they are. So I thought I would introduce these useful tools, and in the following posts I’ll give you even more interesting ways of using them so you can optimize your electricity savings.
This is the most basic resting state of your computer when it is on but not running. It stores all of your open applications and their states in active memory, and powers down all of the non-essential systems. The machine can then be woken up very quickly and easily, and restores everything to exactly where you left off. The computer still uses power in this state, but only enough to retain your applications in memory.
Be careful about what you leave open when putting your computer to sleep. For example: You can leave web applications open, but everything you had entered into a webpage without submitting might be lost, and many of the open websites will time out. Just to be safe, I recommend not leaving any web forms open, and saving everything in all other open applications (Microsoft Office, Calendar, Notepad, etc.)
Here’s how to use the sleep mode manually:
A. Many PCs and laptop keyboards have a sleep button. It usually looks like a crescent moon and might have other symbols on it. Pressing that key will initiate the sleep mode for your PC. If you don’t have that, you can try option "B".
B. In the Start menu, at the bottom, you should see the “shut down” button. There should be a little arrow next to it. If you click that arrow, it will give you all of the various options of signing off, restarting, or putting your computer into a low power state. At the bottom, you should see the “Sleep” and “Hibernate” modes. If you’re curious about the “Hibernate” mode, I will discuss it next.
If you click on the Apple logo on the left of your menu bar at the top of the screen, you will find the most important system functions. One of which, probably towards the bottom, is the “Sleep” option.
This is an option exclusive to Windows. It is very similar to “Sleep”, except instead of going to a low power state, the computer shuts off completely. When you power up the computer, everything will automatically be restored as it was before. The downside is that it takes a little bit more time than “Sleep” to initiate and restore. As with “Sleep”, be very careful about what you leave open when going to this state, as some information might get lost, especially in web forms.
To get out of either of these modes, you can simply press (but DO NOT HOLD) the power button on your computer and it will restore everything for you. If you like to be on the safe side, some computers will wake up from “Sleep” with a keystroke, but not all.
One last note about using these modes: Don't disconnect a USB device or monitor, you should only do it through the proper channels (i.e. “disconnect this device”) when your computer is either running normally, or properly Shut Down.
That’s all for now, I hope everyone enjoys the power savings you should be getting by properly using these modes. Join us next time, when I will discuss how to use automated power-saving options, and make the computer decide how best to save energy!