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Whether you are leaving work for the day or just taking a short break, it is a good habit to close your laptop lid. If you are done for the day, you will probably appreciate the power savings that comes with a Windows 8.1 shutdown.
When you are just stepping away to grab a coffee, a full shutdown is more trouble than it is worth. Windows lets you control exactly what happens when you close the lid of your laptop so that your laptop doesn't have to always begin shutting down.
Like most reconfigurations for Windows 8.1, you start with Control Panel. Go to the System Maintenance option and then Power Options. Before you change anything, you first have to decide if you want the new settings to apply to all power plans or a specific one.
If you want your change to apply to all plans, go to the Select a Power Plan page and click on "Choose what closing the lid does." Next, on the "Define power buttons and turn on password protection" page, select from the "When I close the lid" options.
Sleep offers a good balance between saving power and reasonably fast restores. The Sleep option saves data about your machine state to RAM. If your battery runs out or you lose power for any other reason, you will lose your state information. The Hibernate option saves machine state information to a file on your drive so even if you lose power, your state information is saved on persistent storage.
Some users have run into problem with a slow Windows 8.1 shutdown caused by certain drivers. If you run into a problem, see Microsoft Support, whose posts might help.
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