How Often Should You Restart Your Computer?

This is probably the first thing you’ll try when your computer crashes: turn it off and on again. But should you restart or shut down? It really depends on which computer you are using. Turning off your computer will close all programs you were running and clear the cache, so when you turn it back on, the computer will restart because there might be something in the background that was causing it to move. sluggish (or worse).

On Mac, the restart and shutdown functions do the same, so restart if you need to resume right away, and shutdown if you leave your computer for a while. However, things work a little differently on a PC. Windows machines now ship with “Fast Startup”, which effectively prevents some operations from completing completely. We recommend disabling this so that the computer shuts down completely. Rebooting on your PC is not the same as completely shutting down, so if your system isn’t working as expected, be sure to completely shut it down and then turn it back on.

Since the restart will close all active programs, it is recommended that you do this at least once a week to keep everything working properly. If you are concerned about energy use, you can turn the machine off every night when you go to bed, but you have to balance the small energy savings with the amount of time to turn on every morning.

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