Many of us leave our computers running for extended periods. Perhaps you don’t want to shut down your 2 browsers with 20 important tabs open. Or perhaps you have several files open and don’t want to have to find & re-open them all later.
But did you know that your computer benefits from periodic restarts for a variety of reasons?
- Many updates are not completed until you restart the computer
- Restarting flushes out your RAM, your computer’s temporary, working memory
- Restarting shuts down programs that you may not need to have running, freeing up your processor for the tasks you need done
How often should you restart? That depends on your computer and how you use it. Generally, once a week is fine to keep the computer running efficiently.
- When should you restart? You should restart if:
- Your computer feels sluggish or unresponsive
- You need to boot into “safe mode”
- An update requires it
- You’re not going to be using it for a few days or longer
Otherwise, if you’re done using your computer for a while, you can put it to sleep/in hibernation. It will wake up quicker when you need it again that it would start up from being shut down. Also if it is a laptop, the slow drain in sleep mode benefits a lithium-ion type battery, delaying the day when you have to replace it.
In certain circumstances, though, restarting is necessary. A PC cannot update files or delete stubborn viruses while Windows is running. These processes must be done as part of the boot sequence before Windows takes control. If a computer is never restarted, it will won’t be updated — and any viruses that run in the background will don’t get deleted.