It has become a bit of a perceived techie stereotypical statement but we reveal why this tip could actually do the trick and why we should be doing it more with all our devices.
I can almost guarantee that anyone who’s had dealings with tech support has heard the term “Have you tried switching it off and on again?”. It’s probably one of the oldest clichès around when it comes to PC’s. But it’s more important than it may seem.
Imagine you’ve been working a 12-hour day. You come home and need sleep to refresh yourself; but you’re wide awake for another 12 hours. Then imagine you have to go to work the next morning. You’d be sluggish, your performance wouldn’t be great and probably not in the best mood right?
The same goes for a computer!
But why is this such common practice in the I.T. support world and what effect does rebooting your device or simply shutting it down at night actually have on your PC?
Installation of updates
All Operating Systems need to update from time to time and most of the more important ones will require a reboot. I have seen cases on client’s PC’s where they haven’t installed updates for months and months simply because they kept clicking “Postpone”. These updates may seem like things that they make no difference to your PC, but they often contain crash and performance fixes as well as security patches for a multitude of online threats. So it may feel like a hassle but it’s worth taking the time to action them!
Saving electricity & battery
If your PC is running 24 hours a day, even if it’s on standby mode, there is still power being consumed. This really adds up over time so switching it off at night can save you a lot of money on your electric bill in the long run! It also helps to extend the life of your power supply and if you have a mobile device, the battery too.
Tip! – If you’re using a laptop or mobile device, once it’s at 100%, unplug it for the night. This also extends the life of the battery tremendously!
A fresh start
When you load your computer up after a successful reboot or shut down, you give it a “Fresh Start”. All of the memory errors and cache faults are removed as well as temporary (unnecessary) files and any applications and processes that may have been running in the background before the reboot. All will have been shut off correctly. This generally helps your PC to run a lot faster. You would be surprised at the kind of issues we face every day that can be simply fixed by a reboot.
Your hard drive disk rotates thousands of times every minute and is constantly reading and writing data. Shutting down your PC at night gives it a well-needed break and can extend the life of your HDD.
Your hardware over time can become sensitive to heat. In your average PC the processors, graphics cards and other components aren’t designed to stay on for very extended periods of time, like servers are. Prolonged heat and wear can severely damage the internal set-up of your computer, creating the need for replacement parts and sometimes entire rebuilds.
(Trust me I had a laptop a few years back that I never used to turn off and one day during a pleasant game of the Sims 3 my graphics chip started smoking and the entire thing had an almost literal meltdown)!
As I mentioned above, windows updates install security patches for its registry, applications and operating system in general. These protect you from a wide variety of threats that you expose your PC to when surfing the web. There have been a number of viruses over the years such as Cryptolocker and Heartbleed which can cause unspeakable damage to a person or business. These were patched with Windows and MAC updates but even if you have an antivirus installed, not having the updates can leave your machine at risk!
Tip! – Always shutdown or reboot from your computers onscreen menu!
So take care of your gadgets, computers and phones. Shut them down properly every few days or when you leave the office or go to bed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference it will make.