How often should I restart my computer

by | Mar 17, 2016 | 0 comments

When and Why to Restart Your Computer

There are many schools of thought for when and whether to shut down your PC. For people who spend a lot of time on their computers, it often doesn’t make sense to fully shut down the machines. The process of turning on some desktops can consume more power than just leaving the machine in Standby or Sleep mode overnight. Plus, you have to go through re-opening all the same documents and programs. When you’ll be back to using the computer in a matter of hours, completely shutting down generally isn’t necessary. It’s a good idea to shutdown or restart your computer at least once a week, and the rest of the time, the Sleep setting may be just what you need.

TEMP Files and Memory

Restarting will get rid of temporary files and wipe the random access memory used for completing tasks. When a computer has been running for multiple weeks straight, its processing gets slower because the memory is cluttered with bits of information from previous tasks. A quick restart tidies away that clutter like magic.

System Diagnostics and Preemptive Fixes

When your computer clicks and whirrs for a couple minutes at startup, it’s not just groggy and reluctant to wake up. Startup is a time for basic diagnostics where your system can find and repair minor problems. It’s kind of like when E.T. fixes that paper cut—seems like overkill, but we wouldn’t want Elliot to get gangrene. The diagnostics and repair during a restart heal the minor problems before they can become bigger issues.

Installation of Updates

Whenever you manually perform software updates or install a new program, it’s not uncommon for the program to ask to restart the computer. For smaller updates, the program just waits until the next time you reboot. Just because you CAN wait to install two months of updates all at once, doesn’t mean you should…

It can take a long time to install updates from more than a month all at once, and downloaded updates can’t help until they’re fully installed. As discussed in the post about avoiding viruses, updates matter, and restarting on a weekly basis lets you take advantage of the latest updates.


As you probably know, restarting can fix a lot of minor computer problems that seem major at the moment. When your computer suddenly gets unbearably slow, it may be due to a program gone haywire. Often, it’s possible just to close the troubled program, but sometimes a whole system reboot is necessary to get things running smoothly again. Similarly, restarting an Internet router (by unplugging it and plugging it back in) is often enough to resolve a connection problem.

Clearly, there are a lot of benefits that come with restarting a computer on a weekly basis. The updates and other processes protect the health, efficiency, and security of your PC. If you have any IT questions, contact us today!


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