When is the last time you rebooted your computer? Many people aren’t sure. It’s easy to get into the habit of just putting your PC into sleep mode when you’re not using it, then just wake it up and you’re ready to go. No waiting for it to start up.
But not regularly rebooting your computer, even if you’ve just had a new computer set up, at least once a week can reduce its efficiency and cause problems and slowdowns. So, while you think you’re saving time by not completely turning off and restarting your computer, it can actually be slowing you down.
Rebooting both keeps your computer healthy and can fix PC problems you may be having with memory or certain programs not functioning correctly.
Benefits of Regularly Rebooting Your Computer
There are a number of things that happen during a reboot that help “reset” multiple items inside a computer. Here are some of the reasons that restarting your computer at least once a week is going to save you time and make your life easier.
Computer software constantly is being updated. Some updates happen in the background, while some updates are actively pushed to computers. Some update do not require a computer to reboot before the patch gets applied, but more often than not, the security patches that make our computers secure from hacks, malware, and ransomware require a restart to fully apply.
Flushes the Memory
As you use different programs or processes run in the background, they’re all taking up part of your Random Access Memory (RAM). As your memory gets used, performance can degrade and that’s when you’ll see things like spinning wheels while you’re waiting on a program, slow loading web pages, and programs that take longer than normal to open.
Restarting your computer flushes the memory and stops all tasks that may be happening, including those that might have been temporarily slowing you down.
Halts Memory Leaks
Another memory related problem that rebooting can solve is when a program doesn’t close correctly, and it keeps on using memory even though it’s no longer open. This “memory leakage” can cause your computer to drag, and it’s often hard to spot when you look in the long line of processes in the task manager.
Rebooting is like a reset for any program that is running or using memory even after it’s closed out.
Corrects Software Glitches
Have you even been in a program and found that a certain function wasn’t working like usual? It could be a drop down that isn’t coming up or a search function that’s not working properly.
Email program search functions can be particularly quirky especially if you have a lot of gigabytes of information in your email program.
Restarting your computer often fixes these types of software glitches by doing a full reset of the software and desktop environment.
Can Solve Internet & Bluetooth Connection Issues
It’s frustrating when your PC drops the Wi-Fi connection or your Bluetooth stops picking up your wireless keyboard. These types of problems can crop up when your computer goes too long between reboots or because of other types of network issues.
Restarting your computer is one of the easiest ways to fix connection problems and it takes less time than trying to reboot your modem and router (especially if they aren’t the problem).
Speeds Up Performance
If your computer is running slow, restarting it often speeds it back up again.
Rebooting helps keep your computer running efficiently and can often speed up performance if you’ve been having issues. The combination of things such as flushing the RAM and clearing up temporary files and processes helps keep “computer cobwebs” from forming and as a result your PC can perform at peak speed.
Saves You Time
If you’re spending an extra 1-2 minutes than you need to waiting for an application to open or a video to load, those minutes really add up over the course of a week.
Just 15 extra minutes spent waiting on a slow computer each day, is nearly two hours per week that could potentially be eliminated just by taking a few extra minutes to restart your computer weekly.
Fixes Emergent Issues
There are certain issues which indicate a need to reboot and not doing so can cause longer-term problems. There are also times when you definitely should reboot to ensure things like software updates apply properly.
Here are some of the times rebooting can help you fix an emergent issue:
- If your computer feels hot
- If the fans inside your device are making excessive noise
- After a software or firmware update
- After you’ve installed new hardware
- You’re experiencing application crashes
- Things are freezing or taking longer then usual to respond
- A file or application won’t open
How To Restart Your Computer
- Right click on your Start Menu
- Hover over "Shut down or sign out"
- Click on Restart