Why It Is Important to Restart Your Computer
We’ve all had those moments of frustration where we finally give up trying to figure out what’s going on with our computer and just decide that maybe restarting it is the last thing left for us to try. Sometimes, you might even think this is the best thing—even the first thing—that you should do. After all, how often have you tried tech support, only to have them immediately ask, “have you tried restarting your computer?”
Can something so simple actually solve your problems? Well, perhaps, yes. Do you know when and why you should restart your computer?
A Chance to Refresh
We don’t often think of computers as needing a chance to rest, but in some ways, we can. We need to remember, however, that sleep mode for a computer is not the same as sleep for you and me, and it does not have the same effect as shutting it down. In sleep mode, there are still processes that are kept running in the background.
Shutting your computer down periodically is important to keep it running at its best. If you are running an old version of Windows, this becomes even more important. Computers running newer versions, as well as Mac computers, can get away with less frequent shut downs, but with an old version, your computers should be shut down nightly.
Your computer stores temporary files from various programs when running. This can gradually eat up memory space, so that it is quite normal for a computer that has been running for a long period of time to begin slowing down. If your computer has been running for a week or more and you are experiencing performance issues, you and your IT team may not need to do any real troubleshooting; restarting the computer may solve the issue by freeing up memory.
When to Restart
As mentioned above, you may need to restart your computer as often as every night, but there are other times where it may be warranted as well, such as when a program stops responding. At times, your computer may be completely frozen, and you will find yourself unable to restart it.
To force your computer to shut down, you may simply hold the power button for several seconds, causing the computer to shut down, after which you may simply hit the power button again to restart. If doing this fails to resolve your issues, then it may be appropriate to call your IT department.
Restarting your computer isn’t just called for during slowdowns or freezes, however. There are other times that it is required, such as after installing a Windows update. There are also many other programs that will ask you to restart your computer following an update or installation.
If you have downloaded an update and you realize that it has not yet come into effect, it is quite possible that you simply need to restart your system to resolve the issue.
Another situation that might be resolved by restarting is when you are having issues with network drives, such as not being able to connect to one or more of them. By restarting your computer, you will be forcing it to make another attempt at connecting.
Restarting might also solve certain hardware issues, such as when your system is running hot, or its fan is making an unusual amount of noise. If your computer is simply working too hard, rebooting it may be enough to refresh it and allow it to cool down.
While restarting your computer may seem like a very simple thing to do, it can be useful in several situations and may resolve a surprising number of issues. Best of all, it may help you avoid time-consuming troubleshooting either by resolving the issue, or by letting your IT team narrow down the issue when they realize that a restart was ineffective.
Give your computers a break now and then. And you just might find that—like people—they will work more efficiently.
For all your IT needs, contact Safe Harbour today!