When is the last time you rebooted your work computer? I bet you don't remember. It’s easy to get into the habit of just getting up from your desk and going home for the day, then just waking it up when you are ready to start work again. It is much quicker at startup, right?
But not regularly rebooting your computer, at minimum 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 problems you may be having with memory or certain programs not functioning correctly. If you’re one of those people that never reboot, read on to learn the reasons you should start!
There are a number of things that happen during a reboot that help “reset” multiple items inside a computer.
1. Flushes the Memory
As you use different programs their 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 can start seeing things like spinning wheels as you are waiting on a program to open slow loading websites, 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.
2. Stops Memory Leaks
Another memory-related problem that rebooting can solve is when a program doesn’t close all the way correctly, and it keeps on using memory even though it’s no longer open. This “memory leak” can cause your computer to drag, and it’s often hard to spot when you look in the task manager.
Rebooting is like a reset for any program that is running or using memory even after it’s closed out.
3. Fixes Software Glitches
Have you ever been using a program you use daily and found that a certain function wasn’t working as it should? It could be a missing dropdown that isn’t coming up or a link that is not working properly.
Restarting your computer often fixes these types of software glitches by doing a full reset of the software and desktop environment.
4. Helps Clear Internet & Bluetooth Connection Issues
It’s frustrating when your PC drops the Wi-Fi connection or your Bluetooth stops picking up your wireless keyboard. One way these problems can crop up is when your computer goes too long between reboots.
Restarting your computer is one of the easiest and first ways to troubleshoot and fix connection problems and it takes less time than trying to reboot your modem and router (especially if they aren’t the problem).
5. 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.
6. It Will Save You Time
Yes, it will! If you’re spending an extra 1-2 minutes then 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.
7. Pending Updates
There are certain issues that 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. Updates that did not completely install will slow down your PC. By rebooting, it will allow the pending update to complete, and freeing up your PC to function as it should.
So, When Should You Reboot?
At least once a week, this will allow all the above-mentioned issues to hopefully stay at bay.
Here are some other 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 update
After you’ve installed new hardware
You’re experiencing application crashes
Things are freezing or taking longer than usual to respond
A file or application won’t open