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Why You Should Restart Your Computer

Your computer screen just froze, Outlook crashed, and you’re waiting on an important email! OH NO!

The good news is that a handful of your daily technological frustrations (i.e. trouble connecting to the Internet, printer, email, frozen screens, crashing programs) may potentially be fixed without dialing support. So, save yourself some time and try restarting your computer first.

In this article, I will explain when you should restart your computer and the benefits for you and your machine, Believe it or not, it does help, most of the time!

Let’s start.

When Should I Restart?
For the record, a reboot or the act of restarting your computer, isn’t a cure-all. It is also not a task you want to be constantly performing. However, it is often a quick solution to connectivity issues and minor errors. You should save anything you are working on and restart your computer at the initial sign of un-cooperativeness.

Additional Signs to Reboot:
If your computer is running slow
If your computer is acting “weird”
Unexpected system freeze-ups
Driver or hardware error
Lagging Internet speeds
Connecting to the internet
After a software or patch update
After any type of software or hardware installation

The Benefits of Restarting your Computer:

Besides preserving your mental state instead of panic and frustration, there are multiple benefits to restarting your computer. Below is a very basic breakdown on the ways a reboot can help and why.

Flushes RAM – RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is your computer’s main type of memory. It’s also known as volatile memory because it is constantly in flux. RAM handles short-term tasks and data. Therefore, when you restart your computer, you flush out all the random, unimportant, and temporary data bogging down your device.

Speeds up Performance – Reboots are known to keep computers running quickly. By flushing the RAM, your computer can run a lot faster without all those temporary files piled onto your PC’s memory.

Stops Memory Leaks – These occur when a program doesn’t close properly. Many programs borrow your computer’s RAM while open then return it when you close the program out. However, outdated, overused or glitch programs may end up forgetting to return that memory, resulting in memory leaks. Rebooting can help prevent memory leaks from occurring.

Fixes Internet Connection – Sometimes computers lose their connection to the Internet and will need to be reset. The first plan of action is to restart your computer. Restarting will reset the connection. However, please note that if restarting your computer doesn’t solve your connectivity issues, you may have to reboot your router or require further servicing.

Bug Fixes – Computers that go without reboots for extended periods are prone to an assortment of irksome bugs and glitches. These annoyances include programs running at a slower pace than usual, unexpected system freeze-ups. Rebooting your computer will prevent the systems’ processors from becoming overloaded and provide them with ample time to recharge.

Saves Time – Rebooting your computer is one of the quickest ways you can fix an error with your machine. By following our guide for when to restart, you can avoid sacrificing time out of your work day. You will also be saving time that could be potentially wasted on future device sluggishness or potential bugs.

Other Recommendations:

Lock your computer every time you step out of your desk. (For Security Reasons)
Log off or sign out every time you are going home or out of the office. (Remember to save all your files before you do this).
Do not turn your computer off. (It will allow your computer to get software updates and patches while you’re away).
Reboot or restart your computer every other work week before you do anything. The computer will perform as shown or said above under “Benefits of Restarting Your Computer”.

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Laptop Pro-Tip:

Never set your laptop on a blanket, your bed, a cushion, or anything soft while using it. This can cause serious damage as it blocks the intake and exhaust fans located on the bottom of the laptop. The fans work too hard to move air through the system to keep it cool and can eventually fail, causing the laptop to overheat. In some cases you will notice slow-downs, loud noises, crashes, freezing, and even permanent damage where the only repair is no repair, just replacement of the laptop.

It should always be on a hard, flat surface to allow air to move underneath and through the grills over the fans to keep the processor and the rest of the inside cool and quiet.
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So, say you're a customer, and you bring your computer to a computer repair guy (like me). Computer repair guy fixes your computer, everything works the way you want it to, and you're happy.

How much technical information concerning the repair would you like? Do you want a basic rundown of the fix, or do you want to know your hard drives' power cycle count, seek error rate, reallocated sector count, and so on? Do you want a hand-written list of each piece of malware I've removed, or just a number amount, or just to know that you had some and I got rid of it?

Do you just want to know it's fixed, or a twelve page detailed analysis?

I'm curious, because while I can be pretty verbose at times (and I'm completely aware of it), I just came across something another technician in my field gave to a customer and it just seemed like way too much information.

(I'm asking you too, other technicians, I know you're here.)
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