University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Why restart your computer?

Many of us leave our computers running for extended periods. Maybe you don’t want to shut down that browser with 27 tabs open. Or perhaps you have several documents open and don’t want to have to find and re-open them all later.

But did you know that your computer benefits from periodic restarts for a variety of reasons?

  • Many updates aren’t completed until you restart the computer
  • Restarting flushes your computer’s memory
  • Restarting shuts down programs that you may not need to have running, freeing up your processor for the tasks you need done

How often should you restart? That depends on your computer and how you use it. Generally once a week is fine to keep the computer running efficiently.

When should you restart? You should restart if:

  • Your computer feels sluggish or unresponsive
  • You need to boot into “safe mode”
  • An update requires it
  • You’re not going to be using it for a few day or longer

Otherwise, if you’re done using your computer for a while, you can put it to sleep/in hibernation. It will wake up quicker when you need it again that it would start up from being shut down. Also, if its a laptop, the slow drain in sleep mode benefits lithium-ion type battery, delaying the day when you have to replace it.

If you’re accessing your computer remotely, however, you should simply disconnect or log off.

Source: How often should you restart your computer? Here’s what experts say.