Computer Restarts: How Often Should I Restart My Computer?
“Should I restart my computer every day?” “When do I need to restart?” “When do I need to worry about software updates?” These questions have been part of the computer user’s lexicon since CPUs became part of mainstream society. The resounding answer to these questions is “Every day!” There are many reasons to restart your computer daily as part of your overall IT maintenance:
- Cleaning Out the RAM Cache – RAM or Random-access Memory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory) is temporary memory supplied by your computer to support the functions that are currently being used. RAM is considered “volatile memory,” which means it needs power to retain your data. Although closing a program should automatically free up RAM space, leftover data begins to “pile up” in the RAM cache even though the programs have been closed. Eventually, this causes the computer to slow down. You don’t want to be working on a project with a tight deadline and be impeded, waiting for pages and programs to load. Clearing out the RAM cache creates space for the work at hand, and restarting your computer is the easiest way to do so.
- Unstable WiFi, Internet Connections and Bluetooth Devices – Before you get lost in a confusing web of diagnostic tools, restarting a computer can refresh all of the network settings and might also stabilize your connectivity. And while you’re at it, reboot the router. By restarting both your computer and the router, you are re-establishing the network communication between the devices. The same protocols apply to Bluetooth connections.
- Performance Problems – There are times when we fix things and never find out what the problems were. Such is the case with CPUs. Due to the complexity of how computers work, sometimes restarting will stabilize a computer, and you won’t know why. Be grateful it’s fixed, and move on.
- Update Installation – Software and system updates are essential. Software developers are frequently releasing fixes and patches to previously released software. Most updates require a computer to be restarted before completing an installation. Updates might seem unimportant, but they should not be ignored. They may contain essential fixes for security and program glitches or a wide array of necessary tweaks to the original software. If you don’t want to restart your system in the middle of your workday, you can set automatic updates to be done overnight. Most updates will automatically restart your computer to finish the installation, so when you start to work the next day, you will be all set. Staying up to date with updates is integral to maintaining computer health.
- Memory Leaks – A memory leak occurs when a particular software doesn’t allow the overwriting of its unused memory. It’s a side-effect that programmers might not catch until releasing the software. Memory leaks can cause the computer to slow down in the same way an overloaded RAM cache can slow it down. Restarting might not fix this problem. However, restarting could release additional RAM to improve functionality.
- Uninstall Unused Programs and Junk Files – Freeing up space and limiting software conflicts is required maintenance for all computers. Isolate which programs you are not using and uninstall and remove them. Once used, junk files -- the temporary files created to help devices perform specific tasks -- are not necessary and should be deleted regularly. The deletions will not take effect until restarting the computer.
- Programs Might Be Running in the Background – If you use your computer a lot and do not restart it regularly, you could have programs running in the background you are not using. These are consuming RAM memory and might be interfering with the optimal functionality of your computer.
There are many benefits to restarting your computer daily. However, not all computer issues are as easily fixed. The more your small or midsized business grows, the more you will need additional and readily available IT expertise. Your time is too valuable to spend hours analyzing and fixing computer problems (probably not your area of expertise), and severe computer issues can stop your business cold. Managed IT Services can be a cost-effective way for the ongoing monitoring of your system and network to avoid potential breakdowns and security threats.
The field of IT consulting is replete with one-person-shop techies who try to offer every possible IT service to their clients or employers. As knowledgeable and experienced as they might be, they cannot specialize in everything. GEEK-AID® Computer and Network Support specializes in customized Managed IT Services for small to midsized businesses. GEEK-AID®’s team of experts is comprised of specialists in different areas of IT services, serving clients on-site and remotely. The GEEK-AID® team doesn’t clock out at five o’clock on Friday. They are available 24/7 to ensure your computers, network and data stay healthy and secure. As your business grows, expands its network and adds more devices such as smart controls, wireless access and remote access, your network vulnerability and need for regular IT support will grow, too. Hardware and software installation and maintenance, repair, security and network protection must be consistent, proactive and not wait for a system failure or data breach.
Call (877) GEEK-AID (877-433-5243) to evaluate and discuss your IT needs. Remember, we are here for you 24/7.