Whether we are using our computers or are about to put them into "sleep" mode after finishing work or a Netflix binge, it seems like our computers are constantly telling us to restart them for updates. However, do we really need to do this frequently or every time we are asked to? How often should I reboot my computer is one of the number one questions techs get asked. According to experts, how frequently you should restart your computer varies.
When you are prompted by an update it is best to reboot your computer in order to receive the benefits. Your computer can’t replace files while they’re in use, and therefore, it needs time to swap them while you’re not using the computer.
Restarting also flushes out your RAM, your computer's temporary, working memory, and this keeps apps from tapping into the RAM even when you thought you’d closed them. “If your computer isn’t functioning normally or seems to be bogged down by the use of several programs, a restart might solve the issue,” says Rochelle Burnside, who manages the internet service provider (ISP) category for BestCompany.comAnd another reason you may need to restart your computer is to reset your Internet connection — perhaps you switched WiFi networks or had to reset your modem.
Since a reboot will close out all active programs, it is recommended to reboot your computer at least once a week to keep everything running smoothly.
Reasons to reboot
- If your computer installs any updates in the background, sometimes you need a reboot to install the update.
- Rebooting your computer helps keep it running smoothly. The memory is cleared, and it stops any tasks that are eating up RAM. Even if you have closed an app, it could still be draining your memory.
How to correctly reboot
People usually think holding the power button down to shut your computer down is the quick easy way but it may cause additional problems.
For PC owners, open the start menu and select the power button. Once selected, another drop-down menu will appear; at this point, select the restart option. Make sure you save all your files before shutting down.
For Mac users, the process is just as simple if not effortless. All that is required is to select the Apple icon in the top left corner, then press restart.