Should you turn off your PC at night? (And other helpful tips)

Should you turn off your PC at night

Being the owner of a PC or laptop, or just being responsible for the one you are using at work each day means having to know how to take care of it in such a way that it continues to function optimally and as such help you stay productive (or entertained).

Most of us computer literate people know the basics of computer care, but some of the practices that we’ve been taught might not actually be the best practices for all computers.

One of the most popular things that most people do when it comes to their computers is not turning it off at the end of the work day. Sometimes computers are left to go into sleep mode and then in the morning they are shaken back to life, while others will leave the computer to just run all night. But while this might not seem like the worst idea, it is not always the best thing that you can do for your PC or laptop.

To determine whether your computer should be shut down completely each evening is something that depends on quite a few factors. Since no matter what option you go with you will want to have a computer that functions optimally, the decision that you ultimately make is going to require considering the age of the computer, how much usage it gets, how much concern you will have about the wear and tear of the system and its hardware, the automated tasks you have going on and even the antivirus software you are using.

Does turning off a PC each night actually matter?

When you turn off your computer, you are not just turning it off, you are actually rebooting it. And this is not necessarily something that you have to do every day in order to keep the computer functioning optimally. So, depending on your circumstances, if you are not fully shutting down at the end of each day you are probably not doing any harm to your system.

Keeping a computer on can extend its life to a degree, but it is a catch 22 situation, because allowing it to constantly be running also increases the chance of having some of other inner component fail long after the warranty has expired.

Why should you turn off each night?

Ideally, you should be shutting down your system every night, but only if your needs fit in with one of these benefits.

  1. You are using a computer on a network that isn’t secure. If you shut down, you minimise your risk of being hacked.
  2. It will save you a little bit on the electricity bill (and in this day and age the business you work for will probably appreciate saving too).
  3. If it is a home computer, turning it off will remove the distractions caused by notifications.
  4. It will definitely slow down the wear and tear of the computers inner workings.
  5. If you use a laptop, shutting down will save the battery.

To be fair, there are some reasons why shutting down is definitely not always a good idea. You probably don’t want to turn off the computer if you are running a web server from it, if you need to access the computer remotely, if you need to run background processes while you are not using the computer, or if you have an old operating system or if you have an old computer in general.

A great alternative to not turning off the computer completely is to use the hibernate option.

As for other tips for keeping your computer operating at its finest, make sure you keep the system as up to date as you can, buy yourself a surge protector and restart the system every now and then. The occasional reboot will both clear the RAM and give your updates a chance to do their thing, so it will make the overall system run faster.

For more tips about getting the most out of your computer or to get advice about your IT setup, you can contact the team at 24/7 IT Services. We offer cyber security solutions and IT consultancy, among our many services.

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