Often times when one of our clients comes to us with a computer issue, our engineers will usually restart or “reboot” the machine. Most of the time, this one simple step fixes the problem. Getting into the routine of rebooting your computer regularly provides many benefits for the overall health and lifespan of your computer, and today we’re going to explain why that is.
Easy Ways to Reboot Your Computer
Clear The Cache
Cache is a term that gets used a lot when talking about computers, but many people don’t know what it actually means. If this is you, don’t worry you’re not alone! Let’s break it down:
When using multiple applications, opening files, visiting websites, and performing other day to day tasks, your computer stores or “caches” information related to those items in working memory for faster performance in the future. It stores this information locally on your machine, so it’s able to quickly access the items you visit and use most often. Well, over time, the cache builds up. Your computer trying to remember too many things causes negative results such as, slow performance or errors within some applications. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “too much of a good thing?” In order to keep your computer running smoothly and efficiently, you’ll need to routinely reboot your computer so it can “refresh” itself and clear out those built up caches.
Run the Updates
Another essential thing that happens when you restart your computer involves updates and patches. A reboot allows pending updates for the operating system and applications to install. Most updates for Windows or macOS require a reboot to finish the update and installation. You’ve seen those irritating reminders on your computer that you just keep hitting “remind me later” on? Let this be your reminder to go ahead and do that the next time you see it.
Getting into the habit of rebooting your computer so updates can install on a regular basis is extremely important to making sure your computer has the latest security patches and other important updates. Updates not only protect the computer against security threats, but also fix issues and bugs within the operating system or other applications.
These two easy steps help in keeping your computer “happy and healthy,” up to date, performing efficiently, and helps you avoid problems from overloaded cache or an outdated software.
Steps to Reboot
To reboot your computer, you’ll need to complete some specific steps. You would think by just closing your laptop or turning off the monitor the computer would reboot. Well, it doesn’t actually work that way. Here’s how:
For a Windows computer to reboot, you will need to click on the Start menu (the Windows logo, usually in the bottom left corner of the screen), click the Power icon, and then click the Restart icon.
When using a MacOS, click the Apple menu (typically located in the top left corner of the screen), and click the Restart option. By selecting the “Reopen windows when logging back in” the program you were working in will reopen.
In either case, your computer will automatically turn itself off and then on again. It usually opens to your user login screen if you have a password on your computer. This process can take up to 2 minutes, max in most cases.
How Often to Reboot
Honestly, your computer should be rebooted at least once a week. Making this a routine can be simple. For example, you could reboot first thing Monday mornings, or Friday afternoon before you leave for the weekend. Creating a recurring time on your calendar for a reboot is another great way to remind yourself of this helpful habit.
One important thing to know: by shutting down your computer all the way and leaving leave it off overnight or over the weekend, will keep the important things that are scheduled to happen after-hours, like updates or maintenance, from happening while your computer is off. So remember, it’s better to reboot and then leave the computer on so that all the “background stuff” can keep working correctly.
We truly hope this friendly tip helps you in creating a simple habit that you can easily adapt into your routine, and maybe even share with your staff as well! This simple task takes essentially no time yet reaps several benefits for your computer and keeps it in tip top shape.