The first thing any IT guy or gal will ask you when you call him with a computer problem is if you tried restarting. An infuriating question to be asked when you just lost three days worth of work, or that work just won’t save and you have a meeting in 5 minutes. However, a lot of computer problems can be solved by simply restarting the device.
When a computer goes without a reboot for an extended period it becomes prone to a bit of bugginess. These annoyances include programs running at a slower pace than usual, unexpected system freeze-ups, and lagging Internet speeds. That horrible call to the IT guys in the basement can be avoided with a simple daily restart. Here’s why:
Clearing the RAM
A program open and running on your screen stores much of the data required to do so in the memory, and sometimes not all the data is cleared out when the program is closed. This data can clog up your RAM causing “memory leaks”; meaning that there may not be room in the computers short term memory for a new program to open up. When this happens your computer will run slow, glitchy, and the blue-screen-of-death might make an appearance forcing a restart.
A preemptive “off and on again” can flush out all the random, unimportant, and temporary data bogging down your device. This will keep you computer running at the speedy pace you have come to expect.
Many program updates need reboots to complete. This includes your Operating System, whose updates don’t take effect until a reboot occurs. A fresh install or update tends to scatter data in several places, a restart will tidy up the mess and arrange it properly on the hard drive. Some programs won’t even run properly without a restart because the information isn’t where is is supposed to be.
Just like the RAM, a system’s processor can become overworked and overloaded by all the processes that are trying to run at the same time. A quick reboot can provide your CPU with a fresh start, and without all the nonsense filling up the processor's poor little cache.
So now you know why the phrase, “Have you tried turning it off and on again” has become a technological cliché. A quick restart will not only fix some annoying computer issues, and prolong the life of your machine.
Of course, if you’re having any problems that restarting you computer doesn’t solve, give your friends at Tech Force a call!
Tech Force Blog
We provide you with important, practical tips and insight for your technology and networks for both home and business.