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How often should I reboot/shut my computer down? © Getty Images

How often should I reboot my computer?

Published: 22nd June, 2022 at 18:00
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The phrase 'have you tried turning it off and on again?' might actually be sound advice.

It depends on the computer. A Windows computer should be shut down, or even better, restarted, once a week or so with ‘fast startup’ turned off to ensure it properly shuts down all processes and cleans up. Mac computers tend to be a little more stable and may only need to be restarted with system installs or upgrades.

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A Linux machine usually needs few restarts.

One advantage of a restart is that it clears everything from memory, which might resolve misbehaving applications – a slow computer running hot for no obvious reason may need this remedy as a last resort.

However, multiple power-downs per day may stress the machine and reduce its lifespan.

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Asked by: James Moore, via email

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Authors

Dr Peter Bentley is a computer scientist and author who is based at University College London. He is the author of books including 10 Short Lessons in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Digital Biology: How nature is transforming our technology and our lives.

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