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How Often Should You Be Shutting Down Your Computer?

Photo Credit: Pexels, Eugene Chystiakov

Are you a leave-the-laptop-on sort of person? Or are you obsessed with performing a full shut down? Whether you are one or the other, here are a few tips about how often you should or shouldn’t turn your device off.

Years back it was said that users should never leave computers in idol status or sleep mode because it used up precious battery life, made them overheat, and essentially gave the computer itself a shorter lifespan. With new technology, this is no longer the case. Many computers no longer have fans running constantly and are built to fall into battery saving mode.

There are three “power” states your laptop can perform: Full shut down, sleep mode, or hibernation. Let’s talk about them, shall we?

Full-shut down

This means exactly what it says—the computer is turned completely off. To continue operating a healthy and fast device, you should do this weekly. This is especially important if you run a ton of applications or surf the internet. Cashed copies of website attachments and ad blockers clog up your device, and a full shut down clears them out.

Brad Nichols, a technician with technology repair service company Staymobile says, “Those things just have to be reset at some point so they’re not always running. It just builds up over time, and the more you use it, the slower it will get. It resets the computer and gives it a fresh start.”

Sleep Mode

All laptops have this option versus shutting down completely. I think of it as a cat nap for my Mac. In most cases, sleep mode occurs when you leave the laptop opened. When you return, the screen is dark and you can tap a key or wiggle the mouse to wake up. Things are still running in the background, but this can save the headache of booting up our computer, which takes time.

Hibernation

This puts your Mac or PC into a deeper sleep. It will shut down more items on your computer than sleep mode, but some apps will run in the background.  Overall, however, less power is used.

If your still worried about using up too much power, Geek Squad Agent Derek Meister says that if you shut off your computer completely, “You’re talking maybe a dollar’s worth of savings on your electric bill. If you’re worried about cutting down your energy costs, you’re better off unplugging chargers that aren’t in use or turning off a printer until you need it.”

Determining the right method is up to you, as the user. My advice would be to combine these methods depending on how long you step away from your desk. And do give your laptop a rest once a week.

They need it, just like us humans.