Should I Shut Down?

Dear Computer Lady,

Do you recommend shutting down completely each day?

What are the pros and cons?

Thanks, Linda

Dear Linda,

I do recommend shutting down completely once a day. Here is why.

As you use your computer, small errors can occur in the working memory (aka RAM). When you put the computer to sleep, or hibernate, you are copying the contents of the working memory (errors and all) onto a temporary spot on the hard drive, where it will be loaded back into the RAM (errors and all) when you wake the computer back up.

When you shut the computer down completely, you are not saving the contents of RAM, and when you start the computer back up, a fresh copy of files is loaded directly from the hard drive. This results in fewer errors, and a better working system.

The only con I can think of to shutting down once each day is that you have to wait a little longer for the computer to start back up, however this is certainly worth it if your computer runs faster and with less errors the rest of the day.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • ron007
    • October 14, 2013

    In Windows 3.1 I definitely belonged to the boot every day camp. I encountered specific memory problems that were cleared up by booting.

    I continued to do that through XP.

    When I got my Vista computer I found it was no longer absolutely necessary. The sleep/hibernate process was adequate to allow me to run without daily shutdowns. Monthly restarts for Windows Updates were adequate.

    The only disadvantage I see to daily booting now is the time it takes to shut down and restart both Windows and the multiple applications I use daily.

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