We’ve all been there before. Your computer starts slowing down or freezing up, and you’re forced to throw your hands up in frustration, call tech support, or, perhaps, restart your machine?

Opting for tech support often results in you waiting on hold for what feels like forever. When you do get a human on the line, odds are the first question they ask is, “did you try restarting it?”

As annoying as this question is, restarting your computer actually does make sense in a lot of cases. It may shock you, but a restart might be exactly what you need to fix your problem. In this guide we’ll explore why restarting your computer helps.

When Should you Consider Restarting your Computer?

There are a few issues that a restart may help resolve. Below is a list of common computer glitches and issues that usually require a soft-reset:

● You notice problems connecting/staying connected to the internet
● Your computer is taking forever to open programs/running slowly
● You notice your computer keeps freezing up
● There are errors with your hardware or driver
● The internet is lagging
● Your computer just did a software update
● You just installed new software or hardware

A “soft-reset” refers to shutting your computer down for a few minutes, and then start it back up again. A soft-reset should not be confused with a hard-reset. A hard-reset results in removing or reformatting the hard drive of your device back to the factory setting. When you carry out a hard reset, you will lose any changes you have made to the device as well as some data and software. If a hard reset is required, always back up everything you can before doing so.

What Happens When You Restart Your Computer

There are many benefits to restarting your computer. No matter the reason, a restart may help to remedy any glitches or bugs you may be experiencing.

When your computer restarts it will close down and re-open all of the software. If your problem was with any of the software’s code, this time the computer will hopefully move past it without having any hang-ups.

In More Technical Terms

A “restart” also known as a “reboot” is indicated by way of a power state flag that is set by your PC or Mac at the end of the “shutdown process”. This indicator informs the motherboard to “reset” its associated components via what are known as “reset” commands. Once this process has been carried out, the motherboard prompts the standard startup or “bootstrap” process.

From a software and hardware standpoint, restarting your computer follows the same process internally as it would as if it were actually shutting down, with one major difference. The point at which the computer is technically shut down, an ACPI reset command triggers the PC to reboot immediately.

Why Does Restarting your Computer Fix so Many Problems?

We all know rebooting seems to resolve a myriad of technical issues, but why?

As part of the restarting process, your computer’s “logic” is essentially reset. Meaning that the memory, CPU, peripherals and controllers all receive “reset commands”, returning them to their “boot-up” states.

By wiping the memory and reverting to boot-up states, you can eliminate (at least temporarily) the glitch that was being triggered.

Restarting your computer may also help with:

Boosting Your Speed

A lot of speed issues are due to your RAM being overwhelmed. RAM (Random Access Memory) is your computer’s main form of memory. Any kind of short-term tasks and data are kept in the RAM. When you restart your computer, all of the unnecessary temporary files are removed. Once the RAM isn’t bogged down, you may see an uptake in speed.

Internet Connection Problems

If your computer is having issues staying connected to the internet, restarting may help. If it’s a problem with the computer, restarting it will reset the connection. If restarting the computer didn’t work, try rebooting your router. You can do this by unplugging the router from the wall, let it shut down all the way, and then plug it back in. If you are still having problems with the internet after both of these solutions, contact your internet provider.

Sorting Out Bugs & Glitches

If it’s been a while since you’ve restarted your PC or Mac, you might notice your computer isn’t running as well as it used to. A bug in your system can cause programs to run slower than they should. Glitches like windows freezing and force-closing can happen when you haven’t restarted your device in a while. A soft-reset will give your computer a chance to correct these issues.

Correcting Any Memory Leaks

Memory leaks can happen if the program you were using didn’t close properly. This may result in your device experiencing glitches and slowing down. Restarting your computer assures that all the programs are shut-down properly. This helps prevent any unwanted memory leaks.

Saving You Time & Frustration

By restarting your computer, you give your device a chance to update software. It will also patch programs without causing a slowdown. This will not only save you time but unneeded frustration as well. You don’t need to shut your computer down every day. Doing so once every other week should be enough to help prevent any of the problems listed above.

Will A Restart Solve Everything?

As great as it would be to have a simple restart solve every computer problem known to man, it doesn’t work that way. A reboot can help with cleaning out your RAM. It also gives the computer a chance to do any updates and patches that may be needed.

Likewise, its also a good first step if your computer is having issues of any kind, but it’s not the answer to every problem. If you end up having to call tech support or seek out further assistance, at least you can answer yes when asked if you tried restarting the device.

Restart your device at least once every other week. Doing so will keep things running smoothly. Don’t wait until you have a problem before deciding to do a soft-reset. It’s also a good idea to make sure you save any unfinished projects before doing a restart. Failure to do so might result in a loss of work, and that’s something you will want to avoid.

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