Should I Shut Down The Computer After Use?

Find your answers to this million dollar question.Should I leave my computer turned on or should I shut it down when not using it?

This is a question which has been asked thousand times by my students and customers. Before I make an attempt to answer this question, let’s go through the arguments and counter arguments on this subject.

Argument favoring turning off the computer when not in use is in normal text
Argument favoring of keeping the computer turned on is in Italics

 Power consumption

  • Turning off the PC will save the power and you can contribute your part in this ever growing power hungry world.
  • Today’s PC doesn’t consume much power. When you turn on the PC for the first time, there is a large surge of electricity. If the computer is shut down and restarted on a regular basis, this surge of electricity consumed at startup in total will almost be the same if you keep the computer running forever. Also the computer can be put in Standby or Hibernate mode which consumes very less power.

Wear and Tear

  • Continually shutting down and restarting your computer more quickly wears out the power switch, drive motors, and other components. Some argue that heating and cooling up PC will lead to contraction and leads to stress on different computer parts. Repeating this several times will create problems and this is minimized if the PC is turned always on.
  • Shutting down PC when not in use will increase the longevity of the computer.

Hard disk longevity

  • When you turn on a computer, it puts extra stress on the read/write head on the hard disk which in the long run will create bad sectors.
  • New hard disks are equipped to provide enough protection to the hard disk after a break

Prevent hacking

  • If you are using an always on broadband internet connection, it is impossible for a hacker to hack into the machine after restart. This is because of the change in ipaddress after restart. 
  • The same level of security can be provided by having good security software with firewall.

 Data loss

  • If the computer is turned on, you might loss data in case if computer experience a blackout or power surge.
  • This issue can be minimized by having a good UPS system (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

Computer speed

  • Every time you restart your PC, your operating system flushes out older files that it’s not currently using. Not only does this reduce file clutter on your hard drive and in RAM, it may even provide noticeable performance boosts
  • Fortunately there is no counter argument to this statement

Now, what I do? Unfortunately, for all my activities online I use a laptop with AMD Turion processor which generates a lot of heat while working. It already fried my laptop’s motherboard twice. I don’t want it happen once again. So I always shut down my laptop, if not going to use for more than 2-3hrs.

I would also like to share an experience that I had while working in a training institute. It was a recession period in computer training and the management was constantly complaining about the rising electricity bills in the branch where I was working. After my request, all the employees were informed to shut down only the monitor of their PC if not using it. Monitor especially the CRT monitor consumes more electricity than any other PC component. The result was a reduction in electricity bill by one third.

Hope this information will be useful for taking a decision.

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Thank you. This has been helpful information.

God Bless,

Nelson Doyle

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