Should you reboot your computer regularly?

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

With the advent of the Hibernate function in Windows, many people (myself included) have developed a habit of going for days, even weeks, without rebooting their computers. This is mostly done out of convenience, but some people believe that it actually shortens the lifespan of your computer hardware if you restart your computer regularly. It can be said with fair certainty that rebooting your computer everyday will have no negative effect on the lifespan of your computer. In fact, it might even prolong it.

Fears and convenience aside, there is a very good reason why the first question IT support staff will ask you is, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Rebooting a computer is amazingly effective at fixing those little niggles that tend to creep in from time to time. Many big businesses have seen a drop in support calls by up to 40% by implementing automatic, daily reboots.

Even though your computer might be able to run for weeks or months without a reboot, things like temporary files, disk caches, page files, open file descriptors, pipes, sockets, zombie processes and memory leaks can build up over time. All these things can slow down your computer. Restarting it resets all those elements back to zero, leaving your operating system free to run the way it should.

So, should you reboot your computer regularly, even daily? We say yes.