Why Restarting Your Computer Solves Problems

One of the most common questions IT support personnel ask is, “Have you tried restarting your computer?”

And the most common answer we get is, “Of course, I turn my computer off every night!”

But there is a difference between simply turning off your computer and restarting it

What happens when you restart your computer

Restarting a computer often solves problems because it performs a complete reset of the system, which can clear out any temporary issues that may be affecting the system. Here are some reasons why restarting a computer is more effective than shutting it down:

Shutting down a computer, on the other hand, simply turns off the power to the system. This can be useful for completely powering off a computer for extended periods of time, but it does not perform the same type of reset that a restart does.

What are the different actions computer will perform

When a computer performs a shutdown, it follows a specific sequence of actions to power off the system. This includes:

  • 1

    Closing all open programs and saving any unsaved data.
  • 2

    Flushing data to the hard drive to ensure that all data is saved.
  • 3

    Unmounting file systems and disconnecting from any external devices.
  • 4

    Stopping system services and processes.
  • 5

    Turning off the computer's hardware components in a controlled manner.

When a computer performs a restart, it follows a similar sequence of actions, but with a few differences. These actions include:

  • 1

    Closing all open programs and saving any unsaved data.
  • 2

    Flushing data to the hard drive to ensure that all data is saved.
  • 3

    Unmounting file systems and disconnecting from any external devices.
  • 4

    Stopping system services and processes.
  • 5

    Turning off the computer's hardware components in a controlled manner.
  • 6

    Powering on the computer's hardware components and reloading the system software, including the operating system and any startup programs.

As you can see, a restart involves an additional step of powering on the computer’s hardware components and reloading the system software, which is not performed during a shutdown. This allows the system to perform a complete reset and can often help to resolve issues that may be affecting the system.

How can I check when my computer was last restarted?

One way to check your computer’s last restart time is by using the Command Prompt.

To check when your Windows computer was last restarted through the Task Manager, you can use either of these methods:

  • Method 1

    Right-click on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen and select "Task Manager" from the menu.
  • Method 2

    Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together on your keyboard to open the Task Manager window.
Task manager

It may seem like a simple solution, but restarting your computer can often solve many issues.

So…

Have you tried restarting your computer?