Should You Leave Your Computer on at Night?

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The question of whether or not you should leave your computer on overnight has been debated as long as we can remember. On one hand, people argue that turning your computer on and off unnecessarily stresses components, leading to a shorter overall lifespan. On the other hand, people say that it saves power and that programs do well to be shut down every so often.

The short answer is that there is no clear-cut answer. In our experience at OAC Technology, a Minneapolis-based IT support company, turning off the computer at night certainly saves on power, while having a negligible effect on the lifetime of the components. In fact, most major computer components today will far outlast the computer’s ability to run the latest software.

In other words, your computer will be long outdated before any ill-effects of turning it off at night could be noticed.

Another consideration is the time wasted waiting for your computer to boot up and shut down. At one point in the not-too-distant past, leaving your computer on at night saved a significant amount of boot-up time the next morning. However, with the advent of solid-state drives (SSDs) and multiple-core processors, computers are booting up faster than ever, and boot-up time is now no longer a concern for most users.

There’s also no question that computers benefit from the occasional reboot. It allows them to start fresh and remove from memory any traces of rogue software that may have been loaded during their prior uptime.

And of course, there’s the option of just letting your computer be and allowing it to sleep and hibernate according to the manufacturer’s default settings. This is a perfectly acceptable way to use your computer as long as it doesn’t exhibit any side effects from sleeping and waking.

In summary, our official answer is to do what works best for you in your business. If you start to notice problems with how your computer is running, it may or may not be directly related to how you choose power cycle your computer. Our team can identify and replace bad hardware, perform upgrades, remove viruses, and make any change necessary so your machine runs as smoothly as possible. You don’t even need to bring your computer in. Most problems can be diagnosed and fixed by us remotely, within minutes. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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