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Why Does Turning Your Computer Off and On Again Fix So Many Issues?

By Adam, IT Superhero

The IT Crowd via Giphy

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

If you have ever run through troubleshooting steps with your workstation before, you will be familiar with the age-old action of “turning it off and on again”, but why exactly does this fix so many issues?
Well firstly, this is not just a specific solution for your computer, this trick can work on pretty much any device including modems, laptops, tablets, phones… Practically anything that is electronic!

So how does it work?

Well, the main explanation is that restarting your devices clears temporary files and errors. As you may know, electronic devices aren’t perfect, and on odd occasions they can run into errors that may not crash the device entirely but instead cause it to run slowly or differently.
For example, have you ever noticed your computer running extremely slow, closed a program and re-opened it again only to now notice it runs much faster? This could have been caused by a special type of error called a memory leak. This occurs when an application runs into an error which starts filling up your computer’s resources.

A memory leak in action, caused by Firefox

Now a technician could individually look through each and every program on a misbehaving device, searching through software errors and information to look for the specific program that is causing the device to slow down. However, this can be a timely process and you may not even find the issue, whereas a simple reboot could fix the issue permanently.

How do I prevent these errors from occurring?

A great solution to prevent these errors from occurring is to simply restart your workstation or device often. This may not be applicable to some critical devices such as a modem or a server, but shutting down your workstation at the end of every day and turning it back on the next morning can stop a large number of issues from occurring.

What happens if restarting doesn’t fix the issue?

Some issues can be more serious than others, a simple restart may not fix a program that has been corrupted or broken due to an error. In this case, a technician would need to investigate further into the issue at hand.

If you are experiencing unexplained issues with your IT, activIT systems have a dedicated team on hand to investigate and solve your issue promptly.


Offering a wide range of IT solutions, and located in Perth, WA, and Devonport, Tasmania we service all of Australia and we'd love to hear from you!

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