What is the difference between restarting and shutting down the PC?

If you use a computer, you should know that some precautions are important for its proper functioning. Turning off and restarting the machine from time to time can be good for both the system and its usability, as well as for the PC itself. But what is the difference between these two functions?

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Although the two involve computer power suspension, they don’t have names different by chance: they serve different purposes. Both are found in the power menu, no matter which operating system (chromeOS, Linux, macOS or Windows) you use. And one can be more useful than the other, depending on the user’s desire

What is the difference between shutting down and restarting the computer?

(Image: Disclosure/Windows/Unsplash)

When the computer is turned off, the power is permanently interrupted after the operating system processes have safely ended. That is, you will need to press the power button manually so that the machine understands that it’s time to use it again.

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If the computer is just restarted, it means that the PC will terminate all OS processes as well, but will automatically start one more time for the user to resume its use.

When to turn off the computer?

If you do not need to use the computer for an extended period, it is best to keep it turned off until the next use. For example, if you do not intend to return to the machine that same day, it could be disabled overnight. There are no advantages to keeping it turned on in an idle state, and you can save on your electricity bill.

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Another advantage is that by doing this, the operating system will install pending updates before the system effectively shut down. This way, you shouldn’t be bothered with windows asking for a reboot to complete updates.

When will the computer restart?

On the other hand, there are times when the computer just needs to be turned off temporarily. If you keep the machine turned on for long periods, it is likely that from time to time the operating system will ask you to restart the PC, in order to complete the installation of updates.

This process optimizes the functioning of the device, and often brings important security fixes. Restarting, then, the computer will only be inoperable while the OS takes the necessary time for this process. As soon as it is completed, it is possible to resume its use.

(Image: Image: Disclosure/Windows/Unsplash)

Often the installation of a new program also requires the computer to restart. This happens, for example, when a new driver is installed. The machine will then automatically turn off and on so that use can be resumed, in order to just complete this bureaucratic step required by new software.

Lastly, another good application of the restart function occurs when the computer is very slow, and you need it to return to normal operation. Many open programs, as well as background processes, consume RAM, processor and especially cache. Restarting the PC is a good way to make the system “sweep” its resources and make them available once more. But keep in mind that with this all programs will be terminated.

Note that depending on your operating system, access to the computer shutdown and restart functions may vary. But they are always grouped together and now, knowing the best application for each one, you will know exactly what you need to do in each situation.

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