Can you leave your computer on?

There’s a widespread belief that it’s bad to leave your computer turned on all the time, but is there any truth to this claim? Here’s how to ensure your device has a long life. 

According to technology experts, leaving your computer on all the time is less stressful than switching it on and off multiple times during the day.

Each time you turn on your computer, a small surge of power causes all the components to wake up and start spinning. Making your computer run through this motion several times every day can lead to a shortened lifespan. This risk is greater the older your computer is.

However, that’s not to say that leaving your computer on all the time doesn’t have its effects. As with any mechanical parts, constant use over time will eventually wear them down. Leaving your computer on all time often means heavier power usage, and can make it a pain to reboot after you eventually shut down, because the computer will take some extra time to process all the new information it has received before starting up again.

So, should you shut down or leave it on? It all comes down to how much you use your computer. If you use it several times throughout the day, it’s better to leave it running and let it slip into sleep mode. However, if you only jump on to it once in a day for a couple of hours, say to check emails or Facebook, then you can turn it off once you’re done.

As a recommendation, if you leave your computer on for weeks at a time, one thing you can do to extend its life is to perform a complete shutdown once per month. Also, once per week, close down your programs and restart the computer. This allows the machine to consolidate all information and clears it of old data that could be clogging it up.

Related articles:
Technology glossary
Top tech habits you should break
Extend the life of your smartphone

Written by Amelia Theodorakis

A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.

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