Should You Shut Down Your Computer Every Night?

According to a recent survey, 37% of computer users surveyed turn off their computer every night. So, who is right: those who turn off their computer every night, or those who leave it on? If you look at your computer’s options, you’ll see “Sleep,” “Shut Down” and “Restart.” Think of sleep as the computer shutting its eyes for a bit. It keeps all programs and files going while you do something else. Once you’re back, the computer comes back on and it’s ready to go. Sleep mode puts your system into a low-power mode, but your apps and data are still in system memory. That quickness comes with some pros and cons. Sleep mode helps everything pop up faster when you get back to your computer, but it also increases the possibility of losing data if the system loses power unexpectedly. Shut down, on the other hand, closes all programs and files you have open. Sleep mode and shut down are the equivalent of a nap versus sleeping all night. So, should you turn off your computer every night? The answer is no. Sleep mode overnight can be beneficial because it can allow the computer to perform any maintenance tasks scheduled. Shutting down your computer is actually harder on it because everything has to be reset when it starts up again. If you’re worried about consuming too much electricity, don’t be. Modern computers left in the Sleep mode don’t consume as much electricity as they once did. In fact, the Department of Energy indicates that you only save a watt or two by turning your computer off versus placing it in sleep mode. If you do choose to use sleep mode, be sure to restart your computer once a week to clear out temporary issues and free up memory from any background apps that didn’t close correctly. If you have a Mac, always check “Force Quit” by clicking on the Apple logo in the upper left-hand corner to make sure you don’t have programs running that didn’t close out properly.