A lot of people hardly ever restart or shut their computer down completely. Using sleep mode is the popular go-to approach, and it makes sense on the surface because it’s fast — and everyone likes fast.
Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that over time your computer starts to stack up more and more temporary data in your RAM (Random Access Memory) and eventually your system gets clogged up and its ability to perform gets progressively worse.
When you restart your computer / or shut it down and turn it on again, your computer does a bunch of background work for you, including flushing out your temporary data. So when your computer boots up again, your RAM is clean and ready to perform at its maximum capacity.
Symptoms of a clogged up computer that need a reboot
- If your computer is running slower than usual
- If your computer starts freezing randomly, or when running a hardware intensive task
- If you have problems connecting to your Internet
- If your Internet starts lagging
- If some apps suddenly start showing glitches or crash
- If your computer just appears to act weird without an apparent reason.
Chances are that rebooting your computer is going to take care of either all of those issues or at least it will improve your computer’s performance. Restarting your system can never make it perform worse — never.
Powerful vs Weak Hardware (keep this in mind)
The more powerful the hardware in your computer is the longer you can stretch this period of continuous sleep/wake habit without feeling the consequence. People with old computers and or weak cheap hardware components will feel these performance degradation symptoms much faster.
However, just because you have a powerful machine that can take a lot of abuse that doesn’t mean that it should.
But if your computer is old and slow, to begin with, rebooting or shutting it down completely after use is the best way to avoid making it worse, and it will extend your machine’s lifespan.