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Scott Nason - Director of Technology

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Importance of Routine Restarts

You have probably heard that you should restart your computer regularly. Many of you have probably ignored this… but here’s why you shouldn’t!

  1. Flushes RAM Every computer has what’s called Random Access Memory or RAM for short. RAM is used by every little process that runs on your computer whether you see it or not. Every process stores little bits of information in the RAM on your computer that it will use in order to keep running and remember things you’ve done. As more and more processes store things in the RAM it starts to fill and your computer slows down over time. Restarting it allows the RAM to clear all the info it doesn’t need to keep which in turn makes your computer run faster and more efficiently.
  2. Installs Updates Most computers these days, including most district issued devices, are configured in a way that they update and get the latest security fixes when they restart. If you never restart, your computer doesn’t update. This can leave your computer more vulnerable than others around which could cause you to get viruses or things of the sort.
  3. Fixes Small Errors Over time of your computer being on, it will start to have little errors here and there. Sometimes you won’t even notice these errors, other times these errors will cause programs to freeze and stop responding or worse. By restarting, it allows your computer to kind of try again and you may often find that these little errors go away.

Okay, now you know some of the reasons to restart your computer but maybe you’re still not convinced? Here’s one for you:

Back on February 28th, 2017, Amazon Web Services had a major outage along the East Coast of the United States. Amazon Web Services hosts major sites such as Netflix, Spotify, Pinterest, and tens of thousands of others. Because of a human error, they had to restart one of their main servers which had not done a full reboot in several years. Due to not being restarted in so long, the server has many things it must do to properly and safely shutdown all services and bring them back up. Completing this entire process took over 4 hours for what seems like a simple restart.

Now after getting a basic understanding of why you should restart you’re probably now wondering “How often should I restart?”

Well, there’s no simple answer to this. To be on the safe side, you should restart your computer daily and ensure that your computer can have a chance to start fresh every day. You may also want to restart if your computer ever starts to glitch in any way, this is usually step 1 when it comes to fixing an issue with a computer. At an absolute minimum, say you maybe only use your computer for an hour or less each day, you should be restarting at least once per week. You can almost never restart your device too often but waiting too long can have catastrophic results.

If you have any questions in regards to how to restart your device or why you should, please feel free to put in a tech ticket at http://bonnyeagletechhelp.freshservice.com/ and one of us will gladly assist you.