Best Practices for a Faster Computer

We’ve all heard it a hundred times. “Reboot your system regularly.” But why? Sometimes it seems unnecessary, and after all your computer seems to be running fine — who wants to take the time to have to close and reopen everything back up when you’ve got things to do?


We’re happy to tell you why, so let’s start from the beginning.

As a professional IT company, we have served hundreds of clients through the years. From small business with just a handful of employees, to large businesses with dozens and dozens of computers all running on one network. And of all the questions and issues we get, you’d be surprised to hear that the most common solution is so incredibly simple. It takes just a few moments and can save your team an arduous amount of wasted time.  It’s a good ol’ system reboot.  A simple shutdown.  And to clarify – an INTENTIONAL shutdown, done manually. There is a difference between your system going into sleep mode vs. being rebooted.   We often hear “well, my computer gets rebooted every day”, or “I close my laptop at the end of each day.”  But unless you physically choose to restart or shut it down, it’s not being rebooted, it’s just going into sleep mode. This does not give your system the proper refresh that it needs to run optimally.


How do I know if a reboot could help my sluggish computer?

Here are some of the most common complaints we hear from our clients:

  • My computer is running terribly
  • Something was working but now it’s not
  • My computer has been working poorly for a couple of weeks and I’m just limping it along

How does a reboot help?

With applications and browser tabs open, your computer is working hard – using memory, caching files, and using the processor and hard drive space. The longer you go without a hard reboot, the more your resources begin getting used up. You may not notice immediately but slowly your computer begins to run a bit more sluggishly, and over time it will begin freezing up.

How do you free up resources? Let’s say you open a program such as MS Word, do your work, and after saving it, you close up Word. That only releases a portion of the resources it took to open Word in the first place. Until you reboot your system, the original amount of resources won’t be restored, leaving you at risk of bogging down your system over time.   If you own and operate a business, imagine how much productivity is lost when you consider the potential that some or most of your staff may not be aware of best practices to keep their equipment running efficiently. It becomes even more important to have protocol and processes in place to keep your staff equipped with technology that enables them to do their work effectively.


Cons of not rebooting at least once a week:

  • If you don’t reboot or close out apps, your computer will get sluggish, crash, you lose time and work
  • If you have a backup system, your unsaved documents don’t get saved on your backups
  • And the most common risk and the biggest downside is productivity and efficiency


In summary:

  1. A reboot fixes a huge amount of problems that don’t require professional assistance
  2. Rebooting is clicking start – then power – choose shut down or restart – anything else is NOT a reboot
  3. Get into the habit of shutting down your apps when you’re done, every time
  4. Reboot / shut down at least once a week, especially at the end of your work week


If you’d like an extra layer of assistance in keeping your systems running optimally, seek out a qualified IT company that can proactively take care of your systems.  For example, all of our commercial clients systems are proactively managed directly by us remotely, to provide virus protection, remote reboot, alerts if systems aren’t running optimally, if updates are needed, or any suspicious activities are detected.  If you can’t find someone in your area, we’re here to help, and we do FREE network analysis.  Your productivity is our business!