Anyone who uses a laptop or PC is likely to be guilty of this. Not powering down the device, and simply closing the lid. Although convenient there are various reasons why sleep mode just isn’t good enough.

For many, the reason they don’t power down is simply convenience, however, some people believe powering down and then having to power up will wear out the components in the device quicker and therefore see this as a valid reason not to do it.

However, this is generally only the case with older computers and is certainly no longer relevant for modern operating systems as they don’t use much power when powering up or down and there are few moving parts within the computer.

When you close the lid of your laptop there are three stages of activity:

·   Sleeping – Although part of the device is shut down, in sleep mode you can switch straight back to what you were doing when you ‘wake it up’.

·   Hibernation – This is a deeper ‘sleep’ than sleep mode and shuts down more portions of the OS and therefore saves power.  

·    Shut down – This is when you completely shut down your PC, so it is off.

There are numerous reasons why changing your behavior and closing your PC/laptop down every day, or at least once a week is advisable and include:

Trouble Shooting -

For new devices turning it off at the end of the day is useful as it’s during this process that any faults in the hardware are likely to make themselves known. This is good news for you as the device will still be under warranty. There is evidence which shows laptops are more likely to go wrong when they are new, or when they are old so identifying these faults early is preferable.

Battery and Fan Life -

After 300 charge cycles the lifespan of a laptop battery starts to decrease, and therefore by keeping it working in sleep mode or hibernation means it’s going to reach this threshold sooner. So, turning your laptop off every night will prolong the battery life.

Additionally, you can also prolong the life of the fan components as when your laptop is left on, it heats up meaning the fan has to keep kicking in to ensure it doesn’t overheat. This means these components are getting used when the laptop isn’t.

Regular Updates -

By never powering down your laptop, you could be missing vital updates and patches which are automatically carried out when you power down. Not only does this have massive security implications meaning your device could be more susceptible to viruses, malware and ransomware but it will also have an impact on performance meaning your machine will get slower and slower.

This slowing could be caused by drivers crashing, programs running in the background, fragmented files taking up memory or broken bits of software. Simply rebooting the machine can fix the crashes and reset the system and the updates can patch the software.

Cost Effective -

At this current time with fuel prices soaring, powering down your laptop could end up saving you money. Leaving a laptop running continually can cost about £30 per year. Although in itself this isn’t a huge amount, multiply this by the number of devices within your household or business. By powering down and unplugging devices not being used can make savings which will add up.  

Security Compliance -

For all businesses, security and security compliance should be a major consideration and leaving laptops in sleep mode could be breaking security compliance regulations. By not logging off and powering down you are potentially exposing private data to anyone who has access to your device. Additionally, hackers can only gain access to your device if it is switched on, so if it is only on when you are using it you are lowering the risk of a security breach.

Although switching off every night could feel like a step too far if you are one of those who doesn’t power down ever, even making to effort to power down once a week could make a big difference to the performance and security of your device.

If, however, you have tried this, and your device is still running slowly speak to the team at SupportWise for some advice.