February 9, 2023

Given the amount of time we spend with our computers today, it’s understandable that we rarely feel the need to shut them down completely and opt instead to put them into sleep mode.

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I’m sure you’ve heard that shutting down your computer too often can negatively affect software and shorten its lifespan. Or leaving your computer on all the time can damage its battery and performance, not to mention your electricity bill.

So, what should we believe, what is the right thing to do? Always turn off your computer when you’re not using it, or just keep putting your computer into sleep mode?

Well, there is no simple right or wrong answer to this question.

Given the amount of time we spend with our computers today, it’s understandable that we rarely feel the need to shut them down completely and opt instead to put them into sleep mode.

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What exactly is sleep mode?

When a computer is in sleep mode, it is saving energy, i.e. turning off the display, so it goes to a black screen. However, for all intents and purposes, your computer is still on while in sleep mode, and several programs are still running.

How is shutting down the computer different from sleep mode?

When you turn off your computer, all its functions are turned off. Any programs or applications you were using before will not run or save. Therefore, no software or programs are running and no updates will occur. Therefore, when you need to use your computer again, you will need to completely restart it, which takes a few minutes longer than just waking the computer from sleep mode.

The Benefits of Putting Your Computer into Sleep Mode

1. You can easily resume using your computer

Just a click of the mouse, trackpad, touchpad, slide pad, or power button wakes the computer from sleep mode and instantly returns to all open windows.


2. Several programs are still running in sleep mode

Although your computer may not appear to be running in sleep mode, several programs can and often do, including:

  • virus scan
  • system backup
  • Software update
  • disk cleanup.

It’s important to note that these programs don’t run while your computer is off. Without the updates they provide, your device may be more vulnerable to malware. Also, the heat generated by the sleeping machine exposes all components more to higher heat. A computer that is left on all the time may have a shorter lifespan.

Benefits of turning off your computer

1. save money

Leaving your computer plugged in, even if it’s fully charged and turned off, consumes power. However, it uses much less energy than when the computer is in sleep mode. Turning it off can save you about $50 a year on your electric bill.

2. Will not damage your device

Contrary to popular belief, turning off your computer regularly won’t harm your device. In the early days of computer technology, internal components were more susceptible to damage. It is recommended that you avoid turning it off too often. Modern technology is more durable. In fact, shutting down the computer from time to time can help improve performance, as it allows the RAM and battery to rest more than in sleep mode. Also, one benefit of regular shutdowns is that you’re likely to have fewer temporary problems with your system.

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3. A reboot helps manage any system issues

The restart that occurs when you turn your computer back on will also help manage any system issues, such as eliminating any errors or bad network connections. These problems can increase when in sleep mode, often reducing the overall performance of the computer.

4. Protect Your Devices From Power Surges

If your computer is in sleep mode during a power surge, it may:

  • corrupt file
  • damaged hard drive
  • data lost.

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Turning off your computer will greatly reduce the chances of this happening. Also, power surges that occur while the machine is powered by its power adapter are more harmful to a sleeping computer than a computer that is completely turned off.

Is one recommended over the other?

unnecessary. It all depends on how long you spend away from your computer. If you just need to go out to run errands or grab a cup of coffee, and know you’ll eventually need to turn your computer back on, it’s best to put it into sleep mode.

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However, at the end of the day, or if you know you’ll be away from your computer for an extended period of time, it might be wise to shut it down and give it a break. This also helps protect it during power surges.

When you’re not using your computer, do you turn it off or put it in sleep mode? We’d love to hear from you.

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