Turn a PC Off or Leave It On?

switchI am often asked if it's best to shut the computer off every night or leave it on.

Call me a tree-hugger if you must, but I see no reason to keep a computer on when it's not in use. That wastes electricity, which is bad for your pocket and bad for the planet.

However shutting down a computer, then starting it up cold, causes more wear and tear than leaving it on for hours, as is the nature of so many things they tend to break just as you turn them on. So if you are using the computer throughout the day then leave is on, it will not cause any problems and will not use much electricity. Then turn it off at night or when you leave the house.

If you don't like starting your computer fresh every morning (as it can take soooo long), you can hibernate it rather than shutting it down or with most modern computer sleep mode is also good alternative. From the hardware and power-consumption points of view, there's no difference between shutting down a computer and hibernating it, however sleep mode does use a small amount of power (laptops especially as they run on the battery, easy to find it’s run out just when you need it).

Is a difference in what happens when you boot it again in the morning. A shutdown computer will give Windows a fresh start, clear of any digital cobwebs it acquired since its last boot, gives it a chance to install updates and finish installing any new programs. A hibernated or sleeping computer will wake up where you left it, with the same programs, files, and windows open.

Which you prefer is a matter of personal choice, although you should probably shut it down at least once a week to clear those cobwebs and give it a chance to install updates (very important).