Shutting down computers and devices sometimes works better than restarting them, depending on what you need to achieve. But what is a system shutdown? And why is restarting your computer not the equivalent to turning it off? And is one method better than the other? We’ve got the answers right here!

What is a System Shutdown?

Whenever you’re finished with performing tasks on your PC such as saving files or programs, closing applications, installing programs, shutting down the internet connection, and locking files, a complete system shutdown is necessary. A system shuts down by sending signals to hardware components like memory modules, hard drives, chipsets, video drivers, and power regulators. When the computer successfully sends these signals, it tells the hardware to shut down. Your computer basically takes a “mental snapshot” of everything you were doing so that when you turn it on again, everything will be as you left it.

Why Does Restarting My Computer Work Better Than Shutting It Down?

While shutting down a computer often performs all of these functions that complete a shutdown, restarting a computer also performs tasks such as saving files or updating the registry. Although shutting down a computer is quick, because it happens quickly, but this method may cause the same problems when booted back up. Alternatively, rebooting a computer does not save local files, instead restart will clear the memory, refresh the Kernel, reset the cache, complete pending updates and fix 1001 problems. A restart is basically a refresh of your device, with it checking itself to make sure there is nothing that needs to be done.

Reboot in place = Save files before shutting down

If any lessons should be taken from this article, it is that there isn’t one better way to consistently shut down your computer, instead you should pay close attention to your devices and how they act, and make changes accordingly. If your device is running slow or hot, then it might be a good point for a restart and to check if there are updates.

Check out the attached video for another way of breaking down the differences (plus what hibernating your device does):