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You’ll Never Guess the Key to Completely Rebooting Your Computer

You’ll Never Guess the Key to Completely Rebooting Your Computer

When you have a problem with your computer and you reach out for help, the first thing you will probably be asked is, “have you turned it off and turned it back on?” This is not because the technician is lazy, it is because a lot of problems can be fixed by rebooting your computer. Do you need to shut down or simply restart your computer? It might surprise you that turning your computer off and restarting it actually accomplishes different things. Today, we’ll discuss the difference. 

How are Shut Down and Restart Processes Different?

Up until Windows 8, the result of shutting down your computer and restarting it would be the same. With the launch of Windows 8--the first OS Microsoft built for PCs and mobile devices--the reboot and restart processes started to differ. In what Microsoft calls “Fast Startup”, the loading and shutting down processes are different than simply restarting the computer.

Shut Down

The presence of Fast Startup shortens the process of starting up your machine. It does this for shutting down as well.

When a user commands the computer to shut down, the applications and files are shut down like normal, but their OS is put in standby mode. This standby mode makes Windows faster to reactivate. Since most of the computer’s processes are just in standby mode, the issues that you were trying to fix by shutting down the computer remain when you boot it back up.


When a user commands a restart, however, the device puts a stop to all processes. This is why it takes a little longer to restart than it would to just shut down. It is a fresh boot at the motherboard level. 

Ironically, by “shutting down” a computer, it actually leaves more components active than a restart does, making a restart the recommended process to use when troubleshooting an issue on your PC.

So, next time you are asked “Did you turn it off and turn it back on?” you will know that they simply mean to restart the computer. 

If you are having problems with your technology that just restarting your computers don’t fix, call the IT professionals at Alltech IT Solutions today at 954-628-3770.

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