Why Does Rebooting Fix So Many Problems?
To this day, there isn’t an IT phrase more iconic than “turn it off, then turn it back again.” While it might seem like a funny way to underscore a potentially bigger problem, the reality is that a large portion of problems truly can be resolved by a simple restart. Let’s take a look at three different scenarios where a restart alone might be all you need to fix that pesky computer issue that is bothering you.
1. Slow or Unresponsive Computer
We have all dealt with computers that slow down over time. Sometimes they slow down to the point that your computer may stop responding at all. While restarting might not always fix the issue in its entirety, at least in terms of general slowness, not restarting can cause the slowness to progressively get worse. Computers are not infallible; there are times when a program misbehaves and starts to take up more resources than it should. When this occurs, the best way to stop the program from doing so – and more importantly, get those resources back – is by restarting the computer. This gives the program an opportunity to start with a clean slate, and hopefully the situation that resulted in the unwanted behavior doesn’t reoccur. If it does, then more troubleshooting may be needed. However, a simple restart as a first step does the trick in a large portion of cases.
2. Internet or Wi-Fi Problems.
Computers are not the only devices that require restarts; your networking equipment may benefit from them, too. Suppose you have a computer that stops being able to connect to your home network but is able to connect to any other network just fine. In this situation, it is more likely that the software on your router or modem has hit some sort of figurative brick wall and stopped functioning, similar to how a program could misbehave on your computer. A restart is a great first step that can help resolve this issue without needing further action, although if a restart does not fix it, there may be another underlying issue going on.
You can easily reset the router by unplugging it, waiting 10-20 seconds, and plugging it back in, although you should get permission before you do this with any router other than your own.
3. Installs Neglected Updates
Restarting your computer during a Windows Update can take a frustratingly long time, but those updates are there for excellent reasons. If you prevent your computer from restarting in order to apply updates, you could also be preventing critical bug fixes from taking place.
In addition to bug fixes that are causing immediate noticeable issues, updating can also prevent your computer from being vulnerable to critical issues you may not even be aware of.
For example, in a Windows Update from March 2022, critical security bugs were addressed that could enable a malicious attacker to exploit the way the browser interacts with your computer’s memory. This would give an attacker the option of rigging a website to exploit the given bug simply by accessing the website. The result? The attacker gains the ability to run code on your computer using your permissions. This code could do anything: steal your information, install harmful programs, delete data entirely, and so much more.
Every day you prevent a restart is an additional day your computer would have been at risk for such an attack.
So next time you find yourself staring at a computer that has decided to pick that day to stop working, try a restart. You never know if that might be all it needs to fix it. If you’re looking for more in-depth assistance, especially if you’re struggling to resolve issues on your own or your current IT provider isn’t responding with anything more sophisticated than these steps, reach out to Deep Core Data today.
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