If your Windows 10 PC has started slowing down unexpectedly, won’t connect to wifi, won’t print or has suddenly stopped doing something for no apparent reason, there’s a good chance that by simply clicking on the ‘Restart’ option in the Windows start menu you can solve all those problems.
What does restarting do?
When you select the ‘Shut down’ option to turn your PC off, Windows leaves some services in sleep mode so that your PC can start up faster the next time you turn it on. This gives the computer an ‘Up time’ of how many days/hours Windows has kept these processes running without fully shutting them down. You can check this Up time in the task manager, there are a few ways to bring it up;
- Option 1
- Right click on the task bar
- Select ‘Task manager’
- Option 2
- Press ‘Ctrl’, ‘Shift’ and ‘Esc’ at the same time to bring up Task Manager
- Option 3
- Press ‘Ctrl’, ‘Alt’ and ‘Delete’ at the same time to bring up Task Manager
Once you have brought up your Task Manager, select the ‘More details’ drop down arrow at the bottom left of the panel. You should then see multiple tabs along the top of the window, the 2nd tab will say ‘Performance’. Once you’ve clicked on that tab, at the bottom left you’ll see your Up time.
Restarting the PC will cause Windows to shut down all the processes that it puts to sleep when you select the ‘Shut down’ option, which will have the following effect:
- Flushing the RAM: RAM handles short-term tasks and data. When you restart, Windows will flush out any unimportant, and temporary data bogging down your device.
- Stops Memory Leaks: When a program doesn’t close properly it can cause memory leaks. When programs start up they borrow RAM, and if they aren’t closed properly they don’t return this RAM which causes memory leaks.
- Restoring lost internet connection: A common issue of having high up times is that Windows has issues with internet connectivity. Restarting your PC resets the services related to your network connectivity settings, which usually solves that issue.
Generally you should restart your PC at least once a week, the longer you let your PC go without restarting it the more issues you will start to encounter. So the next time your PC seems slow or won’t carry out simple tasks, try restarting it first.