Arguments for leaving computers switched on
- Powering the system on and off stresses it and shortens its working
- Keeping your computer switched on even when you’re not using it
allows it to download operating system updates, and anti-virus
updates, in the middle of the night without interfering with
- If you have a flash of inspiration and want to type your idea into the
computer quickly before you forget it, the last thing you need is a
lengthy delay while the system starts up.
- You can always put the computer to sleep or into hibernation, which
saves energy, decreases noise, reduces the build-up of dust inside
the system, and allows you to reactivate the computer in a matter
of seconds when required.
Arguments for turning computers off
- Many programs leak memory (because they’re badly written).
This means they grab memory to use, but don’t release it when
they’re finished with it.
In this way, the pool of available memory gradually disappears.
However, a single restart of the computer when it becomes sluggish due
to memory leaks allows the operating system to ‘Return to
Go’ with a clean slate.
- Leaving laptops fully switched on all the time means that air is
circulating through the cooling system constantly, and dust
continues to build up.
This is bad because laptops are harder than desktop or tower systems to
take apart for cleaning, and as the air spaces inside laptops are
small, they tend to clog up quickly resulting in overheating.
When a laptop overheats, built-in safety mechanisms can cause a complete
system shut-down without warning, and consequently important work can be
In addition, when a laptop is clogged up with dust, the cooling system
will have to work harder to keep the temperature down to an acceptable
level, and this means that the fans will have to run faster, which in
turn means more noise and the possibility of premature mechanical
- Being permanently connected to the Internet increases your risk of
infection by malicious software, but just because the system is
switched on doesn’t mean you have to be online all the