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Is it best to leave a PC ON or OFF when not in use?

Is it best to leave a PC ON or OFF when not in use?

I have heard arguments for both ways. Some say that leaving the PC on is better for the hard drive, and some argue that leaving the PC on all the time is a fire hazard. I agree with both sides, but I tend to lean towards leaving the PC on all of the time.

When I leave my PC on all the time, it is ready to go when I need it. I use it throughout the day, and sometimes I wake up at night with an idea and begin researching immediately. I do not like to wait for the PC to boot up when I get the urge to research. Also, I feel that it is better for the hard drive if the PC is left on. That way the hard drive is not subjected to drastic temperature changes.
Good question!
Hmm, I leave it off unless I'm taking a short break. Leaving it on seems like it would wear out the hardware faster, and I tend to keep computers for a long time, since buying ones which work well with Photoshop can be kind of pricey.
There are benefits to both though, and articles examining them.
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I leave my computer on most of the time depending on how active I've been on my computer. My concern is mainly performance of my computer, i.e. refreshing RAM by clearing the memory of the computer for optimal performance. Also getting rid of cookies in the browsers I use and flushing the DNS. From a security point of view I'm also worried about people getting into my computer if I keep the broadband running all of the time, so try to at least disconnect the internet during the day when I'm at work and when I do it sometimes feels right that I should turn off the computer as well. Depending on how much work I do, I may turn off the computer every three days, maybe more, maybe less. It it has been a really intense project, with plenty of memory used, or I want to make sure I get rid of cookies in the browser and flush the dns thoroughly, I'll log out and turn the computer off immediately after the project has been completed.

I don't think the frequency of turning the computer off is a problem, but maybe how one logs out. Better to log out with Windows using the shut down tools that are provided than just turn off the switch for example. Sounds ridiculous, but some people do that. Or they get impatient when the log out process gets too long. Some people treat their computer like a toaster, whereas one probably needs to treat it carefully, i.e. follow the computer's rhythm, channel into the slower, when it is slower, and wait for processes to be completed, rather than trying to hurry things up and crashing the hard disk repeatedly.
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  • Yozora
I have seen this discussion before. I believe the best policy is to turn it off. The reason is, everything is a lifespan. Yes, turning it on and off shortens the life on some parts. But, think of the heat factor of the CPU. Heat degrades chips. So does the spike from the power supply when you turn it on. Now I don't think anyone has done a test with 2 computer to see what one is better or which one dies first.

If you look at it from a power consumption point and you are paying a hydro bill, I would shut it off when not in use. Another reason to shut if off. If you leave it on and you are connected to the net, you are open for attacks or someone can hack into your computer.
leaving my desktop pc's on prolongs the life of the machine I only shut down if I'm away for longer than a week or if I'm moving it to hoover it out haha
I turn mine off after usage, not really concerned about lifespan, more really about wasting electricity.

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I have been thinking about this too. I'm not at all sure but I think leaving it on will wear out the fans and other parts unnecessarily. I have also heard it's not good to turn it on and off too often, and I can believe there is some truth to it. You can actually hear some mechanical noise when the hard drive boots up.

I usually leave my computer on throughout the day because I use it regularly from time to time. I sometimes turn it off when I know I'm going to be away more than an hour but it depends on the state of the programs I have opened. If I'm working on something and I have a lot of websites and programs opened the way I want them I usually leave it on.

I always turn it off at night because I sleep in the same room. The fan noise and the heat that it generates makes it harder to sleep.
I am always leaving it off...but on the other hand, it is on almost all day only concern is to plug it out when it's storm and thunders.
i always switch off my pc when not in use except if i need to sync large files to my cloud, just set for monitor off only... when i was doing final year in uni, i always keep it on because im doing design which involved many components for assembly drawing....and i can continue my work anytime faster rather than reloading all of them. the end, my graphic card dead!.....
I think it's best to leave the pc off.Because this way pc component get cools.if you use your computer at maximum speed don't let it get virussed.
i keep my pc on about 18 hours of the day, i think you aught to shut it down to clear up some space at some point during the day however mine works great still after 5 years.
If you leave the PC on while not in use a good idea is to close the browsers. otherwise, while I am no technical expert my personal impression is computer feels refreshed if it is switched off periodicaly. Of course there are other components in play such as what programs are you using, what sites are you visiting, are you exposing PC to potential malware ect. Leaving the PC on and not maintaining the hygiene by running the antivirus and so might easily slow down your computer. And always clean the cookies regularly. Deleting temporary internet files is also a good thing to do. Then you might leave the PC on if you wish.
It's a good question, but I think that the best answer is: whenever you're not using an appliance such as e.g. TV, Radio, PC etc, is better to always turn them off since part consume power without reason, because you never know when there may be a short circuit or problem with this device, but if it is not too long or you are downloading a program game etc on your pc that is another question.
I think turning your PC off is the best way. It is better for the Environment. 
The Point that it is better for your Harddrive is nonsense. It is dependant on the Way your Harddrive is built. You should have a Server Harddrive to let you PC running all Day long. Also it is common sense, if your Harddrive is Spinning with 7k + Revolutions per Minute the bearings will wear out some Day.

Also the other Components will have much more Stress if you don´t turn off your PC. For example your Fans, imagine your Fans can work for 20000 Hours total. if you don´t turn off your PC they will cap their limit in a pretty short Time in comparison with the PC turned off.

Maybe you should get a Tablet PC or something like that if you don´t want to wait for your PC to boot up.
I think it is best to keep it OFF when not in use, it saves Electricty. Also it will make your PC live longer!
Shutting a PC down at then back on when you need it is very hard on any harddrive. The components truly do not get that hot even when is use as they have heatsinks and cooling fans. The PC that I have I leave on all the time. I put a device on it to calculate the amount of power it takes to run and I only spend about $7 USD a month to keep my PC on.
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The only reason I shut my computer down has to do with "straightening out the electronics", the RAM and the basic functioning of the computer.  Like especially in older days, when anything wasn't working, to turn the power on and off did fix things for some or other reason.  So for me, especially when I've been giving my computer and RAM a hard workout with having hundreds of Windows open, I like to turn everything on and off to straighten everything out.  I don't go as far as shutting off the power every time, only when I'm trouble shooting.  I don't do it every day either, depending on how active I am, it can be as long as seven days, or as short as hours.  I also find when my Windows is a bit sluggish, or things aren't going as they should, it sometimes helps to turn the computer on and off.
I usually shut down my computers but it's strictly for energy savings as others have mentioned. After having had quite a few computers of different operating systems over the last 20 years, I'm pretty sure that none of them have ever died from running too much or being turned on and off too much. There are so many other things that can and usually happen beforehand.
(07-06-2016, 07:22 PM)Genesis Wrote:  I also find when my Windows is a bit sluggish, or things aren't going as they should, it sometimes helps to turn the computer on and off.

Some machines have really seemed like they enjoyed a nice restart late in the afternoon after working all day.

I've also been amazed at how much can be typed and clicked by a cat walking across a keyboard in the middle of the night!
Computers and such are to be able to last for constant usage and the operating system can also last for long periods without being shut off. Of course a server is able to last for 24/7 usage the only problem is with having it on is heating problems, ventilation and power outages. these problems are all from other sources so I believe that it is alright to have a PC on for long periods.

However i switch my pc off after I use it to save power since its not being used so why have it on.

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I've just had a bad experience with my ISP causing me to not log out if I can help it, and when I do, holding my breath. About two months ago after I turned off the computer and logged back in, when I got my browser up there was a message from my ISP that my account payment wasn't up to date. It then wouldn't allow me to use the Internet after that. I'm usually good with paying accounts, but checked, and then found my account was up to date. It was a hickup in the ISP system. The person on the phone (difficult to get hold of them as they have the ring a ring a rosies system where one has to wait a long while) then has to reset the account. I have to log out completely, turn off the system at my mains (I have a dedicated line and not WiFi), then wait for at least 20 minutes, turn the main system on, then my computer, and then it should work. After the first time I thought I was OK, but a few days after when I turned off the computer again, the exact experience was repeated. So I was very careful not to log out or turn the computer off for at least three weeks.

Anyway, long story short, I learned that I don't really have to log out until there is a real need for it, like if some of the software has changed and requires a reboot. I thought if I used the browser a lot that logging out with clean up everything, but all one has to do is log out of the browser completely and then get back in the browser. Computers are wired to stay open for long as one wants them to. Only thing one should really try and save is the Monitor. Like make sure there is a screensaver so the monitor powers down when it isn't being used.
Unless you're using a HDD, leaving it on or off really depends on your wants and/or needs. In my case, I normally turn it off cause of the hot weather here.
However, if you're on a HDD, actually turning off your system helps the HDD, as the HDD will be able to live longer due to less reads and/or writes. This is especially true with Seagate drives, which aren't able to sustain 24/7 operations.

In the end, it's really personal preference.
Turn ut off for a long time break, otherwise just hibernate it if you're gonna come back
All the components of the computer have a determined useful life, some longer as in the case of the processors and others shorter as it happens with the fans. If we leave the computer on at night, we will be shortening the life of our components.

Some components such as RAM have a lifetime guarantee so they should not worry us, but not all have the same and we must take maximum care of our computer so that it lasts as long as possible if we are not one of those people who can afford luxury of changing the computer annually.
Just leave the system on. In my experience, the system will be better running full time. I have found that systems which are on all the time tends to have a better life than the systems which are turned on less. If its on 24x7 its better.
In my case I would advise you to turn it off every time you don't use it to avoid the battery drain even without using the PC.
(11-30-2021, 07:44 AM)Azmalod Wrote: In my case I would advise you to turn it off every time you don't use it to avoid the battery drain even without using the PC.

What battery are you talking about? In my experience desktops work with electricity. Only laptops run with batteries. In which case yes, leave laptop off when not used. Battery is a totally different topic however.

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Is it best to leave a PC ON or OFF when not in use?51