Should I shut down my computer at night?


There’s a good chance you’ve asked yourself this questions before. Should I shut down my computer at night? Should I leave it on? What about putting it to sleep – I sleep so my computer should too right? Well let’s talk about that a little.

How do all these compare?

Shutdown: This option closes all apps and programs and powers down the computer completely.  Next time you start the computer it will have to go through a full boot and anything that wasn’t saved will be gone. Everything that was open will be closed. This take the longest of all the options before your computer is ready for use.

  • Pros: Least amount of power used, Reduced wear & tear on computer (there is no hard evidence to support this entirely, but some stand by it)
  • Cons: Longest time to start computer (unless you have a solid-state hard drive!)

Sleep mode: The Windows definition of sleep mode is: “The PC stays on but uses low power. Apps stay open so when the PC wakes up, you’re instantly back to where you left off.” This means your computer will keep all the current windows and programs you have open.  When you ‘wake’ the computer up it will look exactly the same as where you left it.

  • Pros: Not as much power used as leaving it on, Quick restart time, Leaves things just as you left them
  • Cons: Computer is still technically on (can be a problem if computer is moved or bumped especially in the case of laptops), Sometimes computers won’t wake up and require a hard shutdown

Leaving it on: Your last option is to leave the computer running all the time.  You can change the settings so the computer never sleeps and the screen turns off after a defined period of time.  Many people choose this option because they don’t want to wait for the computer to boot every time they wish to use it.

  • Pros: Computer is always ready for use, Things are right where you left off
  • Cons: Uses the most power, components are always running, need to make sure the temperature is kept at an optimal level

So, I should shut down my computer?

This really comes down to a personal preference.  Here at Elkhorn Computer, most of us will shut our computers down over night and when not in use during the day.  Although, everyone in shop also uses a solid-state hard drive. If you have a slow computer and don’t have any viruses or malware, a solid-state drive could be your answer. Solid-state hard drives also have no moving parts and are less prone to failure and damage.

We would avoid sleep mode. We see a number of problems with computers failing to wake up from sleep mode or running into other issues.

That being said, some of us keep our computers on 24/7. There really is no correct answer here.  If your computer takes forever to boot, then it might be better to leave your computer on.  Some people have said shutting the computer down will increase the lifespan of some components in the computer, but we’re yet to see any hard evidence of this even though it kind of makes sense.  However, if you’re ever going to move the computer (laptops) you should shut the computer down.  The hard drive is a very sensitive piece of equipment and can be prone to damage if it is on and takes a bump.

Hopefully this has given you enough information to make the decision yourself.  Just remember there isn’t one correct answer and the choice that works best for you is more than likely not going to have a major effect on your computer.

How do I turn off Sleep mode?

If you want to turn off sleep mode on your computer in Windows 10, simply right click on the windows start menu in the bottom left corner


Right click the start menu and select power options

Once you’re on the Power Options menu look for the Sleep setting. You can click the drop down box and at the very bottom change it to ‘Never’ and your computer will stop going to sleep!


Change the sleep mode setting to ‘Never’ to prevent your computer from going to sleep.