Rebooting computers on a regular basis provides many benefits that can be quite useful to users and to the system itself. Some of these reasons directly benefit the hardware, which in turn, help the systems to run better. These indirectly bring benefits to the user - having a happy system means less issues and a longer life.
Rebooting a computer is incredibly important for a number of things. The first is related to the implementation of updates that download in the background via Windows Update. It's one thing for the download to complete in the background, but it's not until those updates are implemented at startup that they are actually used. The only way that happens is through going through an update.
So How Often are Updates Downloaded?
This can happen several times a month, so a good rule of thumb is to reboot your system once a week. This will ensure that updates are installed to the startup processes to keep your system running healthy.
Flushing the system's RAM
No, I don't mean flushing the systems RAM down a drain... Sometimes information can get backed up at the RAM level. I like describe RAM as a basket between the Hard drive and the processor. The hard drive will take snippets of data and deposit into the RAM bucket to take to the CPU, and the reverse will happen when data is written "to disc." Its basically a temporary holding area.
As such, this "basket" can get overfilled sometimes, which means that things can get a little sluggish because the system is struggling to get to the things in that basket. This can be when things are writing to disc, and/or implementing the next command the user prompts. Rebooting the computer forces the system to provide a fresh start for the RAM, which means that the basket gets emptied, and as such, may wind up fixing the backup that was ocurring. So if you encounter issues during operation, its always a good idea to reboot the computer to see if that resolves them.
Systems go to the doctor?
When a user reboots a computer, the system gets the chance to run diagnostics at shutdown, and again at startup to ensure everything is running properly. If the diagnostics come back with an issue, the system will attempt to repair it on the background when its started up next. However, when systems don't get rebooted regularly, its likely that the system will become buggy and problematic, which then leads to errors that will likely create issues for the users when they use it for their daily tasks. Additionally, computers that freeze usually benefit from a restart just to get the system to start fresh - which hopefully resolves the issues that caused it to freeze in the first place.
How often should I reboot my system?
Even if this is not in the reference of doing so when updates are installed, it is a good rule to reboot your system at least once a week. This allows for a fresh startup process to occur - which will allow it to clean up any errors that may have occurred during that week's operation.
Like all buggy systems, if you are finding that you are having to reboot your systems to resolve such issues on a more-than regular basis, please contact us to run additional maintenance, as this may signal other issues going on that a simple reboot may not resolve.