Why you should keep your computer ON when not using it

If you use a desktop computer, we recommend leaving it ON when not using it. Here’s why:

  • Your computer does important maintenance tasks when “idle” – basically the time when you walk away from it for 5-10 minutes or more. To be idle the computer needs to be left ON – not in sleep mode, standby, logged off, nor powered off.
  • Maintenance tasks include scanning for and installing Windows Updates, virus/malware scans, disk defragmentation, and any other updates that may be regularly checked by other apps.
  • If you are in the habit of turning on your computer, doing your business, then immediately turning it off – your computer may never get the chance to do maintenance tasks, or may eventually try to do them while you’re trying to use the computer. This can cause your computer to be much slower while you’re trying to use it.

If you use a laptop computer, we don’t recommend leaving it ON all the time, but rather leave it idle for a few hours once a week so that it can perform maintenance tasks while you’re not actively using it.

The rare occasion that we recommend turning the computer off is if there are currently thunderstorms approaching your area, or high winds that may cause the power to brown-out or completely go out. In those occasions it would be good to unplug the power and wired internet cables from the computer to help prevent any electrical surges from damaging it.