How Often Should You Turn Off Your Computer in 2021?

One of the questions that bother most new or even some intermediate computer users is – How often should you turn off your computer. This question first popped up decades ago, and with every new computer or a new generation of computer components, people are asking the same question.

What then, is it good to turn off the computer often when not in use, or is it better to keep it on?

The theory about the dangers of keeping computers on for a longer time has been dragging on for decades (although some say it’s a myth). Despite this, we never came across any research that would confirm or disprove it.
I have to say first – you won’t find your solution in Statistics as the numbers are black-and-white.

Is it possible to tell how often should you turn off your computer?

Many computers have been shutting down during the night that had some serious hardware issues. Also, there have been so many computers that were turned on for a long time with one or more hardware issues. So, there’s no 100% accurate answer to this question.

Given that there is no data, any discussion about it turns into “philosophizing,” into discussing how it should or could be (given how electronic components work). Still, it is not known if it really is, so, whether the effect is really relevant in practice. Well, let’s take a look …

Power supply and other components

The power supply task is to give the computer components a stable voltage, without overvoltage when the computer is turned on, and the durability of the components will also depend on the performance of the power supply to perform that task.

BONUS IDEA: If you are wondering how to charge a laptop without a charger, check our detailed tutorial where you can find at least five ways to do it.

Electronic components are under the greatest “stress” the moment they receive power, that is after you press the computer power button, or after plugging in the power cord, or press the power switch (because motherboards in modern computers are energized continuously).
Mechanical disks are some of the more sensitive components in frequent turning the computer on and off, primarily because they are one of the few with electric motors and mechanical parts that require exceptional precision in operation.

how often should you turn off your computer
How often should I turn off my computer

Overvoltage can occur

In doing so, they often emphasize discs, a component that has mechanical (moving) parts. After the disc receives power, it starts rotating the discs and then moves the hand with the read/write heads. One day it could fail to do so. On the other hand, when the disc is constantly on (when the plates are continually rotating), this leads to the mechanical parts’ wear.

First of all – even if you have your computer turned on non-stop if in the power management settings you have set the disk to “shut down” (go to standby) after a certain period of inactivity, when you “wake it up”, he has to go through the starting process again.

Furthermore, suppose the power supply is not of good quality. In that case, it could briefly release an overshoot, voltage spike after turning on the computer, which could adversely affect some components and even damage them. However, overvoltage can potentially occur, possibly due to the electrical network (which most often occurs during storms or lightning strikes). Here, too, the situation is not very clear.

BONUS TIP: Our advice here is that you should always look for a better power supply. Don’t buy the cheapest and weakest one. Not only because of this case, but there are many useful reasons why you should stick with better power supply.

So, on the one hand, there are potential risks of turning your computer on and off on a daily basis, but no one knows what those risks are in reality, in practice. If these were just such big risks, they should have started to be noticed among the users.

In the Control Panel of Windows 10, or in the settings of Windows 10, you can only choose after how many minutes the monitor will turn off (recommended) and after how long of inactivity the computer will “sleep” or go into sleep mode.

We tend more to turn it off

On the other hand, by not turning off the computer you have unnecessary power consumption, twear of components with moving parts, constantly elevated (ie working, in this case) temperature of components (high temperature negatively affects the durability of electronic components, shortens their service life). Also, you have constant noise (if you have a computer in a room where and you sleep, which means that you never have silence there, even when you sleep) and the room (maybe convenient in winter, but problematic in summer).

At the end, how often should you turn off your computer? It seems that we tend more to turn off the computer overnight. There are many benefits, especially if you have an SSD (SSD has no moving parts and allows you to start your computer or operating system quickly), and the first year or two, you already have a warranty on components, so the risk for you is virtually none.

Of course, shutting down a computer doesn’t suit some users – maybe the computer has to do a task (render a project) or maybe it has an ongoing task, like a web server or a bitcoin miner. Basically, nothing makes them turn off the computer if that computer will be (passively) used anyway.

BONUS TIP: The monitor should either be left in standby mode when you are not actively using the computer or turned off manually. This is because the level of backlighting depends on the “consumption” of the backlight LEDs – the more operating hours they have, the weaker (inefficient) the backlight will be, so the “wear” is more intense.


Although you probably realized that it’s impossible to find 100% accurate answer on a question “How Often Should You Turn Off Your Computer”, I hope I helped you to get a clearer picture on the processes that are happening in your computer and what are the potential issues. But, don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely something will happen in both cases.

Elys Buco

Elys is a professional editor and journalist from central European country. He's got Master's degree in journalism and his passion is on everyday tech, computers and gaming lifestyle. Besides his native language, he speaks English, French and Italian.