Save power: Don’t run your PC 24/7

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Sofian asked if PCs should be turned off at the end of the workday.

There’s a lot of controversy about that, but I lean toward turning off the machine  when it’s not in use. Leaving a PC on all of the time wastes electricity. That’s bad for your pocketbook and bad for the planet. What’s more, I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that turning off PCs wears them down faster than keeping them on.

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There’s considerable controversy over this issue. I’ve heard arguments that shutting off a PC wears it down. But I’ve also heard arguments that keeping it on all the time shortens its life. What I haven’t seen are statistics proving it either way.

If there were a significant difference, the proof would be obvious.

And that’s why I recommend powering down your computer. It’s less wasteful.

Of course, there are exceptions. Servers have to be on all the time. And you may want to leave your PC running all night for a large backup or transfer.

You may also want to keep it on so you can access it by remote control. But you can set up Wake-on-LAN for that.

Powering down your PC doesn’t necessarily require a fresh boot. Putting it into sleep mode will reduce power consumption to a trickle, and within seconds you can bring it back to where you left it—with all of your desired files and programs open.

Another option, hibernate, shuts your PC down entirely and still brings you back to where you left off. But coming out of hibernation takes longer than coming out of sleep—30 seconds instead of three on my main computer.

You really don’t have to do a full shutdown unless Windows updates or crashes (sometimes it does both). Nevertheless, I shut down my PC at the end of almost every workday. I just like to start fresh in the morning.

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