Is it better to leave the computer on or turn it off?

In the past (1993 and earlier) it may have been beneficial to leave the computer on because of potential power switch related issues with some computer manufacturers. However, this issue was not always applicable, and today is no longer an issue with any computer. Although it is still possible for components to become bad in a computer, it is never attributed to turning the computer on and off each day.

The answer to this question depends upon how you use your computer. Our recommendation for most users is when the computer is first turned on that it remains on until it is late, or you have no plans on using the computer. However, if you are running anything on the computer or want tasks to run during the night such as a backup, ScanDisk, Defrag, or a virus scan, it is recommend that the computer remain on all night.

Tip: If you want to keep the computer on because it takes a long time to boot after its been off put the computer into Standby or Hibernate instead of turning it off.

In short, it is neither good nor bad to turn off the computer each day or for you to leave the computer on all day every day.

Note: If you decide to leave your computer on all day we still recommend that the computer monitor be turned off. Even when stepping away from the computer for more than 10 minutes we suggest turning off the monitor.

Additional thoughts

For companies or homes that have several dozen/thousand computers it may be beneficial to turn the computer off each night or at the end of the work day to help conserve power. Although many computers and electronic devices have power saving features, they still consume power, and hundreds of computers consuming power can be costly each month.

Does turning off the computer cause power surges or damage components?

No.

Does turning off computers cause soldering cracks or harm electrical components?

No. Although it is true that the electrical components within the computer are going to cool down, it is no more likely to cause a failure turning off the computer frequently than leaving the computer on all the time. For example, many individuals turn on and off their TV each day, sometimes several times a day. Much like a computer, components within the TV get hot and cool down when the television is turned off and have no issues.

Will turning off the computer cause moving parts such as fans to wear down?

No.

Does turning off the computer wear down the power button?

This had been an issue with a very tiny portion of old OEM computers. However, today this issue does not exist with any computer or case manufacturer. However, that is not to say the power button cannot break.

Will turning my computer off help prevent a power surge?

A power surge destroys electrical devices regardless if it is on or off. Therefore, turning the computer off does not prevent this from occurring. The only way to prevent power surges is to unplug all power cables, phone cables, and network cables.

As the computer boots, it takes more power.

Not true.

Leaving a computer on causes it to overheat.

Unless a fan within the computer fails while the computer is on it will not overheat. In fact, a computer that is left on and is not doing anything will be much cooler than a computer that is on and being used.

A laptop is different than a desktop it should be turned off.

Although physically different a laptop can also remain on for 24/7 just like a desktop and all the above information also applies to a laptop.