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

Updated: 05/14/2017 by Computer Hope

Power buttonIn 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 on 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 want tasks to run during the night such as a backup, ScanDisk, Defrag, or a virus scan, you to have to leave the computer on overnight.

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 recommend turning off the computer monitor. Even when stepping away from the computer for more than 10 minutes we suggest turning off the monitor.

Does turning off the computer save money?

Yes. Like any device that draws power, it will cost you money to keep a computer turned on all day. However, for most people around the world, the cost is very minimal to power one computer, especially if you're turning off the monitor when not being used.

For companies or homes that have several dozen/hundred computers, it may be beneficial to turn the computers 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?


Does turning the computer on and off damage components?


Does turning off computers cause soldering cracks?

No. While it is true that the electrical components in the computer will cool down, turning off the computer frequently will not harm them. 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 a computer wear down moving parts (e.g. fans)?


Does turning off the computer wear down the power button?

Broken power buttons 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?

Power surgeNo. A power surge destroys electrical devices regardless if it is on or off. Therefore, turning the computer off does not prevent this from occurring. Have the computer power cord connected to a surge protector can protect a computer from an electrical surge.

Note: If a storm causes a blackout or brownout, that can cause problems with a desktop computer. To prevent these power-related problems from affecting the computer use a UPS.

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 is cooler than a working computer.

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. Of course, if you are running the laptop off of the battery (not plugged in) it is not going to be able to run all day, and you should conserve your battery usage.