Warm boot

Updated: 10/02/2017 by Computer Hope

soft bootAlternatively referred to as a soft boot, a warm boot is a method of restarting a computer that is already on without completely turning the computer off. On a computer running Windows, a warm boot can be accomplished by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys simultaneously or by selecting a restart option within Windows. A warm boot is faster than turning a computer off and on again (cold boot) and is done when your computer needs to restart, and you plan on continuing to use the computer.

What would a warm boot happen by itself?

If the computer encounters a hardware or software error that cannot be recovered, it may reboot (warm boot) by itself.

What are the reasons you would need to warm boot?

Below is a list of the different reasons you may need to warm boot a computer.

  • New hardware, software, or driver has been installed and requires a reboot.
  • A system setting has been changed that requires a reboot.
  • An update has been installed and requires a reboot.
  • The computer has a problem that cannot be fixed.
  • Computer or software program is frozen.

Tip: Rebooting the computer is a good first troubleshooting step for many problems.

Note: When a computer freezes or gets into a deadlock it cannot be warm booted and requires cold boot to restart.

Boot, Cold boot, Operating system terms, Reboot, SYS 64738, Three finger salute