Alternatively 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.