Go Back

To Sleep or Shut Down – Which Option is Best for Your Computer

Booting down and starting up your desktop or laptop computer every day can feel like a hassle – even with today’s blazing fast business computer support in Orlando for your desktop computer startup times. But we’re now learning that allowing your computer to go into sleep mode – or putting it in sleep mode before you go home for the night, or leave your desk for a meeting – may not be the wisest choice. As experts in business computer support in Orlando, we’ve heard the debate many times before.

Basically, the question of whether or not to shut down a computer falls into two main areas: Speed and Power Consumption


The main advantage of keeping your computer on overnight is to allow all software updates to download and install overnight as not to slow down the computer during the day when in use. This is important to keep computer software up-to-date, safe, and secure. Anti-Virus software also uses this time when the computer’s not in use to install the newest virus definitions and preform Deep Scans. If these actions would be done during the day, it would slow down the user’s performance of the computer.

Power Consumption

Leaving your computer system running can cause heat. Steps to lessen this would be to turn off monitors when not in use and set internal hard drives to sleep mode so they aren’t consuming as much energy and creating un-necessary heat. Sleep mode keeps your computer running while only drawing a small amount of power to keep it ready to “wake up” and be ready to operate. The cost of this extra power consumption varies (some estimate the cost at around $50 per year), but as you get into large IT installations with 50 or 100 computers in a particular room, the cost of that power multiplies and becomes a serious cost factor that will have to be considered by those in charge of IT and facilities budgets.

Many experts agree, if you’re going to leave your computer for an hour or more, it’s best to shutdown monitors and put to sleep hard drives. This is the best way to avoid damage that can come from long-term overheating – and it can save money that would otherwise be spent on HVAC costs. The life of monitors and hard drives can be shortened greatly when constantly used.

We also know that powering down your computer will not cause damage to it. In fact, the laptops and desktops of today are engineered for 40,000 power cycles before failure. To put that into a daily perspective, you’d have to cycle a computer on and off between 15 and 22 times every single day for seven years to achieve 40,000 cycles.

Bottom Line: Don’t be Afraid to Shutdown Your Computer

It may seem like a hassle, but shutting down your monitor or putting your computer to sleep if you’ll be away from it for more than an hour makes good sense. You won’t be causing any extra harm to your computer and, in fact, you’ll be extending its useful life and saving money on cooling costs in the long run. And, if you need something to do while your computer boots up, review your list of things to do, grab a coffee – or check your email on your smartphone.

When you need business computer support in Orlando and the surrounding area, look no further than Firewall Computer Services. Give us a call at (407) 647-3430 today.