Why Does Restarting Fix Computer Problems? (#1392)

Why Does Restarting Fix Computer Problems? (#1392)


Say you’re having trouble with your computer. What’s the one piece of advice you can expect
almost any expert to tell you right off the bat. It maybe to go over here and to restart your
computer. Or as one TV show always said, Have you tried
turning it off and then on again. So why does restarting your computer solve
so many computer problems? Well, the reason it does is because you don’t
really need to restart your computer. All you really need to do, in a lot of cases,
is restart the app or process that is causing a problem. But figuring out what app or process that
is can take a long time. Much longer than just simply restarting your
computer which will restart all the apps and all the processes and everything going on,
solving the problem which may have just been one little thing. So it’s a bit of an overkill but it is quicker
to do that than it is to actually figure out the problem. So to give an example here in the Dock you
can see I’ve got Safari running, I’ve got Mail running, I’ve got Photos running. I’ve got all sorts of things going on. So maybe I’m having an issue and it’s one
of these apps causing the problem. I could try quitting each one and see if it
solves the issue but a restart is just faster especially if you’ve got like ten or twenty
apps going on. In addition, if you look in Activity Monitor
you’ll see that you’ve got way more than that going on. There’s a lot of background apps that are
running. Tons of them. So it could be that one of those is causing
you an issue especially if you’ve got lots of third party apps because you may have all
the basic stuff that all comes from Apple but then if you’ve got say ten or twenty third
party apps then you’ve now got ten or twenty different pieces of software from different
companies, different development environments, all running on your Mac. One of them could be causing a problem and
it could be the thing that’s stopping everything from working on your Mac. But by restarting you’re clearing all of that
out forcing all of those apps and processes to restart which may fix the one that’s having
an issue. If you feel that you’re not doing much on
your Mac you really are. That list of things in Activity Monitor is
showing you that there’s lots of network activity because you’re contacting the internet. You’re loading things on web pages. A single web page can contain fifty or hundred
different items that need to be loaded separately. You have to maintain a WiFi connection. There’s system updates. There’s software updates. There’s all sorts of things going on in the
background monitoring your computer and what’s going on. Any one of those could have an issue. The more third party software you’ve got installed
the more of these that you’re going to have running in the background even if you’re not
using these apps and even if they’re not running at the current time. The only time I would worry about restarts
is when you’ve done it too much. When is too much? Well, I’d say if you’re restarting more than
once a week then it’s probably too much. Now you may know whey you’re restarting. You may have a piece beta software or development
software or something that you know is causing the issue. Then that’s fine. Then restart as often as you need, as often
as you are willing to put up with to use that software. But if you don’t think that you’re using anything
to be causing issues and you’re still having to restart to clear out problems then you
may want to have someone take a look at your Mac. Maybe take it to the Genius Bar so they can
investigate and figure out what is causing the issue that makes you have to restart all
the time and maybe you can fix it or maybe just simply uninstall the piece of software
that is getting in the way.

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