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Why does my IT guy always tell me to reboot?

Because it works. I wish I could say that more often. But the reality is, it lets us start with a clean slate. Your computer has a lot going on, even when you are only running one or two programs. When a Windows XP computer boots up, around 100 programs and services load with it, and that is on a new PC without a lot installed on it!

Every program you open and close, every page you visit, every document you write, literally everything you do on a computer leaves a little trace behind. Windows doesn’t do a very good job of cleaning up after itself. Even when you run temp file clean ups and other tools designed to tweak your system, nothing does as good a job as restarting your computer. When I run in to a computer that cannot show the body of an email, or missing some icons, my first instinct is to check the up time. If I see anything more than 24 hours, it can’t hurt to restart it.

Why are we so resistant to rebooting? If a couple of minutes of our time can save us hours of headache, why do we refuse to do it, and roll our eyes when the IT Guy says “have you tried turning it off and on again?” I haven’t found a real answer for this indignation. But the fact is once in a while you run out of room for all of those little bits and pieces of programs, and restarting the computer gives you room to run. If you have convinced yourself that starting your computer takes a life time, take yourself back to the days of Windows 95 and remember how long it really took, or why not just try rewinding a VHS tape! A few minutes of inconvenience can save hours of pain. Don’t be afraid to try it first, then you can at least tell your IT guy you genuinely tried… Because he can tell if you didn’t, and will suggest it first!

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