Something new I learnt about restarting…

By | November 7, 2016
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One of the things I always say to anyone who’s a bit nervous about PCs, tablets and smartphones and so on is to remember that you don’t need to learn everything. In fact, no-one does know it all about technology. Not Bill Gates (head of Microsoft), not Mark Zuckerberg (who created Facebook) or the Google guys.

Certainly not me. In fact I learnt something new the other day – something about restarting a PC. And it put me in mind of restarting your device (whether it’s a PC, phone or tablet) – and I thought I’d explain a bit about it.

Restarting your PC, tablet or smartphone – when should you do it?
With modern tablets, you don’t actually have to turn them off when you finish using them. If you tap the on/off button once it’ll go into sleep mode – and that means next time you want it, it’ll wake up quickly and be ready to use.

But if you hold down the on/off button, it’ll turn properly off – and next time it’ll turn on from scratch. With older PCs you needed to do this regularly or it would work slower and slower but with tablets, they’re designed to be left in sleep mode and most of the time you never need to turn it off properly if you don’t want to.

But what about the battery you might be wondering. If you leave it in sleep rather than turning it off properly, won’t is use up the battery power so it needs charging again? Well, that used to be true. But if you have a tablet made in the last two or three years, most of them actually use less power in sleep mode overnight than turning on from being fully turned off. So you’ll use less electricity leaving it in sleep mode, if you’re using it every day.

Of course, sometimes you have to turn it off properly. If you get updates to the operating system it will probably turn itself off while it installs them. And if you find it’s running much slower than usual (or even a bit hotter) you might find that turning it fully off then on again helps.

But in general if you don’t want to, it’s not necessary.

Smartphones are much the same except they can use a bit more power in sleep mode… and I always turn mine off overnight anyway, because I don’t want to get woken up by a wrong number or a dodgy sales call!

With PCs or laptops, it used to be that you wanted to turn it off when you weren’t using it – if you just used sleep mode, it would get slower and slower. That’s pretty much sorted now and you could just use sleep mode and only turn it off properly if you noticed it getting slower.

But there’s one other thing with PCs running Windows 10 (and here’s the bit I only learnt the other day). With Windows 10, when you turn it off, it doesn’t actually completely turn it off like it used to. It leaves a few files open so it can start up again more quickly. Which is handy most of the time, but means if you do ever want to turn it off and on again because it’s started working slowly and you think it needs to start afresh, the best thing to do isn’t to turn it off and on again – the best thing is to use the restart option in the menu. That’ll make it properly tidy up after itself and start again.

So on a PC, if you find it running a bit slower than usual, try the restart option in the start menu. (It’ll also do this automatically when installing updates.)

A quick note about our website (and a favour)
We’ve been having the odd (both odd as in occasional and odd as in peculiar) problem with our website  lately. Most of the issues you’d never notice, but are frustrating for us (in particular it’s made it harder to make changes to it).

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you is that to sort them we’ve had to move to a different web hosting company. As far as we can tell it’s been seamless (I always feel like I’m tempting fate writing that) and all is now well. But if you do spot any glitches or quirks on the website, would you do me a favour and please let us know – you can just reply to this email or email us at [email protected] . That way we can fix whatever little issues have come up! Thanks!

A bit more about Smartphones
I’ve mentioned Smartphones in the last two newsletters now – am I getting obsessed? Well, I don’t think obsessed is the right word, but I’ve had them on my mind because I’m working on something to do with Smartphones. Emma, Michelle, Jess & Simone tell me they’re always getting asked “Do you do a book on Smartphones?” when they’re answering phone calls, so I thought we should do something about it so we don’t have to disappoint people.

After all, smartphones are becoming hugely popular and most people don’t get anything like what they could out of it… and no wonder, when you look at how the manufacturers don’t exactly make it easy to know how to use them.

Anyway, more detail shortly… I’m still hard at work getting it all ready, so I’d better get back to it!

9 thoughts on “Something new I learnt about restarting…

  1. Mary Foster

    I don’t turn my smartphone off at night but have it set for silent mode from 10pm-7am.

  2. Colin

    Dear Tim, Your informative emails are greatly appreciated.. Is there any way l can prevent unwanted emails. My email inbox gets more crowded every day. Many thanks. Colin Clarke

    1. Tim Post author

      Thanks for the kind comments!
      There’s no way to properly stop spam, I’m afraid – you can have a spam filter and your email company almost certainly have one turned on, which deletes things it can tell are spam, but it’ll never be perfect. What does sometimes help a bit (but not completely) is to make sure you right click on spam emails and choose mark as spam/junk/whatever the word your system uses is, rather than just deleting them. That helps the spam filter learn what is and isn’t spam so it does a better job in future. It takes a while of doing it for it to learn, though.

  3. David Kay

    Tim – as soo as your Smart phone book comes out I’ll buy it

    Smart phones must be the most consumer unfriendly devices in the computer world.
    Made by nerds for nerds and the rest of us are left in the cold – even most teenagers I know don’t know how to use them properly

    1. Keith Walker

      Dear Tim
      When you have written a book about smartphones would you consider one about connectivity to the internet from your car, a lot of new cars have this feature but using it is another question as with all things electronic the manufacturers don’t provide clear instructions in the handbook. I expect you have enough on your plate as it is, just a thought, best wishes.

      1. Tim Post author

        Interesting idea – we have a few ideas of next books to do at the moment and there are several topics that might not warrant a full book on their own (things like smart TVs, sat-navs and so on) but we might possibly put together into one guide. This one might possibly fit into that… watch this space!

    2. Tim Post author

      Good to hear – thank you!
      I know – the thing that annoys me most about it is the way the makers always seem to think that their phones are really easy to use and ignore anyone who says otherwise. Of course it is easy for them to use – they designed it!

  4. Stephen Shepherd

    Apropos your recent comments on using sleep mode instead of switching off/on –
    I’ve had a 10″ tablet for about a year now [Lenovo TAB 2 A10-30] which I use more than the PC, for speed and convenience. I leave it in sleep mode during the day – as you say it’s much easier and faster to work this way – but have experimented with leaving it asleep overnight and it definitely uses more battery power this way, anything up to 20% depending on the length of sleeptime. Using switch off/on overnight uses just 1 or 2%.
    Not sure of the year of design/manufacture so perhaps the very latest models have got it sorted but I shan’t be updating anytime soon as the tablet is so much quicker and more convenient.
    Stephen Shepherd

    1. Tim Post author

      yes, it could vary depending on the model and when it was designed – some are much better than others at it.
      The other thing that can make a difference is whether you have bluetooth turned on – that tends to make it use more battery when it’s on. Of course, if you use bluetooth, that’s fine, but it can be helpful to turn it off if you don’t use it anyway!
      But yes, there’s no point in updating just for something like that – as long as you can leave it in sleep mode during the day, then you only have to turn it properly on and off one a day.


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