It used to be, many moons ago, that as you left for work, you shut down your big desktop computer as you were leaving, then allowed it to reboot as you waited for the coffee to brew. With the advent of such innovations as the laptop and the Keurig, your evening and morning work routines have no doubt changed a lot since the 90’s, as has IT Support for that matter.
We found this article shared by Toolbox.com to be a great answer to the nagging question if the need is still there to shut down your PC, whether desktop or laptop, every night:
With the advent of diverse tech devices, people who do not have the right know-how face a number of questions when using these devices. When it comes to computers, one popular questions is, ‘should I shut my computer down every night?’ Different people may give you different answers, but the use of your PC should dictate whether you need to shut it down or not.
Whenever you shut it down, there’s always an advantage and a disadvantage to it. One of the benefits is that you lower your energy usage. You can potentially save some money if you turn off your machine since you prevent unnecessary use of power, especially if you are using more than one computer.
Another advantage is that switching your computer on and off deals with temporary system issues that may arise as a result of long hours of use. A reboot gives it a fresh start thereby increasing its performance.
One last thing to consider is that leaving your PC on all the time could add to the wear and tear. Your cooling fans will get dirtier faster, your thermal paste will wear out more quickly, and your hard drives will be active more often. These all could potentially lead to problems down the line.
On the other hand, shutting it down can inconvenience you because you have to wait for it to turn on. Also, when it is off, you cannot leverage this time for running background maintenance tasks like scanning for threats or updating software.
Another advantage of leaving a PC on is that it opens up the ability to access the machine remotely. There are many situations where this could be quite beneficial such as needing an important file off the machine while you are away from it.
So, in general, most people will benefit from turning the machine off when not in use. However, there are a few cases in which leaving the machine on makes sense.