Knowing how to use your computer while it is on is very important, but knowing the different power off options that Windows offers is equally important. The three shut down options offered in the Start menu offer different benefits and turn your computer off in different degrees. This is how the options are different and why knowing this difference will impact the way you put your computer to rest.
Shut Down Options
If you click Start and then Power, you might see these options:
- Shut Down
Hopefully, you are already familiar with the Shut Down and Restart settings. Shutting Down your computer will completely turn it off. This is important to note because this will not simply put your screen to sleep, but it will completely shut down your entire system. Restarting your computer will reboot your system with a quick shut down and relaunch of your system. While these are the two most commonly used, Sleep and Hibernate are important settings you may also need to know.
While the Sleep option is used, your computer does not shut down completely, just turns off your monitor. This is the best option if you are wanting it to start back up quickly when you are ready to turn it on again. This can be a dangerous setting to use though if you have unsaved data opened on your computer. If your computer dies or loses power while it is asleep, the unsaved data will be gone. Always make sure to save your data before putting your computer to sleep.
Sometimes this option isn’t always based on your computer settings and hardware. Though, if this is an option you have, it is in between Sleep and Shut Down. This setting will be better for when you need to pick something back up later because it saves data to the computer’s hard drive, instead of the RAM the way it does when you put it to sleep. Hibernate shuts your computer down but is an easier and faster way to pick back up than a full shut down.
Which shut down setting is best to use?
It is important to take these settings into account next time you’re going to turn your computer off. Think about how long you would like your computer to remain off, what the purpose of shutting down is, and if you are going to want to pick it right back up when you turn it back on.
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