It’s Best to Leave Your PC Running 24/7 – True or False

This is something that has plagued me for years – should I leave my computer running all the time or not.

It is also a topic that has caused much debate.

computer running 24/7Leave your PC running 24/7

Some people say that it’s better to leave your PC running around the clock than to shut it off at night and then boot it up in the morning.  The reasoning behind this side of the story, is that if you never shut down your computer you will save wear and tear on it components and, therefore, extend the life of your machine.

Shut if off and boot it up in the morning

Others say that if you care at all about energy consumption (electricity is expensive after all) and how big of a carbon footprint you are leaving – turn off your computer at night.  It takes less energy to boot your computer in the morning than to leave it running overnight.  Plus there is the fact that many operating systems, Windows included, perform various important housekeeping tasks during shutdown and startup — another very good reason for turning the system off at night.

Personally, I’ve always been the type to shut off my computer at night when I go home (obviously I pay the electric bill plus we have a total of 6 computers in our office) and then power it up in the morning.  Sure it takes a few minutes for my computer to boot up and load everything, but what the heck – I check voice mail while I’m waiting.  Not having instant access to email as soon as I sit down in my chair is not going to hurt me in any way – while the increased electric bill could certainly put a bigger dent into our checking account!


Today I was going through a bunch of old PC World magazines and found an article written by Robert Strohmeyer about this very subject.  Robert stated in his article that he had interviewed some of the top techies at HP, Seagate, and other major companies, and that nobody seemed to know how this rumor was born.  But they all agreed on one thing “leaving your PC running 24/7 was NOT a good thing” and that “the claim of leaving your computer running overnight was good for it – was totally bogus.”

An HP Techie, Ken Bosley, who has spent years researching hard-drive reliability says that “you shouldn’t waste energy to extend the life of a computer by even a very small amount” and discounts the notion that “shutting down and starting up a computer puts undue stress on the components, noting that most systems are retired because of obsolescence, not because of hardware failure.”

Where do you stand on this issue?  Do you shut your computer off at night or always leave it running…….and why?

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