How Often Should You Shut Down A Mac Desktop (It Might Surprise You)

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iMac desktop computers are beautiful all-in-one setup computers with a keyboard, mouse, and screen. However, if you shut down your Mac every day, you could be doing more harm than good, decreasing your Mac’s performance, making it degrade faster.

Are you shocked? Let me explain.

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How Often You Should Shut Off Your Mac

You should restart iMac computers once every three weeks. Only shut down your iMac if you’re experiencing significant slowdowns or applications crashing or if your leaving your iMac for weeks unattended. 

Surely shutting down your Mac makes your computer work less right? Whilst this makes sense you’d be wrong it decreases performance.

Every shutdown or restart of a computer refreshes the device’s RAM (Random Access Memory). Think of it as your computer’s memory getting wiped, similar to the movie Memento.

If you shut down your computer, all the background application settings or web pages are lost. Your computer has to boot up from 0 again, which takes longer and increases the Mac’s internal components’ stress. Why make your computer go through the struggle of opening all these programs again for no reason?

Mac OS, the operating system of your iMac, is very efficient. There is no need to refresh the RAM if your computer is operating normally, only if programs aren’t working correctly or you get the error, or your computer does not have enough RAM.

My M1 MacBook kept running out of RAM. After a quick restart, this issue is fixed; you shouldn’t shut down your iMac without good reason. Shutting down a computer increases the stress of the internal components like the internal drive, motherboard, and power supply.

When a computer is turned on, POST (Power-On Self-Test) starts a diagnostic testing sequence to know if the computer’s keyboard, RAM, disk drives, and other hardware are working correctly.

POST is not damaging by itself, but if done too often over the years, ironically, testing its components increases the wear & tear of the elements it’s trying to test!

Worst still, you will waste time waiting for your iMac to return instead of waking the iMac instantly from sleep mode.

Keep reading, and I’ll explain how sleep is crucially important for healthy electronics like living life.

Curious why iPhones are the best phones on the market? Discover more in my detailed article.

Should I Turn Off My Mac Desktop Every Night?

Shutting down your Mac desktop every night puts unneeded stress on the Mac internal components like the drive, motherboard, and powers supply. Macs run background tasks & scripts, index files, and clean up Mac OS during sleep mode, fixing minor errors. It makes your Mac run faster and avoids delays when it wakes from sleep.

Just like us, computers need their sleep to run properly. So let me explain while sleep is so crucial.

All computers run background tasks & scripts to clean up Mac OS, fixing any minor software issues that might have occurred during use. During sleep, the Mac index files, which happen whenever a file is renamed, moved, or created, are crucial if you use Spotlight or Alfred to find files quickly.

When the iMac is on, it doesn’t have the time to do these tasks. If you turn off your iMac overnight every night, your Mac will run slower & slower with increased wear & tear and start time.

However, if you’re worried about your electricity bill, you shouldn’t, as the difference between shutting your MacBook and letting it sleep in power is only about $1.

The lithium-ion battery of your iMac is designed to discharge to maximize its longevity slowly. It is BEST done why the iMac is in sleep mode.

How To Put Your iMac To Sleep
  1. Choose Apple menu > Sleep.
  2. On a Mac notebook computer, close the display.
  3. If you have the option on your keyboard, press Option-Command-Media Eject key. Tip: If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can add the Sleep button to the Control Strip.

Do you wonder if there is any benefit to buying Apple products on or your nearest Apple store? To know for sure, I suggest you read my in-depth blog post.

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