Why ‘turning it off and on again’ actually works
Having problems with our phones, tablets, and other tech is an almost-universal experience, but one simple technique can fix almost every single one.
Popularised by the British show The IT Crowd, turning a device on and off again can fix a range of problems according to experts.
Restarting a device works because it wipes the current state of the software and restarts the system, meaning that any code that is stuck or misbehaving will be dumped too.
In addition, scheduling regular reboots can even prevent issues from popping up in the first place.
For phones and tablets, particularly Android and Apple devices, running non-stop can lead to issues such as slow performance, and connectivity issues. So if your issue is specific, such as a certain app or page not loading, restarting the phone should be your first step.
But, that doesn’t mean you should be constantly restarting your devices, with experts recommending doing it about once every week or so for the best effect.
How to restart Android devices
The easiest method of restarting your device involves holding down the power button and pressing the ‘Restart’ option when it appears on your screen.
If this doesn’t happen, you can just hold down the power button for 30 seconds to turn the device off, and start it again normally.
Some phones also offer an option to schedule automatic reboots, even letting you choose the day and time. To do this on a Samsung Galaxy for instance, go to settings and search for auto-restart at set times, or go to settings, then battery and device care, tap the three dots and select automation.
How to restart iPhones and iPads
Restarting an Apple device can be done by holding down the power button and one of the volume buttons until a slider appears which says ‘Power off’. Once you press the power button, you can push it again to restart the device.
Otherwise, you can try a force restart if the slider doesn’t appear.
Desktops and laptops
Though most modern computers prompt you when a restart is needed - such as after installing new software - it is recommended that computers have a full backup and restart at least once a year.
To keep things running smoothly, it’s best to turn your computer off each night and switch it on when you need it again.
How to restart Windows PCs
A Windows PC can be restarted by clicking the start menu, clicking on power, and choosing the restart option. It’s recommended that Windows devices are restarted about once a week.
How to restart Mac computers
Unlike Windows, Apple recommends that you only restart your device when you encounter a problem.
To restart, click the Apple icon in the top left corner and then select restart.
What about Smart TVs?
Similarly to Apple, Smart TV manufacturers recommend restarting only when a problem arises, such as apps refusing to load or if the interface is slow.
The easiest way to restart a Smart TV is to turn it off, unplug it and wait for 30 seconds before plugging it back in and turning it on again.
Image: Getty Images
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