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Is it better to leave a laptop computer turned on all the time rather than turn it on and off every night?

I've heard that it is better to leave a desktop computer on all the time because booting it up puts a lot of stress on the machine. Should I leave my laptop on instead of constantly putting it in hibernation, standby, or turn it off? Which is better for it?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi there Mabroadfo..

    This is a huge question, that is on just about every technical forum I have ever seen.

    If you click on the links given, above, by captain, you will get samples of forums where people completely dissagree on eveything...

    My general feeling is that HOME USERS should turn things off the second they are done using any computer. HOMES do NOT have the same safety power and surge protection that Corporation Server Stations have, and HOME users are totally un-aware of hundreds of other factors that would be concidered within a professional Business setup...

    I will CUT AND PASTE a long answer I wrote earlier - and you can decide yourself, after reading it, what you want to do !!

    Generally, I find laptops are HOTTER, and wear out faster than desktop PCs, so my warnings below would apply even MORE to your situation !!

    Here is my previous answer:


    My typical answer is below....

    Since your "house" could be a boat in Hong Kong harbour powered with a diesel generator, or a house trailer outside Phoenix Arizona

    at a mean temperature of 85 f., each situation is different, and

    anyone who follows a " RULE " is not thinking clearly...



    Does it damage your computer in anyway to leave it on all the time and NEVER turn it off?

    I really get a kick out of the "debate" which has raged on for

    years about this topic... it is actually funny.

    There are two factions, both well represented here:

    1/ your motors in the harddrive and CDs and fans are wearing

    out the bearings, and the capacitors are drying out and losing

    tolerances, the resistors are losing tolerances from generating

    heat, the CRT is loosing its tolerances and burning out the

    cathodes, you are using a LOT of electricity, you are vaccuuming

    the air and clogging all the parts inside the machine so that

    overheating heatsinks and components get even hotter, causing

    even more tolerance failures, transient line voltages from brown outs, lightning, power fluctuations from other equipment surging or spiking hits your machine while it is NOT being used, ...

    AND the list goes on and on, and is VERY accurate.

    THEN 2/

    Extremely experienced experts run huge computers and Networks with hundreds of computers in large Corporate Buildings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with all computers

    ON , all the time, and find they have fewer problems, than

    if the machines are constantly turned off and on... Turning on

    a computer causes a surge of power, and cold resistors and

    capacitors and transistors EXPAND with the heat from turning

    on, and CONTRACT everytime they are turned off, so that a

    constant temperature will lessen premature failure from mechanically induced thermal cycling....


    Here is the catch.

    I worked in large Corporate buildings with emergency back up

    generators providing switchmode 400 cycle mechanical and

    battery backup, absolutely thermostatically controlled, humidity

    controlled, air, 24 hours a day, with anti-static carpets, specially

    designed power distribution, with numerous power distribution,

    communications cabling, and electrostatic precautions. The

    computers never shut off, and run in electrostatically cleaned,

    temperature modified, humidity modified, ionization modified,

    air purification channels...

    I also see home computers run in large rooms, near huge plate glass windows, which allow the sun to raise the temperature from freezing cold on a winter night, to burning hot on a sunny

    afternoon, sitting on a carpet with NO static reduction, with air that changes from swampy steam on a rainy hot afternoon, to dry as a bone ( static magnet ) on a cold winter day, with dogs and cats producing hair balls, people smoking, someone taking a vaccuum cleaner every couple of days and rubbing all over the carpet, and then sweeping the keyboard, the mouse, the printer,

    and the outside of the computer with the vaccuum brush, kids randomly pushing the floppy, the CD, the RESET, the ON/OFF

    and any other buttons on the front etc. etc. etc.

    There is no Battery Back Up, no Ethernet, and Telephone

    surge or lightning protector, no regulated power bar. The wall

    outlet they are using for the entire computer and components is

    on a 15 AMP circuit that powers half the house, so the washing

    machine, the TV, vaccuum cleaner, the garage door opener motor, and a dozen other high amperage devices, all DIM the

    line, every time they turn on, sending spikes and brown outs

    through the computer. Great stuff.

    BUT..... These people tell me that the " EXPERTS " say to

    leave the computer running 24 hours a day, since it will last

    twice as long....

    A few of the answers indicate that IFF you have a UPS and

    Iff you have surge and AVR and IFF you ..... whatever, then

    it is better to leave the computer on 24 / 7, but no one

    makes even a CLOSE list to the LONG, LONG, LONG

    list of things you MUST do to run a computer 24 hours a day

    saftley and properly.

    The argument usually involves people from vastly different

    situations arguing about Apples and Oranges, as if they were

    the same thing....

    Prepare a simple list here .....

    1/ What is the relative humidity of your air, 24/7 ?

    2/ What is the absolute temperature or your air, 24/7?

    3/ What is mean, standard deviation and error of the 167 volts

    A.C. power supply peak power supply 24/7?

    4/ What is micron filtering capacity of your air handling unit, 24/7?

    5/ what anit-static compounds are sprayed on or manufactured into all floor coverings used in the " computer room" 24/7?

    6/ What surge protection, and AVR protection is supplied to the

    computer, and ALL its peripherals, 24/7?

    7/ What security measures are affected in the " computer " room

    to prevent unauthorized usage or miss-useage by unauthorized personnel 24/7 ?

    8/ What are the sampled ION levels in the airflow 24/7?

    This is just a teeny, tiny, SHORT list.

    Once you have filled it out, then you have a better idea of whether or not you can run your computer.... 24/7 /

    FURTHERMORE.... If you go into any computer repair shop,

    you will find in the corner a stack of burnt out motherboards, and

    burnt out power supplies, all ATX, the new, common standard.

    Most of the boards look like brand new on a casual inspection,

    and many of the power supplies look perfectly new if opened.

    A good number of power supplies, however, when opened will

    have a heat resistant resistor and at least one capacitor bloated

    split or blown apart. This resistor and capacitor are usually the

    5 VOLT VSB supply related components....

    The reason for this common failure is that ATX power supplies

    and motherboards NEVER TURN OFF. A great many computer

    cases now, have NO OFF SWITCH on the back on the power

    supply, and people, not realizing this, " turn off " their computers

    during electrical storms, thunder storms, tornadoes, etc. and

    the front panel lights go off, and the monitor "goes off", and they

    think that the computer is " OFF ". It is not off. You can set

    an ATX computer to turn on with WOL Wake on LAN, so that

    if the ethernet cable signals the ethernet card, the ATX power supply

    turns on. The Connector for WOL is on the motherbord. You can set and ATX computer to come with WOR Wake on Ring from

    the modem PCI card , so that if the phone rings, the computer

    turns on. You can set many ATX machines to turn on with movement of the mouse, or with a key sequence from the keyboard. You can set most ATX computers to turn on at a pre-set clock time. You can check the available options by going into your BIOS on BOOT, by pressing " DEL " or whatever key sequence, and go into the pages of settings.

    What people are not thinking is " how can the keyboard, the mouse, the Modem, the LAN, or the clock turn on the computer?

    How does the computer " Know " that I moved the mouse?

    The answer is that the power supply NEVER turns off, and a

    5 volt rail always is supplied to the USB, the Mouse, the Keyboard, and throughout the motherboard. So that when the

    computer is "OFF" during a fierce thunderstorm, with brownouts,

    spikes, blackouts, phase shifts, and repeated ON/OFF power

    fluctuations, the entire computer is subjected to all the "BAD"

    power comming in on the 110 volt plug. I get many blown up

    motherboards on a regular basis, and the people say " I turned

    it OFF during the storm" but now it won't go...

    The light on the front of the panel is ZERO indication of whether

    an ATX machine is " off ". and .... if you note on most monitors

    today, the light never goes off, it just changes colour, since the

    low voltage control cirguits are, again always on, and ALWAYS subjected to power fluctuations, spikes, and transients.

    The only way to turn off a computer in many instances is to

    plug everything associated with the computer into a power bar,

    with an ON/OFF mechanical switch on the BAR.

    AND, don't forget, of course, ALL buildings, and ALL houses,

    around the world, are IDENTICAL, so that there is only ONE

    answer to this question, and it is always the SAME answer...



    SOURCE :

    After the first few hundred computers, I sort of got an idea

    of some things to do or not do to keep them working.


    I hope this analysis gets some people who would otherwise blindly follow a " RULE " to think a bit ... first...

    AND,,,, FURTHERMORE.... there is a RULE amongst HACKERS,

    who deliberately try to spread the word that leaving your computer on 24 hours a day is " GOOD "... for the hackers that is...

    Millions of people around the world have their home computer online, 24 hours a day, with no firewall, no passwords, no security whatsoever, other than the " DEFAULTS " which were shipped with their devices, which the hackers all know.

    By encouraging people to have their computers running 24 hours a day, hackers can have complete access to anyone's computer,

    anytime they want, and can put hidden, entire virtual harddrives on all these computers, to use them as virtual storage, "WEB" drives. A typical new computer ships with a 100 or 120 or more GIGABYTE harddrive, which the average home user uses only 6 or 8 GIGS. The hackers can install a hidden harddrive on the back end of the harddrive with 80 or 100 gigs of free, online, drive space, WHICH THEY SHARE with all their friends to upload and download software. They can even use the entire computer to help speed up their own web files downloads, by having the " ON, 24 hour a day, high speed connection" of the hacked computer, download parts of the files that they want, so that by using a dozen or more high speed connections at the same time, they can access huge, multi GIG downloads in a few minutes. Great stuff. Most people will never know that their computer is being used 24 hours a day to upload and download Files and store DVD movies, and huge software DC;s and DVD collections, on

    the behalf of the hackers. Their computer becomes an excellent source of data storage for a "select " group of people around the world. Not only this, but all the photographs, the downloads, the accounts, the passwords, the connections, the email, is also open to the public, 24 hours a day, and becomes a great source of amusement, -- ( Go to such and such an address to see this TXT file or DOC or download or email etc. ).. Great stuff. ( So and so is having an affair with so and so, or you won't believe this photograph, etc. ) You "want" this stuff online 24/7.

    The other reason that hackers WANT your computer online 24./7

    is that each time you turn off your computer and reboot, your ISP

    ( Internet Provider ) assigns your computer a NEW internet connection ( like ), so that the hackers would

    be constantly " ANNOYED" in having to re-search your address every time they wanted to " USE " your computer to download

    or store files for them... and of course, you don't want to "annoy"

    hackers ... so... be nice, help a hacker today... stay 24/7..

    Hope this helps add some dimensions to your answers..


    I have stacks of laptops, and I would NEVER leave any of them running, even with a Really good AVR power backup. Ordinary backups just allow a large voltage range to hit your laptop - AVRs will filter any incomming waveform, and put out 100% clean 110 Volts. If the incomming waveform is way out of bounds, then, the battery kicks in - and the AVR still puts out a clean 110...

    You can read my other answers on Battery backups, and laptops, etc, which may help...

    Good luck


  • 1 decade ago

    There is no real consensus from the computer experts. It depends on a lot of factors. Basically, if you will not use the computer 24 hours from now, turn it off. Otherwise, keep it on. One major consideration for a lap top is the battery. If you plan to leave the computer plugged in, I suggest removing the battery. Constant, minor swings in charge can reduce the lifespan of the battery. Also, remember that every 3 months you should "re-calibrate" by fully discharging the battery and fully recharging it.

  • 1 decade ago

    From a lap top point of view you are probably more likely to burn out your pixels faster if it's left on all the time, plus the fact that it will probably get very hot!

    From an ecological point of view, even leaving appliances on standby is damaging to the environment - all that wasted electricity soon adds up!

  • 1 decade ago

    There is no point in leaving it on. Stress? I think your computer is more stressed staying on 24/7 than it would be if you just turned it off. Also, computers take up a lot of electricity.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You should put it on hibernate/sleep/stand by, that way it does not take a while to start off and all of the components are not running.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I imagine you will receive many answers to this question. It is kind of like asking which came first?

    Anyway, think about this. When is a light bulb most likely to burn out? When your turn it on!

    I leave my puter on 24/7. It does not hurt anything and is not that expensive.

    Good Luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good question. I leave my computer on all the time. It never gets turned off because i dont like waiting for it to boot up. From a "stess" stand point its not going to matter. If you dont like waiting for it to boot up you can leave it on all the time. If you computer over heats alot then no, but most modern computers dont. so my advice would be leave it on. espcially if you us it many times throughout the day. theres not sense to turn it off

  • 1 decade ago

    turn it on and off, turning it all of the times may cause damage to your power supply and your harddisk

    you better leave it as a stand by

  • 1 decade ago

    I leave mine on. Once the computer is at 'normal' operating temperature, it doesn't heat up. I have my laptop on power savings so it doesn't use a lot of power while it's idling.

  • 5 years ago

    which os are you running vista or xp both have a firewall in? only ever run one anti virus program as they will cause conflict.are you running another firewall?

  • 1 decade ago

    turn it off..else you burn it up..these machines are not built to be left on and running

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