Sleep versus shutdown: When should you turn off your computer?

Whether you should sleep or shut down your computer is a ‘different (key)strokes for different folks’ kind of question: some people are going to swear by snoozing all the way, while others will argue for a mandated end-of-the-day switch off and unplug. Wherever you stand on the shutdown scale, however, there are definitely some good reasons to power down, at least periodically.

But first, a note about old versus new computers: Before solid-state drives (SSDs) became the computer-storage device of choice, hard disk drives (HDDs) were king, and in older hard drives, the head would come into contact with the disk platter upon shutdown, causing wear over time (and thus establishing the notion that it is better to leave a computer running than to constantly shut it down and power it back up again). With most new computers now sporting SSDs, which lack any moving parts, this particular ‘wear and tear’ concern is generally no longer an issue.

When you want to improve your computer’s performance

This is probably the best reason to shut down your computer completely (at least once a week). The more you use your computer and the longer you avoid a shutdown, the more applications may be running in the background and the more fragmented files you’ll possibly have taking up extra processing power. These resource-hogging programs and files can cause your system to become sluggish and unresponsive – issues that will likely be fixed by a reboot. Shutting down and restarting your computer every few days or at least weekly will clear out the memory, allow the machine to perform self-inspections, and alert you to any minor errors or requisite software updates. 

When you want to improve your own performance

Shutting down your computer and powering it back up only when you need it again is like Marie Kondo-ing your computer’s system – cleaning it up and bringing it back to basics. The shutdown/power-up can also Kondo your virtual workspace – leaving you with a ready-to-be-productive clean slate. A freshly powered-up computer can be a fresh start – free of open-tab madness, multiple (unnecessary?) apps open and other desktop baggage. Shutting down your computer at a set time may also free you from nudging that mouse at 9 pm, just to ‘check that nothing important has come in’ – after all, in a working-from-home world, work-life balance is even harder to establish.

When you want to extend your computer’s lifespan

Even when your machine seems ‘lifeless’ in sleep mode, a part of it continues to run and generate heat, which can, over time, wear down components. Computers left on all of the time may have a shorter lifespan – perhaps by mere months, but possibly much longer. Note as well that certain parts (a laptop’s battery, for example, or an LCD panel) are more sensitive to being left on for extended periods of time – you’ll need to weigh up convenience versus slow decline with this one.

When you want to save electricity/money/the planet

Running your computer, even in sleep mode, uses electricity and electricity costs money. If you’re one individual wondering about the cost of ‘sleeping’ one laptop, the amount may be negligible. If, however, you’re an SMB with a number of desktops humming away overnight, the costs can definitely start to rise. Either way, from a green, energy-saving standpoint, the best action is to shut down your computer when it’s not in use (and unplug laptop power adapters).

Contact Geelong Technology Group – Geelong’s IT experts

If you’re having technology issues – if, for instance, your snail-paced computer isn’t speeding up following a reboot – the team at Geelong Technology Group are here to help. From remote or on-site support to tech servicing to new systems, GTG is your one-stop shop.


Contact our experienced IT technicians on 📞1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484), email or drop by the showroom at 166 Francis St, Belmont.


A guide to securely wiping your phone for resale or recycle

A brand-new phone is an exciting occasion. This is, after all, your new window on the world. But that doesn’t mean you should move on straight away: whether you’re planning to sell, gift, recycle, return or donate your old phone, you’ll need to ensure all of your personal data has been securely erased and the phone reset to factory conditions.

FIRST, however, ensure that all of your personal data is transferred to your new phone or backed up (or both!). Once your old phone is reset, there’s no going back, and the last thing you want is your new-phone excitement ruined by the loss of your contact details or your photos of that incredible, never-to-be-repeated holiday.

Factory resetting your Android phone 

Factory Reset Protection (FRP)

Newer Android phones have an anti-theft measure known as Factory Reset Protection (FRP). For a new user (buyer, giftee or donatee) to be able to access the phone, you’ll need to disable FRP. To do this, go to Settings > Security > Screen Lock and set it to None. It is now also a good idea to delete your Google account (and any other accounts while you’re at it): go to Settings > Accounts, then select each account in turn and Remove Account).


If your device is relatively new, the phone’s local storage should already be automatically encrypted (meaning that even if your data is somehow recovered post-reset, it will still be virtually unreadable). If you have an older device, search for ‘encrypt’ in your settings menu to check encryption is in place – or follow the prompts to encrypt your data, if necessary. Note that encryption can be time-consuming – don’t start this if you’re waiting for a call in five minutes!

Factory Reset

Now – once you’ve removed your SIM card and any MicroSD cards – you can wipe your Android phone. Different devices may have slightly different steps, but generally, you can go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options > Erase All Data (Factory Reset) > Reset Phone. (An alternative pathway may involve tapping Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset > Reset.) And you’re done!

You can further divorce yourself from your old device by also removing your phone from your Google account by visiting Security > Your Devices > Manage Devices via your web-based Google account manager.

Factory resetting your iPhone

As with an Android phone, the first steps should be to backup your data, then unpair any devices (such as an Apple Watch) and remove your SIM card. You should also turn off ‘Find My iPhone’ (via, depending on the age of your device, either Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone or Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone) and sign out of other services such as iMessage and the App Store – then sign out of iCloud completely.

Once you’re out of your accounts, you’re good to go with the iPhone factory reset. Click to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings and confirm the selection.

Need assistance? Talk to the Geelong IT professionals and iPhone experts

If you’re having trouble with any of the above – particularly if you’re not sure your backup has worked properly – don’t hesitate to stop by the Geelong Technology Group showroom and we can give you a hand. We’re also a Geelong Apple Authorised iPhone and Macbook repairer, meaning if it’s just a repair you need, not a whole new device – we’re your team! 

Give us a call on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or come and see us in person at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.