How to restart your widgets and how often to do it

Widgets are great, which is why our homes are full of them. But sometimes things go wrong and wasting time troubleshooting is not a fun idea. But turning things off and on – the common refrain of the IT department – can alleviate many problems. If you automate or plan to restart regularly, you can even prevent problems and give your gadgets the best chance of running smoothly.

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Smartphones and tablets

Both Android and iOS manage resources efficiently nowadays, which means you don’t have to restart your phone to clear RAM or app cache. But our faithful mobile gadgets are still just laptops. They run 24/7 and can be prone to slow performance, connectivity issues and other issues if we never restart them.

If you have a specific problem, such as a delay, restarting is the first troubleshooting step that Google offers. It is not essential to restart if your phone is working properly, but we recommend that you restart once a week if you experience regular problems or delays.

How to restart Android phones and tablets

To restart your Android phone manually, hold down the power button until the power menu appears and tap I’m restarting. If for some reason your power menu does not appear, holding down the power button for about 30 seconds will turn off your phone and you can press it again to turn it on again.

Some Android phones also offer an option to schedule an automatic reboot. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, for example, go to Settings and looking Automatic restart at set times. It is also available in Settings, then Battery and device careby touching the three points and selecting Automation. This feature allows you to select the day and time for regular automatic restarts.

Just remember: When you restart your phone, you will need to enter your PIN when it restarts (even if you have biometric data set, such as fingerprints). Restarting will consume more battery life than usual as applications and processes restart.

How to restart iPhone and iPad

To restart your iPhone, hold down the power button and each volume button until Swipe to turn off the power pops up (if you have an iPhone with a Touch ID or Home button, just hold down the power button). Press the power button again to turn on the device again. If the shutdown slider does not appear for any reason, try forcible restart.

Desktops and laptops

We recommend that you do a full backup and reset your computer once a year to clean up and keep things running smoothly, but you should also restart regularly. Your computer will prompt you to restart when needed, such as after installing new software, but it’s also a good idea to set up a regular restart.

If you turn off your desktop or laptop completely every night, then you don’t have to worry, because you effectively restart it every day. Always save any open work and exit applications before restarting.

computer with windows vista

Photo: Windows through Simon Hill

When I asked Microsoft how often to restart Windows machines, Microsoft recommended this advice. It officially offers to restart Windows computers at least once a week.

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