Why Is Restarting Often The First Step to Deal with Computer Problems?

by Carson

Whenever your computer encounters problems, your first action is to probably restart your computer or the offending program. But why does restarting fix so many problems and is often the first step in the troubleshooting process? Let’s find out.

Why Does Restarting Fix So Many Problems?

The reason is actually very simple. Whenever your computer shuts down, it erases all of RAM’s contents, which stores data, including temporary variables and the instructions, for programs to access quickly. That ensures that when the computer starts back up, the programs will load their default values once again, which is initialization.

For instance, due to some defects in the app’s code, it got stuck in an infinite loop that consumed a lot of system resources and caused your computer to heat up. In that case, you should kill the offending program, or failing that, restart the computer to get that program out of the loop so that it can start in a clean state once again.

If the problem is some errors in a specific condition after the app is opened, restarting the app can eliminate all offensive variables and enables you to conduct further troubleshooting or go on without any other issues. But if the problem always occurs when you access a particular function or file or even get you into a reboot loop, you may have a more severe problem that requires further troubleshooting, depending on your issue.

When will a Restart be Needed?

There are a lot of circumstances where restarting your computer, or at least the offending program, can be your best bet to fix your issue (or even done automatically), including:

  • Your computer is frozen
  • System resources are running out
  • Programs start throwing errors
  • Some unknown glitches occur
  • A kernel panic occurred

It’s like relaunching your program again and again when you are debugging it. Whenever your program encounters an error, it reaches a dead end, and there is no instruction on what to do next. Therefore, the program throws an error and exits. After you’ve made some correct modifications (or perhaps restarting the associated app or computer), your program will run correctly. The same goes for other programs, but simply restarting it could fix the problems that are created by environmental factors. Of course, you have to wait for an update to resolve the issues fully.


Whenever you encounter computer problems, the first step you should try is restarting the computer or the program. Hopefully, it can fix the problem that developed after the program started running so that you can conduct further troubleshooting like updating or rolling back the app or finding an alternative.

References and Credits

  1. Tim Fisher. (2020, June 30). Why Does Restarting Fix Many Computer Problems? Retrieved July 11, 2021, from https://www.lifewire.com/why-does-restarting-seem-to-fix-most-computer-problems-2624569
  2. Techquickie. (2018, July 28). Why Does Rebooting Fix So Many Problems? Retrieved July 11, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lish5QFp81E
  3. Chris Hoffman. (2018, November 12). Why Does Rebooting a Computer Fix So Many Problems?. Retrieved July 11, 2021, from https://www.howtogeek.com/173760/htg-explains-why-does-rebooting-a-computer-fix-so-many-problems/

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