Applies to: Everyone
Sometimes things just need restarting. It’s a fact of the digital age we live in. Here I list some common (and uncommon) everyday items and how often I restart them.
A word of warning before you go and unplug everything:

  1. If a device like a computer has a restart option you should use this and not just unplug it from the power.
  2. If you restart a device with a password on it make sure you know the password before restarting it (Windows might have a friendly PIN number but after a restart, you might need your full login password).
  3. Restarting a device like WiFi / Broadband routers will affect other people in the house so make sure you let them know it’s about to happen or wait until everyone is out.
  4. Don’t put your self at risk, if the off switch is under the stairs behind a giant deadly spider next to some odd wires hanging out of a fuse box then you should probably just leave the thing turned on…
  5. I suggest a restart, NOT a reset as this is a different thing and you should probably avoid that.
  6. Stay Safe!


So, with all those warnings ignored let’s turn some stuff off and back on again:
General rule of thumb

  • If you are unplugging a thing from power then wait at least 30 seconds before you plug it back in again.
  • If you are restarting a device using the restart option, be patient it can take some time and don’t unplug it during the restart as it might be doing updates
  • Don’t unplug something if it is doing updates, it won’t like that
Technology Thing How often I restart it Thoughts
Windows Computer/Laptop Daily (my laptop is turned off daily using non-fast startup which is the same as a restart). Windows 8/8.1/10 Shutdown is not always the same as a restart.
Smartphone (Android / Apple / Windows) Weekly You should leave it on standby (with the screen off is fine) the rest of the time even when on charge. This is because it does some background tasks to make things faster.
Tablet (Android / Apple) Weekly You should leave it on standby (with the screen off is fine) the rest of the time even when on charge. This is because it does some background tasks to make things faster.
ADSL/Broadband Router Monthly You should leave it on the rest of the time as too many drops in connection will slow your broadband down.
WiFi extenders Monthly Chances are these work fine, but it’s always good to restart things every so often, but not too often!
Printers Turn them off after use I don’t like printers 🙂
External Storage Device Monthly For example an external hard disk with its own power supply
Windows Server Computer Weekly Computer servers are usually left on all the time to do things like backups over night, but they do need a restart
Amazon Echo/Google Home/ChromeCast Monthly These all get updates and (sometimes) only install them on restart
TV – Freeview Scan for new TV channels Monthly Not exactly a restart… but scanning for new TV channels every few weeks is good as sometimes channels launch or move about.
TV – Freesat Box ?? Some reports say weekly, some say monthly some say not at all, I would probably go Monthly if I had one…
TV – Sky Box ?? Some reports say weekly, some say monthly some say not at all, I would probably go Monthly if I had one…
TV – Non-Freesat free Satelite TV Add new channels as they launch Not exactly a restart… This is what we have, and all the channel numbers are in an odd order which I should fix one day… I follow the forums on this website, otherwise, I would have no idea where new channels were launched
Smoke Alarm Test it weekly Push the button!
Smart Watch Weekly I don’t have one of these

If you have a bit of equipment and you’re not sure when you should be restarting it then let me know and I can give my best guess and I will add them to this list as we go!
Happy restarting
Mike 🙂
P.S. Just so I am clear, I am talking about a restart. NOT a reset which is a different thing all altogether, you should probably avoid that until you speak to us or someone about what it might do / lose.