A common question is, “what is the difference between shutdown, restart and logging off my PC?” For most people, performing a different tasks serves a different purpose.


Closes down all applications and turns the computer completely off.


Closes down all applications, turns the computer off then turns itself back on and brings you to the login screen.


Closes down your user applications and logs you off the computer. The computer will stay on and all the system applications will continue to run in the background.

Which option should I use, and when?

Each day when you’re ready to go home, you can simply Log Off your computer which will take you to the CTRL ALT DEL screen, ready for when you arrive the following morning.


Alternatively, you could choose to Restart, which will reboot the computer and automatically bring you back to the CTRL ALT DEL screen. It’s not necessary to reboot everyday, just every 2-3 days should suffice.


If you’re looking to conserve power, or it’s a Friday and you won’t be back in the office until Monday, you should choose Shutdown.  This means there’s no risk of a virus or unauthorised remote access.

If you like to leave your computer logged in because it’s too slow to load, this usually indicates a separate issue – such as outdated hardware or software.

Why you shouldn’t leave your computer logged in at night:

Security – If your computer is left logged in, the risk of someone, either inside or outside of your business, is a lot higher

Speed – Overall your computer will perform better if it’s restarted a couple of times a week. This is because the computer has shutdown and startup procedures that it follows during these times which help keep your computer clean and running as smoothly as possible