Do you (ever) turn your Windows 10 PC off?

Dave W. Shanahan

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Do you (ever) turn your Windows 10 PC off?

Before I got a Surface, my Windows PC experience was limited to desktops. The Surface Pro 4 was my first laptop computer and a huge step forward and multiple generations better than my older Dell desktop PC. Newer hardware and Windows 10 made my old Dell desktop PC feel like an artifact. The PC was not very fast, ran Windows XP, and took forever to boot up, so I just left it on whenever possible. I only used the Dell PC for Microsoft Word, browsing with Internet Explorer (edited for correct browser), and the occasional game of Microsoft Solitaire Collection.

With the Surface Pro 4, I didn’t have to wait as long for it to boot up and when I wasn’t using it, I would shut it off or put it in sleep mode when I wasn’t using it. Now, I have the Surface Pro 2017 (Surface Pro 5) and Surface Book 2. I don’t use the Surface Pro as much as I used to, but I still use it as my laptop when I am on the move. My Surface Book 2 serves as my primary home PC and I use it more often. I sometimes shut down my PC completely and I sometimes put it in sleep mode. Almost always, I leave my Surface Book 2 powered on and plugged in. I like to be able to jump back into whatever I am working on without waiting the few seconds it takes to power back on from sleep mode.

There are different power modes available for your Windows 10 PC. You can shut down your Windows 10 PC completely, or choose to put the PC in sleep or hibernate mode. If want to check your Windows 10 PC for all the power modes offered, go to Settings (Windows key + i), System, Power & Sleep, Additional power settings. Here is an explanation of each mode.

  • Shutdown your PC – Turn off your PC completely. This method doesn’t draw any power unless your Windows 10 PC needs to be plugged in at all times.
  • Sleep – This mode uses little power and allows your PC to start up faster, allowing you to continue where you left off without depleting the battery substantially. This is the low-power option that is best used when you forget your AC adapter at home and you want to get the most out of your battery.
  • Hibernate – This mode is specifically designed for Windows 10 laptop PCs. Hibernate is not available for all PCs and uses even less power than sleep. The downside is that waking your PC from hibernate takes a bit longer than waking your PC from sleep mode.

For newer Windows 10 PCs, I don’t know if there’s any benefit or detriment to your PC’s hardware by shutting down your PC, putting it in sleep mode, or hibernate mode. I am curious what others out there do when they are not using their PCs. Do you turn it off, put it in sleep mode, hibernate, or leave it on and plugged in all the time?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.