Should I Restart My Computer?

Why Your Computer Needs a Break Too!

During the normal operation of your computer systems, you may notice your systems slowing down, errors occurring in your Practice Management Systems, printing, scanning, or dental imaging software. Many of these errors are due to the computer going too long without a restart. Computers are machines and as such require maintenance and down time to operate efficiently. While they are running and active, they will naturally pick up internal errors, memory leaks, cache fills, and peripheral connection problems.  Most of these errors go unnoticed for a while however, they pile up in the background and ultimately cause your computer to slow down.

When to Restart: Uptime

One of the first things we look for during troubleshooting is UPTIME: the term used to describe the amount of time between full shutdown/restart.  The higher the uptime, the more likely the problem is due to internal errors.

What Happens During a Restart?

During a Restart, all programs are gracefully shut down, users logged out, and power is cut to the computer system.   This process allows for programs to be closed (including any hidden programs), internal errors to be cleared, memory to be cleared so that fresh data can be utilized error free, and updates to be installed that may not have been during normal hours.

Best Practice

The best practice for a restart would be to do a manual restart on your practices' computers at the end of every business day. This would make the likelihood of uptime being an issue in the computer far lower than a system that has an uptime of 24 hours or more.

PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT Apply to Servers:   Servers are specialized systems with more advanced error detection and clearing.  Servers are designed to provide services or automated processes to other computers, not to utilize active software on a daily basis.

Below is an Infographic Outlining How to Restart a Windows Based System (for real)

  1. 1. Save your work and close all of the programs currently being used: ie: Open Dental/Dentrix etc., Excel, Outlook etc.
  2. 2. Navigate to the Start Button: generally on the lower left hand corner of your primary screen.
  3. 3. Navigate to the Power Option: the one right next to or above the Windows Icon
  5. 4. Select Restart
  6. 5. Watch the screen for a few second as windows attempts to close. If it says a program is unable to close, it should give you and option to Force Close the program. Do so and let windows operate.
  7. 6. At this point you can head away from the computer.  Updates will be installed if there are any available and the system will return to a Log In Screen, depending on how your practice is set up.

The longer computer is actively operated, the more things can go wrong internally and a daily reboot is as essential as brushing and flossing daily is to dental health.

About Darkhorse Tech

Whether you're just starting out or a well-established organization, Darkhorse Tech has the experience and technology to help get you moving, cut costs, and streamline your operations via unlimited IT support. We are here to help you do what you do best: focus on providing top-notch care and service for patients - not dealing with IT problems, lag time spent talking with technical support, or complicated technological mishaps. Unlimited IT support services help the whole team work efficiently without worrying about significant system issues or constant interruptions.

Our additional security services include:

  • Unlimited Remote and/or On-Site IT Support of All Your Hardware and Software
  • Improved Network Performance and Security
  • HIPAA Compliant Off-Site and Local Backup Service (Darkhorse Secure Backup)
  • Managed Antivirus, Anti-Malware, and Anti-Ransomware (Darkhorse Security Products)
  • Compliance & Security Laws Standards
  • Microsoft Security Patch Management
  • Vendor Management: We will be on the phone, not your employees
  • Secure, Remote Access to Your Office
  • Firewall Management
  • Network Management
  • Long Term Planning and Budgeting

Contact us anytime if you want to learn more about our dental-specific solutions and unlimited support packages. Our friendly customer service team will get back to you in no time.

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Darkhorse Dental IT Is Here For You

We understand that caring for your patients is your top priority. Dealing with a computer issue, slow IT response time or HIPAA compliance requirements just aren’t high on your list of to-do’s. That’s where Darkhorse Dental Tech comes in. Our team of Dental IT specialists are experts when it comes to running a great, secure and successful practice —and so much more. Whether you’re looking for IT services for startups, or existing support and security services for your practice, Darkhorse can do it all for you, so you can get back to your patients.

Have questions? Looking for ideas? Just want to talk teeth? Drop us a line at to get the conversation started! Or head to our Contact page to send us a message. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

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