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I've recently bought a Lenovo Ideapad Slim 5 14ARE05. Till date, I've always been a PC User. When I was deciding which laptop to purchase, a friend who has a MacBook claimed that he hasn't had to shut it down for last 6 months. He just closes and opens the lid. Is this behaviour recommended and healthy for my new Windows laptop or does it harm the laptop in any way?

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  • Windows users regularly have to restart because of updates. Not updating your Windows computer is a bad idea (in most cases for most people).
    – Gantendo
    Jun 24 at 6:03

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Most computers have three levels of low-power states when they’re not in use: sleeping, hibernating, and shut down.

In sleep mode, your computer shuts down portions of itself but saves a snapshot of what you were doing so you can get right back to where you were.

Hibernate mode is similar but shuts more things off for deeper sleep and less power. The main difference you’d notice is the time it takes to boot back up.

Shutting down your laptop fully means your computer is totally powered off and uses almost no power.

You might have heard shutting down a computer completely actually uses more power in the long run because the system is more stressed than usual during the shutdown and boot up. That might have been true in older models, but it’s not an issue with modern computers.

Even if you do keep your laptop in sleep mode most nights, it's recommanded to fully shut down your computer at least once a week. The more you use your computer, the more applications will be running, from cached copies of attachments to ad blockers in the background. A weekly shutdown can avoid buggy technology. You’ve probably had computer issues that a simple reset fixed, and making that reboot a habit can nip those problems in the bud.

Furthermore, you could refer to the following article:

Why shutting down your computer is important

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  • From the energy consumption point of view, hibernate and shutdown are the same. After all a hibernated system just saves its state to the hard drive (instead of leaving it in RAM like sleep mode does) and resumes from there.
    – FelixJN
    Dec 22, 2020 at 11:02
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    Sleep must use some power to hold RAM stable. Hibernate doesn't necessarily, as the RAM state has been saved to disk. None of this has any relevance to the question, of course, which never mentioned power states.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 23, 2020 at 17:25
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It causes no harm, in & of itself.
(Power savings & battery life are outside the premise of the question)

The length of time you can leave a machine without reboot really depends on how the apps you are using behave. A set of well-behaved apps will nicely hand back memory when they no longer need it & leave it then in the hands of the OS, which can release it if another app needs it.
So long as this & other potential 'clogs' such as networking ports behave themselves, there's no real need to reboot.

If anything seems 'not quite right' then a reboot is always first thing to try.

A quick check round some of the machines here, 3 different OSes, (Mac, Win, nix) gives 1 day, 10 days, 18 days & 85 days. Each will probably have last been rebooted for some update or another.
Windows will probably need rebooting the most frequently because it issues OS updates more frequently than the others. The 1 day is Windows, set to auto-update, so it reboots itself when it wants to. It rarely has a human at it, so that's fine. It never sleeps & usually updates overnight, when no-one needs it.

Half the machines here never sleep. The record holder - unfortunately now gone - ran 10 years uninterrupted, never sleeping, only ever rebooting for OS updates.

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  • "It causes no harm, in & of itself. (Power savings & battery life are outside the premise of the question)" Do you mean that long term health of battery isn't harmed? Dec 24, 2020 at 4:09
  • I mean that battery health wasn't in the question. Everybody else seems to have latched onto that as some kind of be all & end all. It wasn't in the question. Batteries last until they die, no matter what you do. The computer itself doesn't need to be shut down.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 24, 2020 at 7:57
  • If we take battery health into account, is no-shutdown a viable option? Dec 24, 2020 at 13:20
  • Shutdown itself has absolutely no relevance to battery life. Hibernate uses the same amount of power, ie none. People seem to have got all hung up on batteries, as I mentioned in my answer. It literally has no connection to the question asked.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 24, 2020 at 13:22
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He just closes and opens the lid. Is this behaviour recommended and healthy for my new Windows laptop or does it harm the laptop in any way?

This does not harm the laptop in any way. I have done this many times. No issue.

Alternative 1: It is a Lenovo machine. Install Lenovo Vantage and set Battery Threshold to Max 80% Min 75% and then you can leave the machine ON and not suspended. Battery lifespan is not harmed doing this. (Nor is Battery lifespan extended)

Alternative 2: Suspend at end of day, but do start up the next day. If you Suspend and ignore the computer for a very long time (week or so) the battery will wear down.

Alternative 3: Enable Hibernate and hibernate for long periods. Hibernate writes an image of the working system to disk (hiber file) so that it can save more power when hibernated.

I use Alternative 1 and usually shut down on a weekend evening.

Remember, you do have to update monthly at least and restart anyway at that time.

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In my experience last year I owned 20 laptops from different brands, most Acer then Toshiba, Asus, and HP.

All these computers had one year of direct power cable connected to them.

After one year, The fan speed stopped working properly for most computers

notice that I occasionally opened my PC every 6 months for deep clean-up.

  • Toshiba first to fail, not good, the display presented deficiencies.

  • HP the fan was replaced once.

  • Asus the fan sustained.

  • Acer is the best but had fan speed replaced many times at least once per machine.

Everything was working as expected I saw no devalues in performance. I also tested the stress of CPU with programs.

The weather was highly influenced, and the summer presented a high peak of fans replaced.

I was using lots of fans in my house just to take into consideration, 24h/7.

Conclusion: it depends on the brand, model, material, and the quality of the fan speed.

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By default, the lid close action on Windows is to sleep. MacBooks are set up exactly the same way. Keeping the system “powered on” (though suspended at times) is very convenient: Your open programs and documents stay open and you can continue working on them just by opening the lid (and maybe entering a password). This does not harm MacBooks and it does not harm Windows notebooks. From time to time, your system will receive updates and you will have to reboot—this again applies to both MacBooks and Windows notebooks.

However, keep reading!

When you close the lid the system goes to sleep. What that means exactly depends on the hardware and software configuration. Certain types of sleep must be handled with extra care! Microsoft is pushing notebook makers to support Connected Standby (S0 Low Power Idle). Previously, the prevalent sleep type was Suspend to RAM (S3). Connected Standby is not really a sleep type. The system will remain almost fully powered on and can still generate lots of heat. If you put it in a bag in this power state, it is highly likely the notebook will die. Do not put a system in Connected Standby in a bag/backpack. Of course, Connected Standby will also consume lots of power, quickly draining the battery.

It is generally safe to put notebooks in S3 sleep in a bag, because the CPU is powered down in this state.

You can find out which sleep states your system supports by running powercfg /a in Command Prompt.

Furthermore, you should make sure Hibernate (S4) is enabled. You may be tempted to disable it because hiberfil.sys requires quite a lot of space. If you disable it, the system cannot hibernate when the battery gets low. Instead, the battery will simply run out of juice. This could lead to data corruption.

I personally recommend explicitly hibernating notebooks that only support Connected Standby. All your programs and documents will remain open. The battery will not be drained. It is safe to put it in bags. The negative is that the resume process takes almost as long as a regular boot.

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