Posted on October 3, 2023 in Technology

Computer Power States: How is Rebooting Different From Sleep Mode?

Closing Your Laptop/Desktop Sleep Mode

You may want to put your device into sleep mode when you need to save your battery life, when you need to move it, or when you need to step away from your desk for a period of time. Sleep mode doesn’t turn your computer or laptop off, it just conserves power. Open programs are paused, and the screen is turned off.   

Some devices will turn off if left in sleep mode for an extended period of time, so you shouldn’t leave any work on your computer unsaved while the screen is closed or off. Your computer may go into sleep mode if it is left idle.


Rebooting shuts down your computer, and then immediately restarts it. This will often solve issues with programs that have gotten stuck, are crashing, or are otherwise struggling – when the computer is turned off, they are forced to start fresh. This goes for any other programs open on the computer as well, so be sure to save your work before you restart!

Shutting Down, and Then Restarting

This is the same as a reboot, but you decide how long to leave it off. Sometimes, programs will prevent the computer from shutting off all the way during a reboot (or they will keep doing the last thing they were doing before a reboot, if the computer’s RAM is not completely wiped), so by waiting 30 seconds to make sure it really is turned off and all the components have powered down, you force those programs to restart too.