Reboot vs restart: What is the difference between reboot and restart?

Reboot vs restart The difference between reboot and restart

Do you wonder if there is any technical difference between rebooting vs restarting your Windows operating system? It is virtually the same thing and we’ll get into that throughout this article on reboot vs restart.

Whenever our computer freezes, we panic. The first thing that comes into our mind is to find how much work we may have lost.

Then we panic even more thinking that it could be the end of our computer. And what do we do, reboot it or restart it?

Maybe you are thinking and wondering about the difference between reboot and restart.

Both, in fact, mean the same thing and will help you bring your computer back to life, which is the main goal.

Reboot vs restart

Why would you need to reboot or restart your computer?

There could be many reasons for a reboot or a restart. The most frequent is a frozen screen. The small colored wheel or the little dots stop their spinning.

There could be a problem with the way an application is loading causing the operating system to halt.

Table of Contents

  1. Reboot vs restart
    1. Why would you need to reboot or restart your computer?
    2. Be careful not to reset your device
  2. What is the difference between reboot and restart?
    1. How to reboot / restart
    2. What happens to my data during reboot or restart?
  3. Reboot vs shutdown
  4. Wrap Up

Also, your device might be so full that it just can’t cope with the load. Did you know it is recommended that you restart your system at least once a week?

It can prevent crashes, release memory, improve battery life, and generally make everything run better and smoother.

Be careful not to reset your device

While looking at the different “Re” options and technology, you should understand reset too. When you choose the option to reset, you will restore the device back to factory settings.

Remember when your phone, tablet, or computer was brand new?

That is what you will end up with. Sounds great, but every file, folder, and application will be wiped from your device.

Sometimes, a reset is the only option. However, be sure not to accidentally click reset instead of restart or reboot.

What is the difference between reboot and restart?

It’s understandable why you might be confused. In fact, those are two different words with the same meaning.

A reboot is when you restart the computer. It may be intentional or not. More often than not, we use a reboot when there is a problem like a system running slowly or if it has frozen.

There are two types of reboot, a hard reboot, and a soft reboot. A soft reboot (or warm reboot) is when you can restart the system using the standard procedure.

A hard reboot (or cold reboot, or reset) is when your device has to lose power in order to be restarted. It is what we do when the device is frozen and can’t be used or even correctly rebooted.

Also, we often need to restart our device after new software or firmware has been installed.

You should even get a warning saying that your device will need to be restarted. Your operating system will turn off all programs and stop operations so that it can perform a soft reboot.

How to reboot / restart

How to restart Windows 10? If you notice that it is running sluggish or having multiple problems, you can restart it.

On most occasions, the problem is solved just by that. Remember to save anything you are working on first.

  • Click on the “Start button”;
  • Choose “Power”;
  • Select “Restart”.
Reboot vs restart The difference between reboot and restart

If you have reached the point where your computer isn’t responding to any commands, then you need to perform a hard reboot. Find your power button and hold it for 10 seconds.

What happens to my data during reboot or restart?

You won’t lose your stored data during a reboot or restart. That will only happen when you choose to reset your device.

When you perform a reboot or restart, the only thing you are at risk of losing is unsaved work.

If you have autosave enabled, when your operating system restarts, you will find the last version after an autosave.

You have probably heard this a million times, but you should create regular backups of everything.

Even the latest software and hardware can freeze. Consider data recovery software or automatic backups to the cloud or an external drive.

Reboot vs shutdown

A shutdown is determined when you completely turn off your computer – powering it off. Contrary to what you may be thinking, the process of shutting down is not as efficient as rebooting or restarting the machine when it comes to solving problems.

When shutting down Windows 10, the computer actually creates a deep hibernation file that the PC is using later to allow for a fast startup.

On the other hand, when your restart your machine, it completely kills all running processes and clears the RAM and all the used processor cache.

Knowing that a restart is a preferred method when finishing a new installation, or when you’re trying to solve any problem – hardware or software-related.

Wrap Up

A reboot and a restart are similar. Issues with our electronic devices freezing or not working properly cause massive headaches.

If you notice that your device isn’t running as it should, try restarting it.

This will clear your RAM and essentially give it a fresh start. You may find that regularly restarting your devices will reduce problems and the need to reboot them as often.

As a final word, resetting Windows 10 should be a last resort. You can choose to remove everything or just the apps and settings, which is handy. But remember the golden rule – back everything up!

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