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    If you regularly power off your PCs, tablets, laptops, or game consoles by holding down the power button until it shuts off, you should think twice. Here’s why it might damage your machine and what you should do instead.

    Why Long-Pressing Can Be Bad

    Here’s the gist of it: Long-pressing a power button to force a device to shut off can potentially corrupt the operating system on the device. You should shut it down gracefully instead using a software option or by pressing the button once (without holding it) to either initiate a software shutdown or put the device to sleep .

    Long-Pressing Is for Emergencies

    In the old days, most power switches physically disconnected power from the device. Flipping or pressing them would break a circuit, stopping the flow of electricity that powered the gadget.

    Today, most power switches on smart devices like PCs, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles are what engineers call “ soft switches .” When you push them, they send a signal to an intelligent circuit to begin a shutdown process that is often controlled by a computer operating system.

    Sometimes that shutdown process doesn’t work properly, so many soft switches have a backup mode where you can hold them down for several seconds (instead of a momentary touch) to force a device to turn off. But that’s not the ideal way to always shut down a smart device—it should only be reserved for emergencies.

    Computers Need to Shut Down Gracefully

    Modern smart devices contain computers that need to perform a software-controlled shutdown procedure to shut off without damaging the device’s file system or the device itself. Sometimes a computer might use flash storage or RAM to cache data or settings temporarily, and if the power goes out suddenly, the operating system won’t have a chance to save that data permanently. Also, you might interrupt a write process, which can create incomplete or corrupt data that make your device malfunction.

    What You Should Do Instead

    Instead of forcing your device to power off by long-pressing the power button, look for a “Shut Off,” “Shut Down,” or “Power Off” option in the device’s on-screen menus (if it has a screen). Choosing one of those options will initiate a graceful software shutdown procedure that will ensure all loose ends in software and memory are tied up before the device powers off.

    Also, these days, many PCs will automatically begin a graceful shutdown process if you just press the power button once . That’s OK.

    You can also use the device’s sleep feature (if it has one), which can usually be accessed by tapping the power button once. Whenever you need to use the device again, just wake it up. If you need to reboot or restart the device, look for an on-screen software option for that as well.

    When You Should Long-Press the Button

    Still, there are times when a gadget becomes unresponsive and you have to long-press the power button—or simply unplug the device completely—to get it to power off. In those cases, which should be rare, it’s OK to force a shutdown. But if you find yourself having to do it often, there is likely something wrong with your device. Consider replacing it or having it checked out by the manufacturer for errors. Good luck!

    RELATED: Why Does Unplugging a Device Fix So Many Problems?


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    How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Want to know more?

    What happens if you press the power button multiple times?
    When you press the power button to shut down your computer, it won't truly shut down, but instead, it will go into a state between hibernation and shutdown. Fast startup is enabled by default on Windows 10, but it's known to create several power issues for many users. more
    Where is the power button on iPhone 13?
    The physical button method Press and hold the side button and either of the volume buttons together until a power slider appears at the top of the screen. Drag that slider from left to right, and your iPhone will power off. It can take as long as 30 seconds for your iPhone to fully power down. more
    How long do you press the poop button?
    Locate ST25, two finger-widths to right of your belly button. Press on the point with your thumb or index finger. Apply circular pressure for 1 to 3 minutes. Repeat on the left side. more
    Which button do you press on a toilet?
    IT IS FOR WATER CONSERVATION: The larger lever is to flush out around 6 to 9 liters of water, whereas the smaller lever is to flush out around 3 to 4.5 liters of water. Clearly, the larger one is to flush solid waste and the smaller one is to flush liquid waste. more
    Can dental nurses press the xray button?
    As long as the dentist sets the exposure time, and positions the film and x-ray tube, it is legal for the dental nurse to press the exposure button under the dentist's supervision. more
    What happens if you press the power button 5 times?
    Google has added a new Emergency SOS feature to Android 12. After turning it on, five quick presses of the power button will launch a countdown to call 911, or presumably your local emergency services. more
    How can I restart my phone without the power button?
    Using recovery mode This method works on Android devices only, for this, you need your Android phone to be turned off. Simply plug in your USB cable and keep holding down the volume down/volume up button to enter the recovery mode. Here when the menus appear, simply tap exit, and reboot the device. more
    What happens if you press power button 3 times?
    By quickly pressing the power key button 3 times, you are able to send a quick alert to your emergency contacts. Not only that, but you are also able to attach a 5 second audio recording and pictures from both the front and rear cameras. more
    Do pilots press a button to talk to ATC?
    There is a push to talk (PTT) button located at the yoke or sidestick, in small and large aircraft likewise. When the PTT button is not triggered, all communication is routed through the intercom and not broadcasted on the frequency. Once the button is triggered, communication is broadcasted on the active frequency. more
    Why do I have to press the power button twice to start computer?
    When the computer is powered off without the adapter plugged in, it cannot be powered on by pressing the power button once. In this case, the computer can be started up only if the power button is long pressed or pressed twice within 5 seconds. more
    How do I turn on my Samsung without power button?
    You can use your device's volume button to boot it or turn the screen on/off. This will let you restart Android without the power button. more

    Source: www.howtogeek.com

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