Modern operating systems are incredibly complex. I heard that Windows XP has 300 MILLION lines of code. It is a minor miracle that they even work. I know there are geeks out there that pride themselves on how long their system of choice (Linux, Mac OS, etc.) has been running without rebooting. But those of us mere mortals (1 BILLION strong) that use Windows know that rebooting regulally can really help performance.
2 Words: REBOOT ALREADY!
I’ve worked at firms that tell me that some of their folks haven’t rebooted their Windows machine for over a month. Wow.
The except below is from Microsoft (emphasis mine):
This tip is simple. Restart your PC at least once a week, especially if you use it a lot. Restarting a PC is a good way to clear out its memory and ensure that any errant processes and services that started running get shut down.
Restarting closes all the software running on your PC—not only the programs you see running on the taskbar, but also dozens of services that might have been started by various programs and never stopped. Restarting can fix mysterious performance problems when the exact cause is hard to pinpoint.
If you keep so many programs, e‑mail messages, and websites open that you think restarting is a hassle, that’s probably a sign you should restart your PC. The more things you have open and the longer you keep them running, the greater the chances your PC will bog down and eventually run low on memory.