Basic Computer Skills: How to Power Cycle a Device

Lesson 14: How to Power Cycle a Device


How to power cycle a device

If you have a computer in your home, you probably have at least one other device that works alongside it, such as a modem, wireless router, or printer. These devices have a tendency to stop working from time to time, and it's not always immediately clear why.

Before assuming anything is actually broken, you should try to run a power cycle. To do this, you'll want to turn the device off, then turn it back on. This will force it to reset, which can fix a lot of basic problems.

Here are the steps to power cycle just about any device:

  1. Turn off and/or unplug the device.
    unpluggint the device
  2. Wait at least 30 seconds.
    clock countdown timer
  3. Plug in the device and/or turn it back on. That's it—you just power cycled your device! With any luck, it should start working correctly. Keep in mind that if you're resetting an Internet device, such as a modem, it may take a minute or so to reconnect.
    turning the device back on

One other thing to note: If you're resetting devices that work together, like a modem and wireless router, you'll want to power cycle them at the same time.

Running a power cycle won't fix more serious problems, but if you have a device that's not working correctly, it's a good thing to try first. If power cycling doesn't seem to help, you'll want to do some more troubleshooting. Check out our lesson on basic troubleshooting techniques to learn how.