What’s the difference between a restart and a shutdown?

What’s the difference between a restart and a shutdown?

Although it seems to be the same process, it is not. We explain what happens in your terminal in each case.

One of the immovable laws of computing is that if a device gives some problem, the first thing to do is turn it off and turn it on again. When a user calls his mobile operator because something on his “smartphone” is not working as it should, this is one of the first pieces of advice he will receive from the technical service. And in many cases, it is enough for the device to return to normal and function typically.

It is something that most readers will have done countless times with their mobile phones. The phone’s operating system offers two options when performing this action: a button to restart and another to turn off. 

The most common is to decide to continue since it avoids being aware of the terminal until it completes the process and turning it on manually again. It is done under the belief that it is the same to do it one way or another, but it is not.

Although, in the eyes of the user, it is the same process, what happens inside the mobile presents some differences. The restart implies a less complete shutdown than the one offered by the shutdown option itself.

The “hardware” is kept running by rebooting, and what boots up again is the operating system. In this process, the “drivers” (controllers) are reloaded. 

Still, the system cache is not cleared, and applications and techniques running in the background can continue to do so after the restart is complete. It is a partial and not complete shutdown of the device.

When the action that is carried out is through the shutdown button, here, yes, it is when all the elements of the “smartphone” are started from scratch, both “hardware” and “software.” The cache is completely emptied, and all running applications and processes are closed and will begin when needed again.

Turning off and turning on compared to restarting means that the process takes a few seconds and that the energy consumption is somewhat higher. 

Still, a fresh start of the device is achieved without the possibility of dragging any malfunction through the cache or background processes. It is, therefore, the most recommended option when the “smartphone” is too slow or is not behaving as it should.


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