When it comes to troubleshooting technology, the first thing that will be suggested/ asked is, have you unplugged it? Typically, you’ll unplug it, wait about ten seconds, and plug it back in. A lot of the time, this solves simple problems, but what does it do, and why does it work.

Forced Reboot

Devices like modems, routers, or TV boxes contain small computers within them. Unplugging them and plugging them back in forces these computers to restart. As a result, any temporary software problems will be cleared out. Sometimes the firmware, built-in software that controls the behavior of the device, can have bugs. These include memory leaks, error states, or full-on crashes. Restarting requires the software to clear out and start over from scratch.

It’s Only A Temporary Solution

This solution will work well, but it’s a temporary solution. It will not solve the initial cause of the problem, and the issues will return. In order to fully fix the problem, the device will require a firmware update. If the problem persists after a firmware update, it could be an issue with the device’s physical hardware. In this scenario, the device will need to be replaced.

My Device Has A Power Switch

If your device has a physical on/off button, start with that. Sometimes, these switches will only put the device into a sleep mode and not fully initiate the shutdown process. If flipping the switch doesn’t resolve the problem, move to unplug the device.

What Devices Benefit From Unplug/Plugging Back In?

This method is used for most consumer appliances. This includes cable modems, internet routers, steaming devices, Smart TVs, and smart home devices. However, you do not want to unplug devices like computers. This is due to the software residing on a rewritable source. Unexpected power interruptions could corrupt the data or file system.

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