Does restarting a laptop delete everything?

Restarting or rebooting a computer laptop has nothing to do with deleting data that is saved on the hard drive. Nevertheless, some files may get deleted with a simple reboot. Here’s what you need to know.

Restarting HP laptops, Dell laptops, PCs, and MacBooks, should do nothing such as deleting data. If your data has been deleted, you should perform these fixes that will help recover your data.

What is a restarting laptop?

Restarting or rebooting both terms refer to turning off/on a laptop. It’s like giving some rest to your laptop’s internal components, such as RAM, CPU, and hard drive. In general, when you restart a laptop, nothing should be deleted until that is saved. 

In contrast, resetting your laptop to factory settings is another term that refers to deleting everything on your computer.

  • Resetting a laptop: Deletes everything to the factory settings.
  • Restarting a laptop: Simple boot as turning on/off a laptop.

If you have just restarted your laptop, worry that your data is safe. But that’s not the case if you have reset your laptop to factory settings.

Why does restarting a laptop not delete data?

Restarting a device whether a laptop, a computer, mobile phone simply means you have cut the power for a while. Turning on again will release the power supply between the components in the device. 

So there is nothing that can put any risk of deletion of important files. Restarting won’t delete anything from hard drives, all the data including photos, videos, apps, and documents, will be there once the device is powered on. However, restarting will wipe out unnecessary files that were stored in the RAM, also known as cache files. 

Which data can be deleted by restarting a laptop?

Browser tabs

Restarting a laptop or PC will close your browser’s open tabs. But it’s not always the case, depending on which browser you use. Some browsers use cache files like the Google Chrome browser which will restore all the open tabs after boot up.

The data inside the open tabs will be deleted if not unsaved. For instance, unsaved files in an online text editor like google docs, google Sheets, will be restored by restarting. 

Therefore, always save the data inside a browser tab before rebooting your laptop.

Unsaved Game progress

When you play an offline game with a save state feature. Don’t restart your laptop without saving the game because if you don’t. After booting up, you will lose your game progress and have to continue from the last save.

Unsaved Documents or files

When working on documents using tools like Microsoft word, photoshop, after effects, etc. Make sure to always use the “save the file feature” to prevent your file from getting restored when your laptop accidentally boots up. Because without saving the file, your progress will be deleted and there is no way to recover your efforts.

Unnecessary cache files

Restarting a laptop or pc will only delete unnecessary cache files that are stuck in the RAM memory. Every time an action is performed, unnecessary cache files are produced. In addition, some corrupt files tend to accumulate in the RAM memory due to programs that borrow RAM when they start but do not return it when they close. Alternatively, they present errors in properly closing the program.


Restarting a laptop does not delete the time you have set. However, this can happen if your laptop is experiencing errors. If you are experiencing this, you must fix those errors in order to prevent it from happening again.

What will happen when you restart a laptop?

In some cases, restarting a laptop can improve performance. This improvement resulted from programs that were running in the background, now getting turned off and reducing the load on the RAM. Restarting can also delete hidden files that were running in the background. The files are not a user uses but rather those that one operating system like windows uses. Also known as Temp files get deleted when rebooting. Resulting in increased performance, as a running laptop is continuously building up these files and taking up extra space. Restarts delete these unnecessary files in general.


Problem #1: I accidentally restarted my laptop and now it’s not booting up.

If a laptop or PC is not turning on again after you accidentally restarted. The reasons behind this are so vast. For instance, faulty hard drives can be an issue, or maybe your OS is making things up. So, here’s what you should do:

  • Press the power button and Enter the BIOS settings.
  • Now navigate to option: startup repair: 
  • on-screen after languages, choose to repair this pc, not install.
  • The minor problem is often resolved by itself.

Now the second method is:

  • On another PC, download the Windows 10 media creation tool and use it to make a win 10 installer on a USB
  • Enter the BIOS again.
  • choose advanced
  • Change the boot order so USB is first, HDD second
  • Choose Boot from the installer: 
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