Why to Leave Electronic Devices Off For at Least 10 Seconds
Ever been told to turn off your modem for 10 seconds or to leave your desktop off for 15 seconds before powering it back on? There’s a reason for doing this, and it can mean the difference between successfully troubleshooting a device or not.
Electronic devices have capacitors that retain a charge even after the device is turned off. Ten seconds is generally the minimum time it takes for the capacitors to drain after you turn the device off. Here’s why you’d want to clear the capacitors before turning the device back on: the device’s RAM, or Random Access Memory, does not clear until the device is fully powered down (e.g. the capacitors have discharged). If you want to clear everything in the RAM completely and start fresh next time you boot up the device, you should wait for at least 10 seconds for the capacitors to discharge and the RAM to clear. On a computer, you can also press the power button a few times or hold it down for a few seconds to help drain the capacitors.
This is also a reason why rebooting a computer is different than turning it off and then turning it back on. If you’re having a problem with your computer, modem, etc., try turning it off for at least 10 seconds and then turning it back on. This will give your system fresh RAM to work with on the next boot.