Can A Forced Shutdown Spoil My PC?

Forced shutdowns, will they spoil your computers? Nobody really wants to do it, but sometimes, it must be done, especially if the computer is hanging, locking or lagging really badly.

To answer the question of whether it will spoil your PC, we must first understand what happens when you force your computer to shutdown.

What happens during a forced shutdown?

When you press (a half second press) the power button your computer, usually, the computer will go into sleep or hibernation mode. You can tweak the settings so that it will instead shut your computer down, but this still works by sending a signal to your computer to shutdown the system, just as it does when you click the software shut down button. This is not a forced shutdown.

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A forced shutdown occurs when you press and hold the power button for an extended period of time, say 3-5 seconds, or if you disconnect the power cable to your desktop PC. If you do want to do a forced shutdown, use the power button method, because the latter can cause power fluctuations that may damage your hardware.

The short answer to whether it (forced shutdown using the power button) can damage your PC is no. A force shutdown doesn’t really damage your PC.

The longer answer is that it really depends.

Modern computers incorporate hardware that is designed to accommodate forced shutdowns, such as your motherboard and harddrive (both SSDs and HDDs). So, most of the time, your PC should be safe.

Possible Drawbacks

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However, there exist problems of data loss or corruption that could occur, especially for files that you are currently working on or updating, such as your Word Document or Powerpoint Presentation that was open when you forced the shutdown. This could lead to you losing your unsaved work, or corruption in these files that you have open, making them give you problems or simply unusable.

But losing such work is not as bad as when you are making changes to critical system files. When does this happen? During updates, of course. That’s why when making updates, you should ensure your PC has sufficient battery life left or is plugged to a power source.

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