Reboot, Refresh, Renew: For Peak Computer Performance

February 27, 2024 | Blog

For your computer to perform how it should, you need to reset it periodically. However, there are different types of resets for different issues. Unfortunately, knowing which reset applies in which instance can be incredibly challenging. 

That’s why the team at My Computer Works has discussed the different types of reset options available for Mac and Windows computers. Armed with this information, you’ll better understand which reset resolution will help your computer achieve peak performance through solving various issues. 

Soft Reset Vs. Hard Reset: The Differences

Before discussing the different resetting methods for Mac and Windows computers, you need to know the difference between a hard and a soft reset. 

A hard reset involves forcibly powering off your computer using the power button and cutting off the electrical supply to all components. This abrupt shutdown clears volatile memory, terminates running processes, and restarts the system, often resolving glitches or frozen states. 

However, it may lead to data loss or potential hardware issues, so it’s not something you should do first when you encounter an issue affecting the performance of your computer. 

Instead, you should first try to perform a soft reset. This involves rebooting or restarting your computer via the start menu. A soft reset will close all open applications and clear data left over in your PC’s random access memory, which will help your computer perform better. 

The Ins And Outs Of Resetting Your Computer 

Mac Reset Methods

Resetting a Mac can be done in various ways to address different issues. Below, we’ve briefly discussed several methods that you can try to reset a Mac computer:

Soft Restart

A soft restart is often one of the safest options for resetting your computer for peak performance. Simply restart your Mac through the Apple menu. This closes applications, clears temporary files, and refreshes system processes.

Force Quit Applications

Has your entire computer frozen? Use Command + Option + Esc to access the Force Quit menu. Select the problematic application and force it to quit. This should force the problematic problem to close, solving your frozen PC issue. 

Restart in Safe Mode

If you’re encountering a problem with your Mac, like slowness, constant restarts, freezing, or blue screens, you need to reset your computer in Safe Mode. 

Hold down the power button to boot your Mac in Safe Mode until you reach the ‘Loading startup options’ screen. Once on this screen, press and hold the Shift Key and then choose Continue in Safe Mode. This disables unnecessary startup items and performs a basic system check.


Are you experiencing problems with your Mac P’s sound or simply? If so, resetting the Parameter RAM (PRAM) or Non-Volatile RAM (NVRAM) can resolve issues related to display, sound, and other system settings. Restart while holding Command + Option + P + R to perform a reset. 

Reset SMC (System Management Controller)

No one likes a computer that’s constantly dying or overheating. If you are experiencing power, battery, or fan issues, resetting the SMC can help. The procedure varies by Mac model, so you must consult your Apple manual for your Mac computer or speak with an IT professional for assistance.

Recovery Mode Reset

Those experiencing an issue with their system files, hard drive, or OS operating system can perform a Recovery Mode PC reset on their Mac computer. Simply boot into Recovery Mode by pressing in Command + R during startup. This allows you to perform tasks like reinstalling macOS, restoring from Time Machine, or using Disk Utility.

Internet Recovery Reset

If Recovery Mode doesn’t work to address your operating system issue, you can use Internet Recovery by holding down Command + Option + R during startup. This reinstalls the macOS version that came with your Mac. This should not be your first choice, and before trying it, it might be best to consult an IT professional. 

Factory Reset

Do you want to sell your Mac, or do you need to overhaul it to help it perform better? If so, performing a factory reset by erasing the entire hard drive and reinstalling macOS might be in order. However, don’t forget to backup your data first, then use Recovery Mode or a bootable installer to perform the factory reset.

Windows Computer Reset Methods

Resetting a Windows computer can be approached in various ways to address different issues. Here are several methods to reset your Windows PC:

Soft Restart Reset

Most minor issues can be resolved by performing a soft restart reset on your Windows computer. You can initiate a standard restart through the Start menu or using the Ctrl + Alt + Del shortcut. This reset will help clear temporary files and refresh system processes.

Force Shutdown Reset

When a system becomes unresponsive, you can force shut down your PC by pressing in the power button until it powers off. This is dangerous as it can and often does delete data, so be aware of this before performing this type of reset. 

System Restore Reset

Use System Restore to revert your system files and settings to a previous point. Access it through your PC’s Control Panel or by searching for “System Restore” within the Start menu. Using this reset should return your Windows PC to a working condition before you encountered the data corruption or install failure issues.

Reset This PC

Access the “Reset This PC” feature in the Settings menu. It allows you to reinstall Windows while keeping or removing your files. This reset type should also let you keep your system setting preferences in place. 

Safe Mode Reset

One of the safest places to troubleshoot an issue on a Windows PC is Safe Mode. You can typically boot into Safe Mode by holding the Shift key during startup. This starts Windows with minimal drivers, helping you troubleshoot and identify issues without worrying about deleting important files. 

Recovery Drive Reset

Did you know you can create a recovery drive using the built-in Windows tool? This tool will allow you to access troubleshooting options and potentially reset or reinstall Windows when you encounter various system and hardware issues.

System Image Recovery Reset

Do you want to restore a previous Windows operating system or troubleshoot serious critical error codes? If you have a system image backup, you can use it to restore your Windows computer to a previous functioning state. This comprehensive method for restoring the entire system is best performed by a professional. 

Factory Reset

If you’re encountering software or configuration issues affecting your Windows computer’s performance that you cannot solve, you might need to perform a factory reset. Performing a factory reset on your PC will remove all personal files and reinstall Windows. You can usually access this option through the Settings menu or the Windows installation media.

Command Prompt Reset

Those encountering a disk error or system file issue should consider using the Command prompt reset option. However, you should note that this reset option should only be used for advanced Windows PC troubleshooting. Commands like “sfc /scannow” can check and repair system files, while “chkdsk” can check and fix disk errors.

What Are the Signs Your Computer Might Benefit From A Reset? 

Now that you know how to reset your Mac or Windows computer, you might want to learn about the signs indicating a reset is necessary. Below, the team at My Computer Works has detailed the key indicators a reset is in order: 


  • You’re encountering error codes when you first boot your PC up. These errors can vary in severity, so it’s best to ask a professional IT tech about them to address them as quickly as possible before any irreparable damage occurs. 
  • Your computer is running significantly slower than usual. Unfortunately, it’s normal for a PC to perform slower over time, which can be incredibly frustrating. There are many reasons for a computer to perform slower – like having too many applications open simultaneously. However, if this is not the case, it might indicate a serious problem that needs to be repaired or serviced by a tech. 
  • You can’t open certain programs when you try to start them. Have you been double and triple-clicking on programs to open them recently with no success? If so, your programs could be corrupted or deleted. Luckily, there are reset options you can try to resolve this issue and return your computer to peak performance. 
  • Your computer is rebooting or freezing constantly. Numerous people encounter the issue of their PC freezing or rebooting continuously. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest signs that you need to perform a reset to get it functioning properly again. If a reset doesn’t help, something software or hardware-related might need to be repaired.
  • There is a notable dip in computer performance. Everyone’s computer experiences a dip in performance over time. Still, if yours is routinely glitching, being slow, freezing, deleting files, and performing poorly, it’s a sign that a reset is in order. 

Restoring Your System And Backing Up Computer Files – The Wrap-Up

Ultimately, in our opinion at My Computer Works, resetting a computer can significantly improve performance by clearing temporary files, closing unnecessary processes, and resolving software glitches. 

A reset, whether a soft restart or a more comprehensive option like one of the many we discussed for Mac and Windows PCs, will help refresh the system, free up resources, and eliminate lingering issues. 

However, backing up computer files before performing resets is essential to avoid potential data losses. It’s also important to ensure you’ve chosen the right computer reset option to restore your computer to peak performance. 

If this sounds like something you would like help navigating, our team at My Computer Works is happy to help. We have extensive experience resetting computers to get them operating at maximum capacity, so contact us here and let us solve your resetting woes. 


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