A 'Computer Turns Off Randomly' issue is a symptom that can occur due to improperly-configured software, failing hardware, unusual environmental conditions (such as excess heat), or from the attacks of some threats, such as cryptocurrency-mining Trojans. Since this symptom tends to occur in scenarios that involve hardware damage, our experts recommend responding to it as soon as possible. However, many solutions to this issue are easy for home users to implement without undue expense or third-party help.
Handling a PC that will not Stay On
Users with a 'Computer Turns Off Randomly' Issue have a handful of areas that they should inspect for verifying the health of their hardware and overall system environment. While many problems that cause non-consensual shutdowns can self-correct, others require intervention, such as a software patch or cleaning the case's interior physically. Experts recommend testing more uncomplicated troubleshooting tips before more demanding ones.
Check for a failure in the power supply as a first step. Most power supplies average a lifespan between five years and a decade. If your power supply is within this span, check to ensure that its cords have firm seating and that the fan is free of dust or other impediments. Users checking the interior of their cases should remove all sources of static from their person before proceeding.
Somewhat rarely, driver incompatibility problems can cause symptoms as severe as automatic shutdowns. Many operating systems, such as Windows, include self-updating mechanisms that require little to no maintenance. Other components, such as the BIOS, should be left alone unless there's a reason to update. The Windows System Information application provides the current BIOS version in the Summary section. Always follow the company's instructions precisely when updating the BIOS since unintended changes can make the PC incapable of booting at all.
Sometimes, threats such as cryptocurrency-mining Trojans can induce shutdowns. These occurrences usually aren't intentional and happen due to the Trojan's using excessive system resources. Check for suspicious symptoms such as low memory, the presence of an unwanted process in Task Manager or recently-installed software. Malware specialists always recommend using dedicated anti-malware products for disinfecting compromised PCs and removing worms, Trojans, rootkits and similar threats.
The Hot End of Computer Shutdowns
Although the above solutions are possible antidotes to some shutdowns, the most ubiquitous one is experiencing overheating. Most hardware will shut down to prevent self-inflicted damage in a hot environment. Some cases in point include:
- Dust buildup disabling the fan or vents
- Overly-high graphics programs, games, or other software demanding too much from the hardware
- Improperly-applied, insufficient, or old thermal paste not providing enough cooling
For the first issue, users should manually clean their PCs with a can of compressed air every few months or more frequently, if it is demanded. For the second, turn down the program's settings, update the graphic card's drivers, or upgrade the hardware to newer models. Users also can manually replace thermal paste between the heat sink and the CPU relatively quickly and cheaply.
To tell whether or not overheating is the underlying problem, users may check their BIOS in some cases. However, there also are specialized hardware and heat-monitoring programs available for free. Always maintain your hardware within the range the manufacturer recommends since repeated overheating can do permanent damage.
A system reboot that happens once is no cause for a fright. One that happens more than once, and significantly, one that's repeatable under specific conditions, is a problem worth taking the time to troubleshoot, especially when the life of one's computer might be the stakes.