Never logging out of Windows


I just want to ask about logging out of windows on a domain. We have a user who goes weeks (even months) without logging out of Windows. Does Windows tend to become unstable if it isn’t rebooted or even logged out for that length of time? He has occasional issues with freezing in excel. Tried driver updates, Office updates, Windows updates, disabled hardware acceleration, disabled Live preview, all without fixing the issue. Wondering if never logging off or rebooting would play into it.

Comments (10)

10 responses to “Never logging out of Windows”

  1. shmuelie

    There are things Windows can't/won't do while logged in (or even needs a full reboot for). Not sure of that's directly related to this problem but there are reasons to do so. While I rarely turn off my work machine, I do logout every day.

  2. jrswarr

    I very rarely log off the domain - and have not noticed any real issues. There have been times I have hung something up so I am forced to log out and log back in (or even worse reboot). Logging in is painful in my org - you sit around and wait for everything to get started up - rebooting is even more onerous - not sure what they have done but it is intolerably long.

    So most of the time - I just put my laptop to sleep and the next day I am right back to where I left off.

  3. lvthunder

    It all depends on the software you run and how many crashes you get. I always turn my computer off when I'm done using it so I'm not wasting power.

  4. simont

    If they are not rebooting at least once a month for patches, that is a seperate concern. But ideally users should reboot at least once a month to clear up memory.

    With Excel, are they using Macro's or pulling content from an external source? Even something as simple as Excel trying to access a network printer that no longer exists can cause it to slow down.

  5. wright_is

    I only reboot most of my machines when the monthly patches come out. The rest of the time they get put into sleep mode or are let running and logged in. Windows 7 can show some signs of instability, depending on the software installed, but Window 8 and 10 are generally pretty stable through the month without any problems.

    As others have said, if the PC isn't getting rebooted when patches are installed/ are available, that is a big problem.

    We have a company policy, that PCs have to be updated and restarted. We set them to reboot overnight, when nobody is using them - which means if the user turns them off before going home, they get rebooted, those that are left on get rebooted anyway. The same approach is used for our terminal server, a reboot time is given to the users a few days in advance, if anybody is still logged on, they will be logged out by the administrator when the server is rebooted.

    It is part of the companies IT policy that everything has to be patched and that the employees have to heed our advice and follow our instructions, failure to do so is classed as putting the company in danger and could lead to disciplinary action - if we don't patch, PCs are at risk of infection and we would also fail audits for various certifications.

  6. irfaanwahid

    I think it is a good practice to reboot your PC once in a while to refresh Memory and clear off anything pending/locking the OS.

    I have made a habit of shutting down my PC every weekend.

    It is otherwise on/logged in Monday through Saturday (half day).

  7. coeus89

    personally i never "turn off" my computers. I put them to sleep unless there is an update. It really depends on which apps get run. for freezing it could be anything from a corrupt office install to hard drive errors. I would try running SpinRite ( and see if that helps.

  8. YouWereWarned

    If I were the net admin I would log him out. Laziness on the user's part is wasting electricity, provides a 24x7 attack surface, and creates the perfect environment for app and OS shortcomings to thrive--wasting help desk staff hours. Entropy reigns in always-on computers.

  9. BruceR

    In my experience, office computers should be restarted weekly as it prevents many problems, especially with Excel (and if Fast Startup is enabled as by default, then users should understand that Shutdown then Power on is not the same thing as Restart).

  10. Patrick3D

    I've seen the following issues with Excel 2016 from Office365 on Windows 10 computers:

    Problem: Old files are slow to load

    Solution: There is a prompt in Excel to convert the file automatically to a new version, do so. This is usually seen with files that show up in Explorer as being the older 97-2013 version (.xls)

    Problem: Macros take 100x longer to run or forms take 100x longer to auto-update

    Solution: If 32-bit Excel is installed on 64-bit Windows, uninstall it and install the 64-bit version. The only new issue that might arise is 64-bit Office apps might not work with ancient printer drivers.

    Problem: The File Menu won't open in Excel, or something else is not working AT ALL.

    Solution: Updates may have already installed and are pending a restart, reboot the machine.

    Check the 2nd problem listed above in particular, for a long time the Office365 website defaulted to installing the 32-bit version regardless of the OS.

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