It's common instinct to press the power button to turn electronics on or off. We do it everyday with our televisions, {and} kitchen appliances and even some new cars now start with the push of a button. So wouldn't it make sense that a computer would shut down the same way?

While it's safe to turn on a PC via the power button, turning it off this way could cause some technical headaches, and may even require a call to a computer repair specialist.

What's wrong with using the power button?

A number of background processes are constantly running during a computer's operation, and turning it off by using the power button – known as a "hard shutdown" – could force the computer to power down before it has a chance to save and close these files. That type of abrupt shutdown may corrupt these files and create significant computer problems, something a Virginia computer repair professional may need to fix. On the other hand, a hard shutdown could revive computers that have frozen or stopped working properly, and users should only perform this action in such cases.

Different shut down options

Windows provides a safe alternative that will allow users to turn off their PC with ease. Simply click the "Start" button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen and select the "Shut Down" option. This will allow background processes to safely power down before the entire computer turns off. The process may take a few seconds to several minutes. If users find they need to turn the machine back on right away, they should wait at least 10 seconds for the computer's hardware to finish their necessary functions properly.

Users may also opt to put their computer in "sleep" mode, which preserves the computer in its current state while powering off the display and some hardware elements. However, users should recognize sleep mode doesn't allow their computer's components to stop working completely. It may be helpful to properly shut it down once in a while to allow the machine to rest.