We have all done it at some point or another. Remember that occasion when you didn't have time to wait for your computer to shut down by itself? You just simply held down the off button and, suddenly, your screen turned black and the fans stopped running... So, was doing this actually bad for your computer?
Well, as it turns out, if you correctly shut down your computer by clicking Start then Shut Down, your computer then goes through a series of prompts that are designed to help protect your data. If not done correctly, the work you have on your screen is most likely lost permanently. During the process of shutting down correctly, if Microsoft recognises that you have unsaved work. It will display a popup asking you to save your work before it will continue to shut down the open programs and then finally the computer.
Furthermore, there are a number of tasks that run after you shut down that might not seem so straightforward. Your operating system sends msgs to the open operations and programs to also shut down and to any other tasks that might be open. Even your browser understands that it needs to save any open tabs to your browser history, so when you next open it up, your previously used tabs will be available.
So, is shutting down your computer incorrectly actually harmful to your system? Well, yes and quite severely as well. There are usually a number of tasks happening in the background while your computer is running that you probably down know about, such as programs storing data to your drives. There are even other tasks, such as program and driver updates also running. If your computer suddenly is turned off, you run the risk of having your hard drives, programs and even parts of the operating system becoming permanently corrupted.
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel, Tech Quickie, on What Happens If You Don't Shut Down Your Computer Correctly?