How to Power Cycle your Computer

AlexS admin
First Anniversary First Answer 5 Likes Micro Center Staff
edited May 2021 in General Discussion
Have you ever spoke to a tech guy about an issue you were having and they used the phrase "Do a power cycle" or "Have you cleared the caps?" and just wondered, "What the heck is that guy talking about?"  Well, I'm going to break it down fairly simply for you as this is one of the first and easiest tasks you should do when attempting to troubleshoot a hardware issue with your computer.

How to Power Cycle your computer

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. Unplug the power cable to the computer from the back
  3. Hold the power button of your computer while it is unplugged for 30 seconds and then release
  4. Plug the power cable back into the computer
  5. Power on the computer
  6. Check for any changes

A power cycle isn't merely a simple restart of the system.  It's a way to clear the capacitors or "caps" to ensure that all energy/electricity is discharged from the system.  A good example to power cycle your computer in this case would be if you were experiencing problems such as hardware/devices not being recognized by your system.  You ever had a printer that was plugged in via USB that worked fine, and then just out of nowhere was not being recognized by the computer?  A power cycle may fix that.

I hope this quick guide helped you resolve your issue, and if it did, hit that little Like button below!  


  • WickedData
    I power cycled. It turned on then back on and stayed the way it was, but the vga white light came on the board.
  • TS_JosephF
    What is showing any POST LEDs before you power cycled? If you are using a graphics card you will want to reseat that in the PCIe slot. If your CPU has integrated graphics you could try removing the GPU and attempt to boot it up that way. 
    Could you tell us the specs of you system? Specifically the motherboard, CPU, and GPU?
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