How Often Do You Reformat Your Computer?

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It’s not a fun thing to do, but sometimes it’s necessary to keep your computer running smoothly. We’re talking about reformatting your computer. How often do you reformat?

No matter what type of computer you have, PC, Mac, Linux, etc., reformatting is recommended occasionally to keep everything working well. It’s a hassle, for sure, as you have to back up everything you have to ensure you don’t lose any important documents, photos, etc. Sure, backing up is easier than it used to be, but it’s still a hassle, especially if you don’t do it regularly as requested. But the benefit is obvious and needed. It will perform so much better, especially if it’s been lagging or hanging up on you. It could be like having a brand new computer again.

So how often are you going to go through all the motions of reformatting so that you can enjoy the benefit of a smooth quick-as-lightning computer? Do you go through and do it regularly and take care of the investment in your computer? Or do you just ignore the problems and hope it will go away not wanting to go through the trouble of reformatting?

How often do you reformat your computer?

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


    1. Just wait for the “do you change the oil on the CPU poll?”.

      I’m surprised no one has suggested cleaning the CPU pins yet, with official overpriced CPU pin cleaner of course.

  1. I format twice a year and cost me only one morning reinstalling all the programs. I don’t store any files on my laptop except from some current stuff on the desktop, the rest on SD cards, USB sticks and XHD’s. I store my bookmarks online since I lost them twice. No big deal.

  2. Laura, are you kidding me? You should do a research on youtube maybe. You NEVER need to format. It’s a must do thing only if it doesn’t boot. You should install some cleaners though. It’s alot easy than formating. I use Bleachbit on linux. (You can use Ccleaner on Windows. And an antivirus. Like AVG, Avast.) Synaptic helps me do all the updating, and erase everything i don’t use anymore. So if you do this, your computer needs formating only when no longer boots up. And don’t forget to set up your software. After that it’s alot less hassle.

  3. The last time I formatted more than once a year was when I was still using XP/98. With the newer OSes, they have grown stable enough to be useful all year round. My last format was last October when I zapped my Win7 OS after a nasty malware infection (rootkit). Now I’m using Mint XFCE and I don’t see the need to reformat it until at least April 2019 when LTE support ends for my version.

  4. Formatting twice a year here to keep my system fast and in tip top condition. Only lazy noobs never format.

  5. AFAIK, only Windows users have to reformat on a regular basis. I have not reformatted my daily use computer in a couple of years, since I installed siduction on it. Since I’m a distro-hopper, my test PC gets automatically reformatted when I install a new distro.

  6. Only on every third or fourth Linux LTS release, and about once every third month to correct Windows crashes.

  7. Since when (and why) is it recommended to reformat? Even on Windoze, you can forgo that step with a little care. On Unices like Linux, BD, OS X, etc., it is only necessary, if you want to get rid of your old system and data and everything completely. Please let us know, who and why recommended this to you, so they can get a good scolding. :)

  8. My laptop is running incredibly slow. I mean S. L. O. W.. Yes, I’ve reformated twice since I’ve had it and its only 3 years old! I’m contemplating doing it again because I’ve ran my avast Internet security, malwarebytes pro, ccleaner, hitman pro and almost every suggestion given to rid my computer of any malware, adware, or anything it could find. I was getting the blue screen of death almost every week. I took online suggestions and updated my driver’s and even updated my operating system to 8.1 because I was still on 8.0. Now with Windows 10 coming and I get the free copy, I really want to reformat today. Maybe things may run smoother just in time for it. My laptop is only 3 years old and SHOULD NOT need any new hardware because if it does I will be furious!!

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