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A reboot is the process of shutting down all running software on a machine, including the operating system itself, and then immediately reloading as if the machine had just been powered on.
A reboot differs from actually powering down the machine and turning it back on only in that the power is never turned off. The software simply acts as if the computer was shutting down completely, and then immediately acts as if it had just been powered on.
Reboots are common debugging and system-stabilization techniques, as they force the entire system back to a known initial state. (A power-off shutdown also includes resetting the hardware to a known initial state as well.) More information: Why do so many tech support solutions start with “reboot” or “turn it off”?« Back to Glossary Index