->'''Customer:''' Hi, my computer won't boot.\\
'''Tech Support:''' Have you tried rebooting it?\\
'''Customer:''' Umm... I can't do that because it doesn't boot in the first place.\\
'''Tech Support:''' Sir, if you want me to help you we're going to have to do this my way.
-->-- Anecdotal call between a customer and tech support.

Whenever technology misbehaves, restarting or power cycling it usually solves the problem.

See also CutTheJuice, the slightly more direct approach.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/JurassicPark'' after the computer system locks out the operators, it is suggested they try restarting it entirely.
** It's worth noting in that film it actually ''works'', but it inadvertantly tripped the breaker switches, meaning that they had to flip the switches back on before the restart could proceed. And those switches are in a bunker on the other side of the complex. Outside. [[FromBadToWorse Where the dinosaurs are now running loose.]]
* Similar to ''Film/JurassicPark'', in ''MissionToMars'', when the onboard computers on the ship malfunction after a meteor strike, the solution used is to ''power cycle'' them, forcing a hard boot. On systems that were too expensive to ever ''test'' such a thing on.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''[[XWingSeries Wraith Squadron]]'', Kell's instructions to fix Donos's R2 unit, Shiner, basically consist of inserting a RestrainingBolt into Shiner, setting it to power-down, and then setting it to power-up. This broke the programming loop Shiner was stuck in due to an ion-and-EMP mine that everyone had run into earlier.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Done along with resetting the command codes as a precaution after the station [[spoiler: seceded from the Earth Alliance]]. Unexpectedly, this ''caused'' a minor problem in the form of the activation of the station's dormant ([[RememberTheNewGuy and long-forgotten]]) AI. The station's dormant, long-forgotten, and ''[[AIIsACrapShoot very obnoxious]]'' AI -- voiced by Harlan Ellison, in one of the show's more delightful TruthInTelevision moments -- which they had to spend the rest of the episode [[WhatMeasureIsANonhuman disabling]].
** The CrowningMomentOfFunny is when Garibaldi takes out his PPG and shoots the last computer running the AI.
* ''Series/TheITCrowd'': The EstablishingCharacterMoment for both Roy and Moss shows each of them giving callers this advice in their own idiosyncratic style:
-->'''Roy:''' [[CatchPhrase Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?]] ... OK, well, the button on the side. Is it glowing? ... Yeah, you need to turn it on. ... Err, the ''button'' turns it on. ... Yeah, you do know how a button works, don't you? No, not on clothes.\\
'''Moss:''' ''[phone rings]'' Hello, IT. ... Yuhuh. Have you tried forcing an unexpected reboot?\\
'''Roy:''' No, there you go, I just heard it come on! ... No, that's the music you hear when it comes on. ... No, that's the music you hear when... I'm sorry, are you from the past?\\
'''Moss:''' You see, the drive hooks a function by patching the system core table so it's not safe to unload it unless another thread is about to jump in there and do its stuff. And you don't want to end up in the middle of invalid memory! ''(laughs)'' ...Hello?
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': Howard has a prototype robotic arm grabbing him by the... let's just say it's somewhere personal, and is sent to the hospital. The nurse asks if they tried turning the computer controlling the arm off and then on again, and while Howard loudly objects to the idea, the nurse does just that and the arm lets go. However, Howard's main objection was that he could not be sure if the rebooted robot arm would release its grip first or if it would instead move while still holding on to the sensitive body part which could do serious injury to Howard.
* Hilariously, a simple system restore was the solution to a ship-threatening alien program in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. In the future, we apparently won't remember the purpose of protected backup archives. It took Data doing the same thing as a natural function of his programming (Soong was CrazyPrepared like that) to remind Geordi.
** Ridiculously, this was the solution to another ship-threatening problem in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. When Klingons sabotage the computer running the warp core, Trip restarts it to restore the computer to default settings. The ridiculous part is that the ship was stuck in '''MAXIMUM WARP''' at the time, and they were restarting the ''ENGINE''. (The ''Enterprise's'' sister ship, ''Columbia'', expanded its warp field to carry ''Enterprise'' during the restart.)
** ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' also finally revealed just how it was possible for Soong to be so CrazyPrepared: his family had spent at least two ''centuries'' planning the androids, and at least some of them were ''really'' paranoid.
* Likewise, in [[Recap/StargateAtlantisS02E02TheIntruder one episode]] of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', they deal with a Wraith virus with a system reformat and reboot. Multiple times. The virus was very persistent and kept hiding in computers not connected to the main system but still wireless uplinked.
* Subverted in a skit in ''Series/FrenchAndSaunders'' involving Jennifer's laptop freezing and Dawn repeatedly trying to fix it by suggesting that they "close it and open it again". After twenty minutes of trying everything, including a reboot, they simply close and open the lid and sure enough, it works again.
* The very first episode of ''{{Series/Leverage}}'' has the crew sabotage a receptionist's computer and send in Elliot disguised as an IT tech. He asks the receptionist if she tried rebooting and Hardison (listening over the radio) proudly tells the others that he taught Elliot to do that.
* In one episode of ''{{Series/Supernatural}}'', Sam is brainwashed into being a tech support worker (long story). His job consists of him saying this over and over again.
* In one episode of ''Series/RobocopTheSeries'', this was done as part of a series of emergency repairs on the title character. This was not done casually, as shutting down his robotic parts had the potential to damage his organic parts, thus hypothetically killing Alex Murphy to repair [=RoboCop=].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Machinima ]]

* The Blues in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' have apparently used this technique a few times.
-->Church: Never mind. Just go back down there, and see if you can reboot Sheila.\\
Doc: Reboot her?\\
Tucker: Yeah dude, that's how you fix broken stuff. You turn her off, and then you turn her back on again. She'll be fine.\\
Doc: I don't think that'll work.\\
Church: Uh, pardon me, it works great. We already rebooted the toaster, we rebooted the teleporter...\\
Tucker: Yeah, I still don't know if that thing has all the bugs worked out.\\
Church: We even rebooted Caboose's armour once. Although, that took a lot longer to come back online than we thought it would.\\
Caboose: It was dark and I got to hold my breath. I'm pretty sure there was no side-effects.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball ]]

* As with the movie, the ''Pinball/JurassicPark'' pinball has the "System Boot" mode, which requires the player to shoot Hammond's Bunker, Control Room, and the Power Shed to reboot the park's computer systems.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''{{Ben 10 Ultimate Alien}}'': In the episode "Fused", Ben gets stuck as an Ampfibian and Kevin uses a machine to reboot the Ultimatrix.
** In ''Omniverse,'' Blukic and Driba (GeniusDitz, ThoseTwoGuys) were where they weren't supposed to be when trouble started, one says that they should stay put and catch a ride back with Ben and Rook. The other strikes that idea down immediately; they'd be in some kind of trouble if they were found out, and he was ''not'' going back to tech support, telling people to turn their computers off and then on again.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': When the internet stops and plunges the world into chaos, Kyle travels to the center of the internet, where he finds that it's a giant router. He simply unplugs it and plugs it back in, and the internet is up and running again.
* ''{{ReBoot}}'' used this as a DeusExMachina. The User restarting his computer restores Mainframe after a system crash.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* [[http://xkcd.com/806/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{Xkcd}}'' comic.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[WebVideo/YouKnowWhatsBullshit The Bullshit Man]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV0M9_NwMHY tries this on his printer]] when it won't print. It doesn't work.
* ReverseJurassicPark:
-->'''Mr. Robustus:''' Oh well, this will be an easy fix. All I have to do is press the reset button!
-->'''Mr. Cabazai:''' Wait! What are you doing?!? *Power goes out* You do realize you just shut off the bloody juice to the human pen, right?
-->'''Mr. Robustus:''' Hmm... I did ''not'' know that.
* Referenced in ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'':
-->'''Android 17''': See, every time you spoke I just kept hearing "Kill me! Kill me!" [[BlatantLies Probably an issue with my auditory.]]
-->'''Dr. Gero''': Well, maybe you just needed to be turned off and then on again.
-->'''Android 17''': Imagine that.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* As demonstrated in the quote above, the first step in troubleshooting any computer problem is to restart the computer.
** This also applies to cable boxes, phones, and modems.
** Let's face it, almost anything electrical has been repaired in this way at some point.
* "Turn it off and on again" is sometimes used by IT techs as a diplomatic (and hence more productive) way of leading the user to discover that they'd forgot to turn it on in the first place.
* Apollo 12 came very close to an abort when it was hit twice by [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning]] during launch, which resulted in the telemetry failure of the Command Module's computer entirely, giving both all three astronauts aboard and Mission Control blank screens. Flight Controller John Aaron remembered the pattern of system failure from a previous test and gave instruction on switching "SCE to Aux" which rebooted the telemetry data off of a backup power supply. For this Apollo 12 carried out the mission successfully, and John Aaron was given the highest unofficial award NASA has: being called a "[[DangerDeadpan Steely eyed]] [[AwesomeMcCoolname missile man]]".
** It also proved the value of giving each stage of the Saturn V its own internal control computer. While the Command Module's nav system had no idea where the ship was (having been scrambled, but not damaged, by the surges of the strikes) the individual stage computers trundled away without difficulty and put the ship in orbit, where the crew was able to easily reset the nav system and proceed on schedule.

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