Can a power outage damage a PC? What to know in 2022

can a power outage damage my computer?

Can a power outage damage a PC? The short answer is yes. Power outages due to planned shutoffs or thunderstorms in the Bay Area this month can wreak havoc on your computers. It’s a good time to remind everyone the negative effect it can have on your PC or Apple. It puts unnecessary wear-n-tear on the hardware, which is a primary cause of most computer failures. Power outages can also damage your data in a number of unpredictable ways. Damage to your laptop or desktop can occur when the power comes back on. A sudden surge of electricity could destroy the very voltage sensitive components inside your PC. 

PG&E power outage map for the South Bay Area.

This PG&E power outage map shows real-time shut-off zones in Northern California. You can check your address on this page. Most of us know that a sudden loss of electricity has the capacity to seriously hurt our computers. But we don’t always have the luxury of time to be prepared.

Can a power outage damage a PC? Precautions For Your Laptop

First, make sure your files are saved and backed up to an external drive or to a cloud service. Not sure how to back up your data? ClickAway can help or there are many “how to” articles online if you’d rather figure it out yourself. 

After everything is backed up, consider purchasing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). These inexpensive accessories give you time to shut down your computer without losing your work. They provide 5 to 15 extra minutes to allow to shut down your electronics safely. ClickAway has them in stock or you can get one elsewhere. A UPS is basically a power strip with big batteries. They cost anywhere from $50-80 and they come with an insurance policy for all devices connected to it. For example, you could get reimbursed for up to $150,000.

Make sure your computers are unplugged from any wall outlet. Don’t confuse a power strip with a UPS. While the former is for convenience, the latter provides a barrier to reduce a sudden surge of electricity and additional battery life.

A smartphone, however, has internal batteries. They automatically flip on when there is no charge coming in from an outside source. Your cell phone acts as it’s own UPS. Likewise, security systems have their own battery backups in place. They just don’t last very long. As for smart home devices such as Alexa, most are not as complex as a computer so are not likely to suffer. Regardless, if you have concerns, it’s safer to unplug before a power outage.

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About ClickAway

ClickAway has been providing computer repair, Apple repair and IT services to customers in Northern California since 2002. ClickAway offers free diagnosis and a lowest price guarantee. Try our award-winning laptop repair services today. Check out Angie’s List, Diamond Certified and Better Business Bureau to name a few.