Why do some games/applications need you to restart your computer/laptop after installation?

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Why do some games/applications need you to restart your computer/laptop after installation?

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Apps and games consist of a lot of different parts that can be shared. If parts are updated while they’re in use things might not work. Rebooting ensures only the updated parts get used.

There’s more but this is eli5.

These applications have added components to the operating system that need to replace files currently in use. These could be drivers for accessing hardware or implementing copy protection. It is also possible that some files private to the application from a previous installation happened to be open during setup. The system should execute any replacements during the next startup process before these components get launched.

If you want to change the bait on your fishing hook then you need to reel it in first, you can’t do it while it’s already doing it’s job floating in the water.

Most of the time, they’re just playing it safe.

If you tell users to reboot, they’ll waste a minute on that and then they’ll forget about it. Whereas if they don’t reboot, and they run into some problem that could have been solved by rebooting, they might contact your support line or file a bug report, or just tell everyone that your product sucks. So even if rebooting *usually* isn’t necessary, telling users to do it might just avoid a few problems.

As for why it is sometimes necessary at all? Because the application might need to update files that others are using. It can’t do that *while* they’re using the files, so it has to tell Windows “please update these files when you next reboot”.

I’m not super educated on how a pc works but this is how it was explained to me. The windows “registry” is a place where all the computer hardware and system settings are stored. After new software is installed the system needs to restart for the changes to take effect in the windows system registry.