Microsoft Ignite: Surface Power Management Tips

Microsoft Ignite: Surface Power Management Tips

This week I attended a handy side session in one of the Microsoft Showcase Theaters that was presented by Surface Supportability Program Manager Scott McArthur.

He spent about 30 minutes talking about power management on Surface devices and while every tip he shared may not give you huge bumps in your battery life, they might help you gain more of a battery life cushion.

Here is a run down of his tips that you can try out.

Disconnect from network when in sleep mode

Network Connection on Battery and Sleep

This setting will stop background tasks from Store apps such as updating Live Tiles and other activity but once you wake the device it will resume all network activity.

Adjust Device Hibernate Timeout

By default, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices ship with Hibernate being enabled after two hours in Sleep Mode.

This can be adjusted based on your own personal usage and result in battery savings because Sleep Mode would be shorter.

You can adjust that Hibernate trigger in the Power Options Advanced Settings under the Sleep option.

Power Options for Hibernate Mode

With new options in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Adaptive Hibernate will use triggers to place a Windows 10 device into hibernate mode while it is sleeping to prevent detected battery drain events from discharging the entire battery. These new triggers are only implemented on systems that support Modern Standby and are modified using powercfg commands which are provided on the Adaptive Hibernate information page.

Note: Make sure you are comfortable with using the Command Line in Windows before trying out these options for managing power settings.

App Battery Usage Management

In Windows 10 apps have three settings which can impact battery life.

Battery Usage by App Settings

The default setting in Windows 10 is to allow Windows to control the background activity of apps however, it can be overridden manually by the user and either always allowed or never allowed in the background. By turning off an app in the background that will result in battery improvements however, the app will not perform its typical background tasks until you bring it back to the forefront on the system.

This setting is very handy for a troublesome app that is consuming a lot of your battery and should only be modified as a temporary solution.

Save Me Power While Away

This feature uses Cortana and a prediction service to determine when you are usually away from your computer and when you will return.

Save me pwoer while I am away

Disable Hey Cortana

According to Scott this feature consumes a lot of power so by turning it off there will be a good amount of battery savings.

Hey Cortana Settings

It even has text under this setting that warns about the increased battery usage.

Use Adaptive Brightness

By default this is already turned on in Windows 10 but it might not hurt to check this setting to make sure it is still active.

Adaptive Brightness

Use Dark App Mode

This one is from me personally and is probably well known but it actually takes less power to display the color black then it does white.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update added a system option to shift from Light App Mode to Dark App Mode plus many apps have an option to switch between these modes of display as well.

Dark App Mode Setting

I did not like this option early on but as I have used it more the view has grown on me so I highly recommend giving it a try and see what happens.

So what battery savings tips have you picked up over the years?


Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.

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