Surface RT battery life after the upgrade to Windows 8.1


I have a Surface RT device (the original) and absolutely love it.  I use it every day.  However, one of the challenges I have been dealing with was after the upgrade for Windows 8.1 came out, I noticed the battery is always dead when I picked it up.  Before, I could go 3 to 5 days between charges, depending on how much I was using it.  Now, it would discharge in standby within 24 hours!

To track this – you can create a Battery Report.  Open an elevated command prompt on the SurfaceRT device, and type in:

powercfg /batteryreport

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This will save an HTML file as seen above. 

This is a pretty cool report that will show some interesting statistics about your batter.  But it will also show your periods of use, and how much the battery drains during connected standby:

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In the table above, I can see I entered standby at around 9pm on the 17th, and when I picked it back up around 4pm the next day, the battery was almost dead!  The chart in the report shows this as well, pretty cool:

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What’s the fix???

If you look on this page:  http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-US/support/hardware-and-drivers/battery-and-power

There is an interesting section at the bottom:

Surface RT only: Battery issue when updating from Windows RT 8.1 Preview

If you updated Surface RT from Windows RT 8.1 Preview to Windows RT 8.1, you may notice a decrease in battery life. During the update, the wireless adapter power policy isn’t migrated. Instead, the power policy is set to a default value that consumes more power both during use and in the connected standby state.

To restore the wireless adapter power policy to the correct settings, open an administrator command prompt:

Step 1:
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

Step 2:
In the search box, enter command prompt.

Step 3:
Touch and hold (or right-click) Command Prompt to bring up the context menu. Tap or click Run as administrator.

Step 4:
On the User Account Control dialog box, tap or click Yes.

Step 5:
At the Administrator: Command Prompt, enter the following:

powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3

Step 6:
Then enter
powercfg -setactive scheme_current

Voila…. this fixed mine immediately.  And yes, I did update from 8.1 preview to the full release of 8.1.  My surface can now sit in connected standby mode for an entire day and only consume about 10% of the battery life.  Smile

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Comments (19)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t paste it in. Type it. You might be copying an extra character or carriage return. It works perfectly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah i actually typed it, not pasted. Im just really bad at this stuff lol. I feel like im using an extra space or missing a space or something

  3. Anonymous says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the info and the fix, it seems everytime I pick up my Surface over the last few weeks and it was dead!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 12 Jan 2014 6:08 PM
    I am really (seriously) expecting an answer for my question.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great find thanks Kevin!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the info and the fix, it seems everytime I pick up my Surface over the last few weeks and it was dead!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can somebody tell me, why there is no visible numerical battery capacity status in this battery report for my surface RT gen1 (2012 dec)? It seems the battery does not report its capacity at all (all empty entries in all the capacity columns)? This is the case since day1 on Win RT 8.0. As a side effect, I dont see the remaining battery life left in the desktop mode!

    For the reference:
    Battery name: X865745
    Manufacturer: Samsung
    Chemistry: LION
    design / full charge capacity: — mWh (literally like this)
    cycle count: 51

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately im having trouble getting the command typed in properly. It says invalid parameter

  9. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately I am having trouble getting the command typed in properly as well. It says invalid parameter

  10. Very nice – thanks for sharing this.

    <heads off to fix his offending surface>

    Cheers,

    Rhoderick

  11. Hein Bouman says:

    The difference is amazing. This is really bad that they haven't bothered to issue a software patch for this. With an iPad you would never need to worry about anything like this.

  12. It's me says:

    Cut and paste it. Once I did that it worked just fine.

    powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3

    There is a space between …0c1 and 12bb… that you miss if you type it.

  13. Phill Hardstaff says:

    thanks, live saver 🙂

  14. Ludgero M. says:

    Hi,
    I was able to do everything that was described, including seeing the report, but did not change the fact that the battery is consumed too fast.
    Can someone help me?
    Thanks in advance.

  15. Pat TRSHD says:

    Hello all. I’m following the instructions to the letter, however, every time I check the active power profile with the -getactivescheme command, it just stays on my current personalized profile… Any ideas??

  16. Yolo says:

    Worked perfectly. Thank you

  17. LiD says:

    Does anyone know a solution to the “plugged in, not charging” issue that MS Surface RT is experiencing?

  18. Dan_IT says:

    Thats great. If this were an iDevice, you’d have to wait months for apple to release a fix and even then it still wouldn’t quite fix it.

  19. Lori says:

    Ran the battery report. On 7/22/15, the capacity remaining shows 99%. After that the report shows "-" and the battery appears to stop charging. The status reads "0%, plugged in, charging ". What is this indicative of?

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