How to manage the different power settings on your Surface

Arif Bacchus

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When it comes to computing on a mobile device, it is always great to try and get the best battery life so you can last longer while on the go. Sometimes, though, it is also great to have instant access to your PC so you can easily pull up files or jump straight in to work. Keeping this in mind, with Windows 10 and Surface, there are two power modes which let you choose between these two methods of work. Now that the sleep issues on the Surface Pro 4 have been fixed, fine tuning your Surface for the best sleep/battery saving combinations makes a little more sense.

With Windows 10, the Surface lineup of devices use two modern standby modes: connected standby for always-on computing, and disconnected standby for longer battery life.

To check the power modes available on your Surface, open up an  administrative command prompt and run the following lines:


Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 9.48.14 AM
Checking the power config

If connected standby is currently running, you should get a message that S3 is not available.  The benefit to this connected standby mode is that you get full access to your files and PC immediately after wake.

Connected Standby is very different from the traditional sleep (s3), because power management will be managed right down to individual hardware components. The device will be in the lowest power state, and will wake up small portions of the system at a time. For instance, under this mode, you can still receive incoming emails while the device is in sleep.

If battery life is more important to you, and you do not want connected standby, you can easily turn the feature off:

  1. Go to PC Settings
  2. Go to System
  3. Go to Power and Sleep
  4. Uncheck the boxes that say stay connected to Wi-Fi while asleep

It is not recommended to change power settings outside of the methods in the user interface, so we hope you can use these tricks to get the most battery life out of your device!