Use these tips to fix bad Surface Book battery life as soon as you can. Without them, expect to carry your Surface Book’s charger with you everywhere you go.
Bad Surface Book battery life is frustrating because the Windows 2-in-1 shouldn’t have a problem lasting all day. Each Surface Book has two internal batteries, one that sits inside its display and another that’s built-into its base. Original models can last 12 hours between charges. Some updated models last even longer.
Problem is, to get that kind of battery performance out of the Surface Book, you need all of Windows 10’s battery tricks. You need to allow the PC to dim and brighten its display depending on how much light there is around you, and you need to use Windows 10’s performance tools to have the PC prioritize battery life over raw performance. There are other simple things you can do to fix bad Surface Book battery life, like stopping unused programs from loading and turning off wireless features you aren’t using.
How to Fix Bad Surface Book Battery Life
- Darken Your Display
- Stop Programs from Launching at Start Up
- Close Programs You Aren’t Using
- Use the Surface Book Power Slider to Manage Performance
- Turn Off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Both
Darken Your Display
The first thing you should do to fix bad Surface Book battery life is change your brightness settings. Your Surface Book has a detailed display that can really harm battery life if it’s too bright.
On battery power, lower your screen brightness to 50% or less. This keeps it bright enough to fight off glare and reduces its impact on your battery. To quickly change screen brightness, open the Action Center by placing your finger on the right edge of your display and sliding it to the left. You can also click on the message bubble in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
The display options in the Settings app gives you greater control over your display brightness than the Action Center. Click the Start button in the bottom-left corner of your screen to open the Start Menu.
Open the Settings app by clicking on the cog in the bottom-left corner of Start.
Click on System.
Welcome to Display Settings. The slider at the top of this screen lets you fine-tune how bright your display is. Taking manual control of your display’s brightness makes it easier to keep track of how bright it is. If you want that control, uncheck the box next to Change Brightness automatically when lighting changes.
Stop Programs from Launching at Start Up
Programs running in the background can have a huge impact on how long it takes your PC to start and harm your Surface Book’s battery life. Use Windows 10’s Task Manager to get these apps under control.
Click on the search box in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Type Task Manager and hit Enter on your keyboard.
Inside the Task Manager click on the Startup tab.
This is a list of every background task that your computer runs when you start it. High impact tasks slow down start and can reduce battery life. If a background task is related to a program you don’t regularly use, select it in the list and click the Disable button at the bottom of the Startup Tab.
Close Programs You Aren’t Using
You should close any programs that you aren’t using to fix bad Surface Book battery life. Start with the programs that you know are taxing your device, like Photoshop, Premiere and Apple’s iTunes. Close tabs in your web browser that you aren’t using at the moment next. The more tabs you have open, the harder your Surface Book has to work to keep them all ready for you to browse.
Finally, click on the arrow in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
Right-click on and quit any apps that are minimized here that you aren’t using.
Use the Surface Book Power Slider to Manage Performance
You can have great battery life, great performance or force your Surface Book to balance both with the Windows 10 performance slider. Tap or click on the battery icon at the bottom of your screen.
This slider lets you set your PC’s priorities. Move the slider to the left and Windows reduces the amount of processing power available to apps, games and programs. In exchange for that, your PC will last longer between charges. Moving the slider all the way to the right improves performance and sacrifices battery life. By default, your Surface Book’s performance slider rests in the middle.
You can also use this menu to change your Surface Book’s display brightness.
Turn On Battery Saver
Battery Saver is the ultimate tool for fixing bad Surface Book battery life. This software switch automatically reduces your device’s screen brightness and limits what apps can do in the background. For example, Mail will stop checking for the latest messages and other apps will stop searching for updates if they aren’t open.
Click on the Battery icon at the bottom of your screen.
Click on Battery Settings.
There’s a switch under Battery Saver. Flip this switch to On and your Surface Book will stay in Battery Saver mode until its next charge. While you are here, use the slider to decide when Battery Saver turns itself on.
Turn Off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Both
Finally, turn off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to help fix bad Surface Book battery life. Like your display, you simply factor them into your battery life expectations, so you forget how big of an impact they can have.
You don’t need Bluetooth on to use your Surface Pen to write, but you do need it to open apps with the eraser button. If you don’t have Bluetooth speakers, headphones, a keyboard, a mouse or a Surface Pen with you, click on the Start button at the bottom-left corner of your screen.
Type Bluetooth into the search field and hit Enter.
Read: Best Surface Pen Tips
Now flip the Bluetooth switch at the top of your screen to Off.
You don’t need to go into the Settings app to disable Wi-Fi. Just be sure you have saved anything you are working on.
Tap or click on the Wireless icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
Now click on the Wi-Fi button.