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How to Fix Bad Surface Book Battery Life



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.

Read: 7 Surface Book Problems & How to Fix Them

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.

Read: How to Turn Off Adaptive Brightness in Windows 10

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.

Read: 52 Windows 10 Tips & Tricks You Need to Master Your PC

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.

Read: Best Windows 10 Apps in 2017

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.

9 Best Surface Book Alternatives in 2018

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 - $999.99

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 - $999.99

Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 has the stunning looks of the regular XPS 13 laptop and the features that Windows 2-in-1s buyers need.

Read: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1: Dell Redesigns the Ultimate Laptop

Inside the notebook are all the essential components that a high-end laptop must have. It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM, giving it lots of power and long battery life. You can store photos, music, documents and video on the 128GB solid-state drive. Each model has a fingerprint reader for logging in with just your face. The laptop’s steel hinges let you lay the display flat on the laptop’s back for tablet use.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has plenty of upgrade options. Dell sells models with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage. There’s a 13.3-inch 4K Infinity Edge display option that has very, very thin bezels. Pictures almost look as if they are floating.

In addition to touch technology, the XPS 13 2-in-1 lets users take notes and draw on its screen using Dell’s $49.99 Active Pen. This pen can sense 2,048 different levels of pressure compared to the 1,024 levels of pressure the Surface Book can sense.

Dell’s engineers created a Surface Book alternative that’s not burdened by the shortcomings of the laptop it competes against. This machine lasts for 15 hours of productivity and 10 hours of Netflix streaming in laptop or tablet mode. Compare that to the Surface Book which lasts for 12 hours of video when attached to its keyboard, but only 3 hours away from the base.

Also, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has more convenient ways to connect to accessories. You can use the SD card slot, USB Type-C port, lock slot and a Thunderbolt 3 port to pair it with monitors, keyboards, phones and hard drives. For comparison, the Surface Book has an SD card slot, a Mini DisplayPort and 3 USB 3.0 ports. Pictures and video take longer to transfer from your camera or hard drive with the Surface.

The only major strike against the XPS 13 is its graphics card. The XPS 13 doesn’t have a discrete graphics processor option. Surface Book buyers can add a GPU for better modeling and gaming performance.

Buy the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 at for $999.99

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