How to diagnose Surface power management problems

As we previously reported last week, the Surface lineup of devices have two power options to get the most out of battery life, or make getting back to your work much easier. Sometimes though, while in the connected standby power mode, your Surface device might be taking up much more power than it needs.  If you’re experiencing this problem, the issue is likely because a background process has interrupted your Surface from its lowest power state.  If that’s the case, there is no need to worry, as today we will deliver you information from Microsoft on how to troubleshoot power management on your Surface device.

If you’re the administrator, and the device uses the connected standby function, the best way to diagnose any power issues is to open an elevated command prompt and run the following command:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>powercfg/sleepstudy

This will then generate a sleep study report for the last few sessions. If you’re looking to further diagnose the issue, you can also generate an energy report by running the following elevated command:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>powercfg/energy

Now that the reports are ready, you can follow the file path which the command prompt listed to immediately copy and then open the reports from a more accessible and safe location.

When looking at the sleep study report, you will see a graph with multiple colors, and lines. The dotted lines which are displayed represent when the device is charging, and solid lines represent when the device is on battery power. On the other hand, gray lines will represent when the device is active, green will represent low system activity, orange will represent moderate system activity, and red will represent high system activity.

Standby graph

Standby graph

If you scroll down further you will also see a table which describes every modern standby session which lasted more than 10 minutes.  You will see energy change, duration, and the amount of time which it is in the lowest power state.  In an ideal situation, each session should be in DRIPS (or lowest power state) for 95% of the time.  No session should also last more than 2-4 hours, as this is when Surface would kick into hibernation mode.  If you also notice that power consumption is 7-10 times lower than 95%, then you likely have a power consumption issue.

Example of high power consumption

Example of high power consumption

In addition, you can then click on on each session to get a more detailed view of the consumption, and an idea of what is going wrong. For a more simpler idea of what is going wrong, you can also switch back and open the energy report, which will highlight any errors in red.

A sample energy report

A sample energy report

Hopefully, you found these tricks useful in pinpointing any power issues you many have on your Surface device. If you happen to use these tricks, let us know how it is going in the comments below.

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Have you had any power problems with your Surface device?