Improve the battery life of your Surface laptop

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The Surface laptops are my go to these days for most of my work. The only downside to them is that the battery life isn't as futuristic and long-lasting as one would want. With an IDE running and a few browser windows open, I'm looking at a solid 6 hours of work before I need to find a wall outlet. You could technically consider that close to a full day of work. Unless you're a freelance and remote programmer, in which case you are on the move constantly and you might not be around any power outlets.

Also, batteries tend to age faster than humans. While you might have started with a 42 watt-hour battery when you first purchased your device, after 1-2 years, you might be closer to the 28 wh mark. Which is what happened to me as my battery life dwindled down to a 2-3 hour range recently. Potentially this could have been caused by simply overcharging the battery repeatedly and never stressing it out.

After much research, tweaking and trial and error, the following quick hack seems to have done some magic to my laptop as my battery life grew by another 1-2 hours.

So if you are having battery issues on your Surface laptop, then this might be worth a shot.

Open up the device manager

First up, launch the device manager by using the Winkey + s (search) shortcut. On the device manager dialog, expand the Batteries dropdown. You should see the following driver installed on your machine.

Right-click on the driver and (at your own risk) uninstall the device. There's no real risk. Since Windows will reinstall the driver if it isn't found, which is the next step.

But fear not, as we'll bring it right back with the following action. Back on the main device manager window, click on the Action menu item at the top. And select the following item.

The same battery device driver should be reinstalled once again.

And that's it. You won't see any fancy animations or notifications, and there is a chance that this might not fix your battery issues, depending on the state of your battery. Batteries tend to age as mentioned above and depending on how much care you take, they could take a beating and lose their ability to take a charge.

My batteries are roughly 2 years old, and based on various battery tests, they are maybe at 50% of their original capacity. But this quick hack seems to have worked very well for me and given my laptop an extra 2 hours of battery life almost immediately.

So hopefully you find luck with this trick and let me know if it worked for you.

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Walter Guevara is a software engineer, startup founder and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He is currently building things that don't yet exist.

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