How to Fix The Surface Pro 3's Short Battery Life Problem

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Surface Pro 3 users who have reported awful battery life since May finally got a solution, as Microsoft released an update for the detachable PC yesterday (August 29) that aims to fix the problem. A 118-page thread in the company's forums shows that the hybrids were running out of juice in 1 to 2 hours, an alarmingly short time for a product that's supposed to be portable.

microsoft surface pro3 g01

In the notes accompanying the update, Microsoft explained the problem by comparing the "fuel gauge" in cars to "logic in the firmware component," revealing that the issue is rooted in incorrect reporting of full charges. After a Surface Pro 3 is updated, it should begin to "self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles."

MORE: Best 2-in-1s (Laptop/Tablet Hybrids)

Despite the amount of posts on that thread, Microsoft claims the problem was observed by a "limited number of Surface Pro 3 owners."

Microsoft notes that Surface Pro 3 owners who paid for an out-of-warranty exchange for this issue may be able to get a refund, but no details are available at this moment. The company will get back to those users within 30 days from the date of the release of the patch (August 29)

Here's how to fix a Windows 10 Surface Pro 3's poor battery life problem with the August 29 update:

  1. Confirm that the Surface Pro 3 is plugged directly into an AC power source using the standard power adapter shipped with the hybrid.
  2. Do not use the Surface Docking Station.
  3. Disconnect any USB devices or external monitors.
  4. Confirm that Windows shows a 40% battery charge by hovering over its taskbar icon.
  5. Click Start.
  6. Click Settings.
  7. Click Update & Security.
  8. Click Windows Update.
  9. Click Check for updates.
  10. Click Install next to "System Firmware Update - 8/29/2016" and follow the instructions.
  11. Click Restart now. After your system restarts, you will see a black screen with the Surface logo and a message indicating a firmware update is being applied.
  12. After the Surface boots to Windows, restart again.

Here's how to fix a Windows 8.1 Surface Pro 3's poor battery life problem with the August 29 update:

  1. Confirm that the Surface Pro 3 is plugged directly into an AC power source using the standard power adapter shipped with the hybrid.
  2. Do not use the Surface Docking Station.
  3. Disconnect any USB devices or external monitors.
  4. Confirm that Windows shows a 40% battery charge by hovering over its taskbar icon.
  5. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen.
  6. Select Settings.
  7. Select Change PC settings.
  8. Select Windows Update.
  9. Select Check now.
  10. Select Install next to "System Firmware Update - 8/29/2016" and follow the instructions.
  11. Select Restart now. After your system restarts, you will see a black screen with the Surface logo and a message indicating a firmware update is being applied.
  12. After the Surface boots to Windows, restart again.

If Windows Update isn't working correctly, users can download the fix manually from Microsoft here.

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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3 comments
  • Rey Matanguihan Says:

    I didn't notice my SP3 having any battery problems before. But after the August firmware update, a 100% charge doesn't last more than 2 hours. Thanks Microsoft for the fix, it sure cut my SP3's battery life in half!

  • shane kanes Says:

    oh you mean 40% or greater. I just read the actual post on the forum

  • shane kanes Says:

    Does the bettery need to be at 40%? That's very specific

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