Disabling Windows Hello may save you battery life on Surface Pro 4, Surface Book

File this under another interesting bug but some users are claiming that disabling the new Windows Hello facial recognition may save your battery in Standby and prevent the computer from heating (See our earlier report).

Several users have done before and after sleep tests and verified the result although it does not solve all battery drainage issues for everyone.

Indeed, we have seen our IR camera stay on a few times with our Surfaces along with some quirky behavior and have since disabled them with no issues. The problem may also explain why reviewers did not report widespread battery drainage problems as the firmware to enable Windows Hello was not released during the embargo review period.

The possible bug does not seem to impact those using the new Type Cover with fingerprint ID and Windows Hello.

We should remind readers that we are in the early stages of these devices and general release. Windows Hello and IR facial recognition cameras are very new and this is its first release on Windows. As such, there will be confusion, varying reports, and many factors affecting user experiences. In other words, some people are using Windows Hello and facial recognition with no issues, while others are supposedly experiencing them. Your experience may vary.

At the very least, we want to put it out there as a possible fix in case you are experiencing this problem.

If you have setup Windows Hello facial recognition it is very easy to remove:

  1. All Settings
  2. Accounts
  3. Sign-in Options
  4. Under Windows Hello hit the Remove button. You do not need to restart the computer.

Other potential workarounds include putting the computer into Hibernate directly, which we covered before. Some users also recommend disabling Wi-Fi when the device is in Sleep mode (Settings > System > Power & Sleep > Wi-Fi) also to save battery life.

Microsoft is set to release Windows 10 Threshold 2 in November as a semi-major update to the new OS and with that there will likely be new firmware and drivers for the new Surface PCs. We'll keep you posted on any further developments.

Has disabling Windows Hello worked for you? Let us know in comments.

Via: Reddit, Windows Central forums

More Info

To learn more about Microsoft's Sleep Study to understand your Surface's battery usage see our previous coverage (Only for devices with Connected Standby e.g. Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Surface Book)

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.