Microsoft finally fixes power woes on Surface Book and Surface Pro 4

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Although many users are enjoying their Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices from Microsoft, the newer Intel Skylake chipset has been causing many issues for many users. One of the top such issues we have reported on since the October release deals with power management and sleep issues. Today, Microsoft is evidently fixing that with their latest firmware release for both devices.

The announcement and release comes after their initial promise of 'early next year' for the patch back in December.

The new firmware is rolling out to all Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book models. In a blog post, Surface chief Panos Panay addressed the ongoing problems with the popular Surface devices:

"Today's updates include a set of Microsoft and Intel driver and firmware updates for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 that will help you get the most of the power management options that Surface is designed to offer and continue to make your Surface more productive.""We love our Surface customers. You are our early adopters and our fans and you keep inspiring us with what you are able to do with Surface. You keep pushing us to make Surface even better.""We are committed to continuing to improve Surface – to keep pushing out updates to make your device more awesome. And to continue to help all our customers realize the full benefits of the latest silicon and Windows 10. With that in mind, one of the most important steps you can take is to ensure your Surface is up-to-date with the fixes we post on Windows Update.""We'll continue to listen to your feedback and to communicate as updates and fixes become available via posts to http://answers.microsoft.com/forum/surface. If you have any additional support questions, please visit our main support page.""We are pumped that many of you love your Surfaces, keep the feedback coming."

No details about the firmware have been published just yet, but the patch should fix issues when the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 go into standby (or sleep) mode. Many users have complained that when the device is in standby the processor and even display sometimes stay on instead of being disabled. As a result, the Surface continues to drain the battery – sometimes at an alarming rate – causing much shorter battery life than what Microsoft had promised.

Update: Full changelog is posted now by Microsoft. Here is what is new:

Surface Book - February Update

  • Microsoft driver update for Surface UEFI
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface Management Engine
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface System Aggregator Firmware
  • Surface Management Engine update (v11.0.0.1202) improves system stability.
  • Surface System Aggregator Firmware update (v88.1081.257.0) improves accuracy of battery status and battery life during sleep.
  • Surface UEFI update (v104.1085.768.0) improves battery life and improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® Precise Touch Device driver update (v1.1.0.226) improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4364) improves display stability, system stability and battery life.
  • Intel® Display Audio driver update (v8.20.0.745) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.
  • Realtek High Definition Audio(SST) driver update (v6.0.1.7734) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) Audio Controller driver update (v8.20.0.866) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) OED driver update (v8.20.0.866) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Management Engine Interface driver update (v11.0.0.1176) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Serial IO GPIO Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Intel® Serial IO I2C Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Surface Book Base Firmware driver update (v1.2.0.0) improves battery life during sleep.

Surface Pro 4 - February Update

  • Microsoft driver update for Surface UEFI
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface Management Engine
  • Microsoft driver update for Surface System Aggregator Firmware
  • Surface Management Engine update (v11.0.0.1202) improves system stability.
  • Surface System Aggregator Firmware update (v103.1081.260.0) improves accuracy of battery status and battery life during sleep.
  • Surface UEFI update (v104.1085.768.0) improves battery life and improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® Precise Touch Device driver update (v1.1.0.226) improves stability during power state transition changes into and out of sleep states.
  • Intel® HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4364) improves display stability, system stability and battery life.
  • Intel® Display Audio driver update (v8.20.0.745) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.
  • Realtek High Definition Audio(SST) driver update (v6.0.1.7734) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) Audio Controller driver update (v8.20.0.866) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Smart Sound Technology (Intel® SST) OED driver update (v8.20.0.866) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Management Engine Interface driver update (v11.0.0.1176) improves system stability.
  • Intel® Serial IO GPIO Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation reliability when tablet mode is turned off.
  • Intel® Serial IO I2C Host Controller driver update (v30.63.1603.5) improves auto rotation

We urged users to forgo sleep and instead just use Hibernate to preserve their battery. However, this was merely a workaround and certainly not a fix.

Microsoft now believes they have fixed the issue with the Intel chipset through this patch and users should have much better battery life going forward.

To get the firmware on your Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 open All Settings > Update & security > Windows update > Check for update. The patch will require the device to reboot so make sure you save any open documents first.

Source: Microsoft

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

111 Comments
  • Great news!!!
  • I Read about bleed and fans turning on to often in the Netherlands. Also this sleep issue. So no Surface Pro 4 for me. Offtopic: I received An update for de Windows Central app on my Surface 2. That was a surprise today
  • Except this patch is meant to fix that very problem
  • These are Skylake issues - not Surface specific issues.  So if you want a device with the latest hardware, now's a good time to get a SP4.
  • You know what... I've had SO many devices with bleed, over the years, that I automatically just ignore it. heck I don't even notice it. Since the SP4 hit I have noticed the trend for people to mention bleed and it just seems to have been something that people latch onto.  It's a bit sad really.
  • But my custom made desktop PC and Surface Pro 2 still have sleep problem!
  • @Farshadatis. For your desktop PC use Hybrid sleep.
  • Hybrid sleep is on but not working properly
  • Ah i see
  • same problem here, it used to work, but after installing 10586.104, it would power on from sleep and blank screen.
  • I don't understand where the blank screen comes from after wake-up from sleep, but it's certainly not a huge system problem (seems more like a problem with lock screen not turning up or so), because it's enough if you go ctrl+alt+del or power button + Start button (not sure how this works on SP4), and you can log in as normal.
  • Sleep has always been a problem.  I'm gathering that your desktop uses an SSD?  Mine does and I just shut down.
  • Yes I have SSD, so why they just fixing Surface 4 and Surface book problems?
  • The ultimate laptop is ultimately ultimate!
  • WaaS!
  • What does this mean?
  • Windows as a Service.
  • Show some love to other customers now too :P
  • This was needed for the $1000+ device that wasn't working properly. :/
  • My surface pro 3 also had a better drain while sleeping. I hope they don't hmforgrt about us.
  • My thoughts exactly, sleep has never functioned properly in windows 10 on Surface Pro 3.
  • An update was released last week or the week before?
  • BTW Great news! I was just thinking about this yesterday! I think Microsoft heard my thoughts and released the fix.
  • Indeed. Also, please stop spamming our comments section with your off-topic ideas. Take them to the forums where they below. Thank you.
  • Ouch
  • This off-topic comment of yours was totally uncalled for here.
  • Pot, meet kettle...
  • Ha so true!!
  • Any word on other Skylake machines? My XPS desperately needs this fix.
  • Contact Dell for support with your issue. As you can see in the Surface changelog, the fixes aren't device independent. Updating your Intel graphics driver on your Dell XPS may help resolve your issue
  • No statement by Panos can be made without using the word pumped.
  • True :))
  • Maybe with the battery drain fix they can get back to working on Avastar WiFi fix attempt number 36
  • I agree, they need to do something with the WIFI, the 2 bigges issues with my Surface 3 are 1) WIfI adapter a couple times a month inexplicably get's disabled or - more frequently I have to run the troubleshooting to fix the WIFI issues.  2) The Charging port- not charging when plugged in. What a drag this is. I wish they'd get these items nipped in the bud. 
  • Let's see if this actually fixes anything
  • SF2 and SF3 also have these issues with Win10. But I recon there will be no updates :(
  • What's a SF2 and SF3?
  • Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3
  • Should be SP2 and SP3 then... I thought that it was Surface 2 and Surface 3 before...
  • Any word on a fix for the Surface Pro 3? The SP3 was fantastic with Windows 8.1, not so much with Windows 10 and the various firmware updates they've pushed through.
  • I had the  same thing going on with my Surface Pro 3.  I had that and a display driver issue since upgrading to Windows 10.  But after resetting my SP3 and updating all the firmware again, it seems to have fixed all the issues.  I would say try that and see if that helps out at all.
  • Of course he's pumped, wouldn't expect anything less! Good news.
  • Seems faster :D
  • I want my SP4 already! Too bad the dollar is too expensive here in Brazil.
  • You should take a vacation in the US, buy the SP4 there and come back to Brazil! It'll be cheaper, and you get a travel as bonus.
  • The problem is that the Brazilian Real devalued by almost 30% last year. Taking a vacation in the US would not work because he'll have to exchange his Real for US dollars.
  • That changelog is a thing of beauty
  • Yeah, its art. :D
  • Awesome!!! its raining updates!!!
  • Seems more stable :)
  • Its time to buy one. :D
  • I installed the update, nothing appeared unusual, but when I look at the update history I see:
      "System hardware update: Failed to install". Any thoughts? Cheers in advance.    
  • Is there another saying it succeeded? Sometimes it fails and auto retries.
  • No... there was a notification "We failed to install an update, click here to..." something. Tapped it, nothing happened, message disappeared. I feel like McCartney getting denied entry to the big party :(
  • Make sure you have enough storage and battery
  • Plugged in, fully charged, hundreds of gigglebytes free. I see a manual update in my future,
  • One doesn't install until you restart a second time.  Do that then go to updates advanced and look at installed updates to see that the second restart indeed installed it.
  • Done that. No joy. The suckage continues.
  • http://1drv.ms/1OhaD6S I have the same problemI have restarted several times, but the firmware updates don't complete. I am left with this in Device Manager...  
  • looks like the updates finally took. Hopefully this will be the fix I have been waiting for.
  • Hardware update seems to hang at 38% downloaded for me. Hoping that clears up at some point.
  • AWESOME NEWS!!!!! The updates are installing on my SP4 as I type this. Hopefully these updates correct the issues that have been hampering these products.
  • This fixed the openGL problem!! I can now use Krita again! Thank you Microsoft!! I officially fell in love with my Surface Pro 4 all over again. :) Thanks for the update WC. You guys are awesome!
  • I installed the updates this afternoon. Battery was charged to 100% when I put my SP4 to sleep at about 6:15. At 8:10, the devce woke up with 100% still on the battery.
  • Very impressive! I heard that before these updates, SP4 i5 would drain roughly 4% battery power per hour on sleep. If what you're saying about battery drain being under 1% per hour, that's a huge and very welcome improvement!
  • I updated my i5 SP4 and re-activated the facial recognizing sign in option as well, thinking the updates would resolve the issue. I lost almost 6% in 2 hours with sleep mode. I am not happy because what is the point if you can't use the best features of SP4 due to battery drain? Every 5-10 minutes of browsing consume 1% of battery. Is it usual?
  • I've just finished doing some tests both before and after the update and I think it's safe to say that either you are using a power hungry web browser or you have a lot of background apps running. I use only Microsoft Edge on my Surface and don't notice any significant battery drain. At most maybe 2% every half hour but not every 5 minutes. I have no third-party backround services running most of the time, as I have manually disabled them all under msconfig -> services -> check "hide microsoft services", as well as under the startup tab of task manager. I also check Task Scheduler for any non-first-party stuff. The battery life test before the update was to see how much the battery would drain in sleep for half an hour, with Wifi turned off. The result was 1% per half an hour. After the update, the battery percentage remained the same after the same 30min sleep with Wifi off. Obviously results may vary on stuff like your screen brightness, what apps you have installed and use (Google Chrome is known to use more battery than Microsoft Edge, for example), etc...    
  • Honestly, I love Edge and only use it for web browsing. My daily web browsing includes Windowscentral and few other tech site, that's it. I dont have any application installed in my SP4 other than Google Chrome. While using the SP4, it literally drains 1% every few minutes(Watching no videos) and in sleep mode it is bad feeling since it goes down like 6% after 2 hours. Actually yesterday night i shut it down and morning it was 2% down. I will check this today "msconfig -> services -> check "hide microsoft services" but the reason i am frustrated is why do you have to do so much to keep same battery life when you are not using your PC? Thnaks for your comment.
  • The reason why is because when the legacy Win32 API was made, it wasn't designed with portability heavily in mind. Obviously, that doesn't mean that all Win32 apps are bad with battery life, but those that use background services and the like are very likely to be less efficient than a modern Universal Windows Platform app (Windows 10 Store app). When you install Google Chrome, it runs in the background by default 24/7 even when not open, and excessively checks for updates which drains your battery life. These things don't get removed on a Chrome uninstall either, which is evil in my personal opinion!
    You're welcome for the help btw, I'm fairly sure that once you check msconfig, task scheduler and the startup tab on task manager, and you disable all the Google stuff, your issue should be mostly fixed. :)  
  • I am surely going to try this. One more quick question. Just to set my expactation, 1. Battery should remain or go down by only 1-2% for half hour light browsing? 2. In sleep mode it should not change more than 1% per hour ?
  • Actual values will vary and will likely be more drain than my battery drain test results, because as I said before, the tests were with WiFi off. The light browsing results will also vary on the kind of websites you visit (ones with a lot of flash player video ads like this one will drain more battery than a website without video adverts for example, as the processor doesn't have to decode the videos playing and won't have to keep the processor clock speed up). I would expect only around 3-4% per half hour of light browsing and around 1-2% per hour on sleep realistically, but that's just a guess as I haven't tried a battery drain test before and after this update with WiFi on.
  • Did you restart after the update?
  • The new Hulu app still stutters playing video, even with the updated video driver. I was rather hoping that would have fixed it.
  • I think that's something you might need to tell the Hulu devs
  • Definitely - sucks, because it worked just fine with the old app.
  • old app had zero issues, now stuttering, dropped frames, and more
  • So far so good. Nice job Microsoft!
  • I think I will just get the surface pro 3. Some guy who works for Microsoft came in where I work, and he had his sp3. It was super awesome, the sp3 feels good to hold. He gave me a really cool pen/stylus.
  • I recommend getting the SP4's type cover with finger print reader if you finally decide to get the SP3. It's so much better than the SP3 cover and will make it feel a differnt PC (sort of like getting a SP3.5).
  • Ok cool I'll do that
  • Still didn't fix my issues... My battery drains about 10% an hour while shut down, even worse when in sleep mode. Anybody else have a battery drain issue even when it's shut down? i5 8g 256g
  • I think any device wich such a battery drain while totally shut down, has a hardware problem. I don't think any software update can fix that.
  • That's a hardware issue.  Have it replaced no firmware can fix your issue.
  • Same for integrated intel wifi....I added a usb wifi dongle and now I finally 100% solved the disconnection issue...
  • Dont blame intel for that. It's a Marvel Avastar chip. 
  • I updated my SP4 i5 4GB yesterday, put on sleep mode at 11:30PM with 80% battery, next morning at 8:00AM it auto shutdown. Bootup the SP4 and showed 38%. I did another test and completely shutdown.  In 50 minutes, it drained 2% battery life.
  • Need a update for surface pro 3, when trying to wake up the tablet, it takes longer and shows black screen for 2-4 seconds
  • There are display improvements that are noticable once after the update. Unfortunately Flash still crashes the Edge browser but it happens less often or with less graphically intensive apps. I have yet to see video glitches when playing back video but most likely expect it will show up soon. 
  • Would like Microsoft to refer to Lumia users in the same terms and consideration they use to Surface users!
  • Finally I can stop switching it off every time :)
  • Now its worse for me. When I shut the surface down, or Close the lid (type cover) wait 5-10 minutes and I can't hardly start it again. Has to long press power button to get the surface going or press it several times. It was not like that before the updates.
  • All uploaded fine on my SP4. Had it asleep for a couple hours. Battery dropped 1%
  • Do you have Windows Hello active in your SP4?
  • Oh the irony, installed the updates yesterday and had 50% battery before bed. In the morning the battery was dead and I had to plug it into the charger just to get it to turn on. On a positive note, the screen flickering seems to be gone finally.
  • Hey Daniel, what's up?
  • After running it since last night I've noticed the following: My Intel SST drivers (Audio Controller and OED) are newer than stated in the release notes (v. 8.20.0.877​, dated 02/05/16) I have re-enabled connected standby when on battery and it uses substantially less power. Put the device to sleep on 100% charge and 2 hours later it still indicated 100% charge. Battery life, heat and fan operation seem to have improved when using the device. Charging time seems to have improved, particularly on the last 5% of the charge. Graphics are faster and far more stable. The issues I had before with the Maps app and YouTube are gone. It feels like a transformational update on my device. The whole thing feels more dependable now. I may be proven wrong in the next few days but it feels like this is what the device is meant to behave like.  
  • I can confirm the same improvements on my Surface Book. Additionally, after using it all day today, I feel that the trackpad is much more responsive than it was previously and just feels "right". I had the SB in its case overnight and there was no heat when I checked it in the morning.
  • Is anybody else having trouble with dual screen after isntalling this update?
  • Dual screen (via dock) is working fine for me post update.
  • I have the dock as well.  Doesn't seem to like it when it comes back from the monitor being off.  I've since changed it so when it's plugged in, the monitor never shuts off and that helps.
  • Finally. I will now sell my MacBook Pro and get a SP4 again. 
  • What about on Surface pro 8.1
  • Since yesterday's windows update the battery drain issue seems to be fixed. 13 hours of connected standy and it just drained 6% of the battery. During update process Windows Hello login fails to scan. Need to manually login. After login, close the keyboard cover to let it go standby. After awhile try to open keyboard and can see the backlight of the keyboard but no response from the display. Removed the keyboard but still no response. Did a force shutdown by holding on the off/on button. When system booting up it updates the firmware. Overall, the update process is not straightforward. Up till now, no problem encountered.  
  • After update I still have flickering screen problems on pages with embeded video. Ech.
  • Getting sick of this BS. Windows failed to update correctly. I restored to a point before the update, tried to update again and it was successfull. Put my Surface Pro 4 to sleep with 70% at night. Opened it this morning and the keyboard lights up but screen is unresponsive. I had to hold down the power button for 30 seconds. It turned on but of course, battery is at 22%. And this was about 8 hours in sleep mode. So what the hell was the point of this update?
  • Make sure the updates fully installed.  Run the check for updates again and check Device Manager.  Keep in mind, this includes a firmware update.  Restoring to an earlier version of Windows only reverts the drivers and not the firmware which could make your issues worse. I had to restart twice and others have had to restart a few times to make sure all updates are installed. Another option is to use the downloadable installer version of the update when it is made avaialble.
  • I checked the firmware and the drivers and all the versions seem to match what the update provided. I've tried checking for updates multiple times but it says everything is up to date. I'll continue to look around and also try the downloadable installer as you mentioned. I am afraid that since the installed failed and I did a restore, something got screwed up. Hopefully that is not the case.
  • After the update my Surfacebook feels like a different machine, runs much better.  And best of all - My detatch button (physical) started working on the keyboard again.  I was just about to trade this thing in.  So far everything has been fixed (that I personally had issues with).
  • My SP4 still wont wake from sleep.  BUMMED :(
  • Installed the updates and everything seems better with one exception. Occasionally when I bring it out of sleep I get a black screen with a mouse pointer. Pointer moves just no screen. If I hit the power button, I get a "Slide up (might be down) to power off" screen. If I don't do it my black screen comes back. What has gotten rid of the black screen usually is the old standby-CTL+ALT+DEL. Works almost every time. I am using PIN login not Hello.  
  • I have the exact same problem on both of my W10 convertibles: the Asus T100TA and the Surface 3, so I don't think that it is only a Surface-related problem, but a W10 issue. I get the "Slide to shut down" sentence on the T100, I don't get it on the Surface, just the black screen with a pointer. A mouse click or, if the keyboard is attached, a press on the Esc usually solves the issue. Otherwise, I just slide up/down a few times and somehow the login screen appeares