How to fix Windows RT 8.1 battery drain problem in Surface tablets (step-by-step)

Surface tablet closeup

If you’re experiencing battery drain problem in your Surface RT tablet running Windows RT 8.1, this isn’t because of the device or because you’re playing too many movies. The battery drain problem after upgrading to Windows RT 8.1 is a known issue affecting a small number of users and Microsoft now is offering a fix for everyone affected.

For users having battery life shorter than usual in their Surface (Oh! Yes, remember that Microsoft removed “RT” from the name) the fix is a relief, but quite difficult to apply. The company decided to provide step-by-step fix instead of a Windows Update or Microsoft Fixit patch, which would have been best, nonetheless you have a solution. Follow the instructions below to solve your Surface battery drain problem:


1. Swipe from the right edge, tap Search.

2. Do a search for Command Prompt, right-click the tool in the result and choose Run as Administrator.

3. Type the following command and press Enter:

powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3

4. Finally type the following command and press Enter:

Then enter powercfg -setactive scheme_current

What really happened? Microsoft offered an statement on the Surface website:

During the update, the wireless adapter power policy isn’t migrated. Instead, the power policy is set to a default value that consumes more power both during use and in the connected standby state.

Important Note: Keep in mind that this resolution only applies for those Surface RT owners who opted to test the Windows RT 8.1 Preview and then installed the final RTM or General Availability version of the operating system. For everyone else, this “trick” doesn’t apply.

What a wild ride for Surface RT based on ARM chipset, Microsoft recently dropped the “RT” from the name (no from the OS) because the company believed it was confusing people — which indeed it was –. Then when Windows RT 8.1 came out was rapidly removed from the Windows Store, because of some update issues, and the software giant restored the update after fixing the problem about three days later and after offering a quick solution for those who bricked their tablet during the update. But now it seems that things will go back to normal…

Were you affected by this battery problem? Did the solution Microsoft is providing solved your problem? Tell us in the comments below. Thanks,

Source Microsoft

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].