So, the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book have had some growing pains. One of the more annoying issues has been that the Surface isn’t sleeping “deeply” enough and is draining its battery when it shouldn’t be.
Microsoft is working on a patch for this problem, but the Surface’s sleeping mode should, instead, configure it to hibernate. They claim doing so will mitigate the issue until they get the patch out.
However, there is a problem with using the hibernate option.
You see, when your Surface (or any other Windows-based computer) hibernates, it dumps the contents of the RAM into a file on the hard drive called hiberfil.sys. As a result, this file may be quite large (multiple GigaBytes), and, if you’re low on disk space already, can strongly impact performance.
If you want to see how big your hiberfil.sys file is, you can find it on the root of your C:\ drive. It’s hidden, so you’ll need to change your Windows Explorer view to allow you to see hidden and system files.
How to Enable Hibernation on a Computer
Though we are talking about the glitches that come along with sleep and Windows hibernation mode and how to disable it, these issues may not be a problem for you. If this is the case, Windows’ hibernation mode can be a good option. We will walk you through how to enable this mode on your Windows 10 device. Thankfully, this is a straightforward process.
- First, you will want to select the Start Menu Shortcut and X keys. This duo will open the Power User menu.
- From here, choose the Command or Admin Prompt.
- Type in “poweroff/availablesleepstates” and select it by choosing Enter.
- Your computer should tell you that these sleep states are now available on your system.
Here is another option to use if the hibernate mode is not on the menu:
- Select the Windows Start Menu and X button once again.
- Choose Power Options.
- To get to these options, choose the Require a Password Upon Wakeup option.
- Choose to change the Available Settings. This will help you modify your settings and select Hibernation.
- From here, select the Hibernate option. Then you can save your changes.
- Now, the Hibernation mode will be available in your Power Menu with a simple click of the Windows key.
If you want to manually choose the time of hibernation:
- Go to the Advanced Option after selecting Power from the Startup control panel.
- Opt to change the Advanced Power Settings.
- Then choose Sleep, Hibernate.
- On Battery and Plugged in, you are given the ability to change the times you want the device to hibernate in Windows automatically.
- Once finished, click Apply and then select Okay to save the new settings.
Turn off hibernation in Windows 10: How To Do It
Disabling the hibernate option on your Surface is pretty easy. In fact, you only need to run one command. However, you’ll need to do it from an admin command prompt.
- Tap and hold (right-click) the Start Button.
- Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.
- Enter the following command power cfg -h off then hit Enter.
That’s it. The hibernation option will disappear and, perhaps more importantly, the (potentially gigantic) hiberfil.sys file will be removed from your hard drive.
Turn Off Hibernation In Windows 10: Is There Something Else I Should Do Instead?
Personally, I recommend that instead of setting your Surface to hibernate instead of sleep, you simply configure it to do a full shutdown. Doing so will not only prevent a multi-GigaByte file from appearing on your (potentially full) drive, it will also let you avoid the battery drain while sleeping problems.
Even if you have an SP3 or earlier, I still recommend configuring it to power off instead of sleeping or hibernating since it can extend your battery life between charges and it frees up a couple of GB on your Surface’s hard drive.
The trade-off is that it will take a little longer for your Surface to be ready when you hit the power button, but it’ll only be about 10 seconds. It’s your call but, for me, longer battery life and extra drive space are totally worth the slight delay. I should probably add that shutting down also means that you won’t be able to start your Surface with a click of the Pen – if that’s important to you, then you shouldn’t shut down your Surface when it’s in sleep mode.
Turn Off Hibernation In Windows 10: How To Troubleshoot
Of course, there is always the possibility that your Surface’s sleep problems are not related to the well-known bug. If you want to make sure and verify, see our other posts on the topic:
- How To Troubleshoot Surface Battery Drain Issues
- My Surface Doesn’t Sleep – Battery Drain Problems
- How To Update Surface Battery Driver
Turn Off Hibernation In Windows 10: Other Things That Could Be Draining Your Battery
Aside from the other things that could be draining your battery listed in the articles above, there are plenty of lesser-known things that could be hindering battery life preservation during daily use of your Windows 10 device. If you want to find out precisely what is going on with the battery, check your Windows Battery Saver utility. In the meantime, here are some helpful tips to help you tackle the issue.
1. Dim Your Lights
The biggest battery sucker is undoubtedly your display. Regardless of what device you have, this will always be true. The work that goes into powering up the lighting and pixels takes a lot of battery power out of your computer. To help conserve battery with your display, begin by keeping your brightness lower than usual. There is typically a perfect neutral spot. You can even set it to automatically adjust the light, which could definitely help your battery life!
2. Allow it to Sleep
If you do not have issues with hibernation or sleep mode, this could be a good option for you. If you are anything like me, you may do a bit of work and then decide to get up for a quick snack or a cup of coffee. By the time you get back, you have gotten caught up in cleaning the kitchen, walking the dog, and making a three-course meal. If that sounds like you, then it’s just another reason that setting specific sleep modes may be your best option.
Choose the Computer or Display Sleep Options for your device if you tend to allow it to sit for long periods of time. You can find the detailed tutorial on how to choose a certain amount of time for it to sit without being used before it sleeps above.
3. Unplug Battery Suckers
Take out any plugged-in devices or cords, as well as anything else that is unnecessarily inserted into your computer. Leaving these in is doing nothing but draining your battery.
4. Deselect Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
You may think leaving your Bluetooth or Wifi on is harmless, but did you know they are always searching to connect to a network when on? That means your laptop is working overtime, nonstop! Turn these features off when you are not using them.
5. Turn It off When Not in Use
It is unwise for your computer to remain on continuously. If it is not in use all night while you sleep or you don’t use it during the workday, keep it turned off during those hours. Leaving it on 24/7 wears it down, and that is not worth leaving it on for a tiny bit of added convenience in regards to startup time.
Hopefully, you will find our suggestions useful and experience success with any battery problems you’re having. Turning off hibernation mode is a good option, but I would consider it a temporary workaround rather than a solution.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.