Turn off hibernation in Windows 10

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.

  1. First, you will want to select the Start Menu Shortcut and X keys. This duo will open the Power User menu.
  2. From here, choose the Command or Admin Prompt.
  3. Type in “poweroff/availablesleepstates” and select it by choosing Enter.
  4. 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:

  1. Select the Windows Start Menu and X button once again.
  2. Choose Power Options.
  3. To get to these options, choose the Require a Password Upon Wakeup option.
  4. Choose to change the Available Settings. This will help you modify your settings and select Hibernation.
  5. From here, select the Hibernate option. Then you can save your changes.
  6. 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.

Turn off hibernation in Windows 10

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:

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.


How to Rollback Windows Updates on your Surface

You may have already noticed or heard that sometimes applying new updates cause problems on your Surface.

So, then what do you do when something like this happens?

Well, you can just rollback (or uninstall) the update or updates that are causing you problems. In order to successfully rollback a Windows update, you have to do two things:

  • First Disable Automatic Updates – if you don’t to this, the update will just try to re-install itself at the next opportunity.
  • Roll back the update through Control Panel – to actually remove the offending update.

It’s important to note that rolling back an update is usually something you would do as a temporary workaround to get your Surface back up and working. In an ideal world, Microsoft will issue a new update and that will solve your problem.

In addition, you need to acknowledge that it’s possible that the rollback will cause as many or more problems then leaving the problematic update in place.

So, before you attempt any rollback please make sure you BACKUP ANY DATA YOU CARE ABOUT FIRST!!!! That way, if something goes wrong and you tank your Surface you can always do a reset to get it back up and running without worrying about your data.

How to Rollback Windows Updates on your Surface: Disable Auto Updates

These steps will cover how to change your Windows updates settings to stop automatically installing when they become available.

Windows 10

In Windows 10, unfortunately, Microsoft has made it somewhat confusing to prevent some patches and upgrades from automatically happening (especially if you have a Surface 3). This is because Windows 10 Home edition (which the Surface 3 runs) cannot be configured to prevent security updates from being automatically installed.

In addition, while you can use methods like registry editing or Local Group Policy changes to prevent updates from installing on Windows 10 Professional (which is the version Surface Pros and Surface Books run), there are usually some pretty invasive side effects such as no longer being able to make changes to the update settings from the GUI and persistent “Some settings are managed by your organization” messages.

So, to prevent confusion, I recommend simply disabling the Windows Update service until you’re ready to try the updates again. This method will work on any Surface model running Windows 10.

Here are the steps:

  • Search for Services then select Services (Desktop App) from the results.
  • Scroll down and find the entry for Windows Update.

  • Double-tap/click it to bring up the Properties options.
  • Configure the Startup Type to be Disabled then tap or click the Stop button.

  • Tap or click OK then close the Services panel.

That’s it. Windows will no longer try to install updates. When you’re ready to allow Windows updates to work again, simply go back to the same screen, reverse the changes, and restart your Surface.

Windows 8.1

If you’re still running Windows 8.1, you could use the Windows 10 method to prevent updates from automatically installing. However, unlike Windows 10, Windows 8.1 offers much more control over how updates get installed without the need to turn services on and off.

  • Open Windows Update by going to the Charm Menu then Settings [Or from the Keyboard: Windows key + I, see our list of useful Surface shortcuts]
  • Tap Change PC settings

  • Tap Update and recovery

  • Tap Choose how updates get installed

  • Under Important updates, choose the option: Download Updates but let me choose whether to install them

  • Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click Apply

These steps configure your Surface (running Windows 8.1) to download the updates and ask you to install them but, it won’t just automatically do it. Now you’re ready to rollback the troublesome update and not worry about it trying to automatically re-install itself.

How to Rollback Windows Updates on your Surface: Perform the Rollback

Keep in mind that Microsoft does not recommend doing this because updates are intended to “help enhance the security and performance of your computer”. However, if an update causes problems, you clearly have no choice.

As for actually rolling back the update, the method is the same for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 so, you can follow the same procedure as shown below:

  • Open Control Panel on the desktop
  • Tap Programs and Features

  • Under Programs and Features, tap View installed updates

  • Tap the update that you want to remove, and then click Uninstall.  If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation

After you uninstall the update(s), restart your Surface and it should be gone.

If you need help figuring out which update is the one causing your problems, you can refer to the Windows 10 Update History page Microsoft maintains. It lists a lot of information about the individual updates including the KB numbers which is really helpful for identifying them in the “Uninstall an update” list.

We hope this helps you solve any update-induced problems and, as usual, if you have questions please let us know.


LAST UPDATE: 15/2/2016

Keep Your Current OneDrive Space Limits

In November, Microsoft said that “Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued.”

When it happened, we reported that Microsoft was reducing the free OneDrive limit because a small number of folks abused the system. Since then, Microsoft has changed their minds and is now giving you the option to keep your current OneDrive space limits.

In case you didn’t know, prior to the November announcement, Microsoft actively encouraged users to store photos and documents in OneDrive by giving you up to an additional 15GB of space for free if you used OneDrive to store your phone’s camera roll in the cloud.

However, after some 72,000 users voiced their unhappiness about this change on Microsoft’s UserVoice feedback site, Microsoft has apologized and has now given users to option to keep their free OneDrive space limits at 15GB (or up to 30GB if you store your phone’s pictures there).

All you have to do is go to the link below and click the big blue Keep Your Free Storage button before the end of January 2016. You may be asked to sign-in with your Microsoft account;the  when you do so make sure you have that information handy.

Keep Your Free Storage

Keep in mind that this isn’t a total reversal from Microsoft. This whole thing got started because a small number of Office 365 subscribers were abusing the “unlimited” free space that came with their Office 365 subscriptions. So, if you’re an Office 365 subscriber, the additional space you get will still be limited to 1TB and it will go away if you let it lapse. However, you’ll still get to keep the larger free limits.

Since OneDrive and Surface tablets work very well together, I recommend that you take a minute and follow the link above to make sure you get to keep the current (larger) OneDrive limit.


Enable God Mode on Surface Tablets

Here is another Quick Tip for you: “god mode”

Since Windows 7, Microsoft has included a little feature called “god mode” (taken from gaming where you could often use a cheat mode called god mode to become invincible – please don’t blame me if you don’t like the name).

If you enable god mode on your Surface, you won’t be invincible but it can be a pretty handy way to easily access various (sometimes hidden) systems settings. As such, this post is essentially for folks who like to make various tweaks to their Surface.

Enable God Mode on Surface Tablets: How To Do It

To create a god mode icon on your desktop, follow these steps:

  • Tap and hold (right-click on the Desktop to bring up the properties menu.

  • Select New Folder and name it exactly as follows: godMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

  • The folder should rename itself to godMode and look like the example below:

Once you have a godMode icon, go ahead and open it and you’ll get a long list of settings you can use to tweak various aspects of your Surface.

The procedure above works for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Also, once you’ve made it, you can rename the icon to whatever you want and it will still work. So, if you don’t like the name you can call it something like superMode or adminMode or whatever.

There are a lot of settings and tools on the god mode list, perhaps too many, but the list is searchable (top right corner) to help you find what you’re looking for – cool, eh?

In case you’re wondering, using god mode will not allow you to access settings unless you have permissions to do so. So, it works best if you’re logged in with an administrator account.


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Extreme Hot Fix for Surface Issues Related to Moisture

Picture this….

You’re carrying your stuff to the car after a rainy day in the office. As you walk toward your car, you accidentally lose your grip on your Surface.

It lands face-down, smack in the middle of a deep puddle. You hurriedly reach for it but.. you know it’s too late…. water comes pouring out when you pick it up.

Now what? Continue reading Extreme Hot Fix for Surface Issues Related to Moisture

Run Linux on Surface Pro 3

If you consider yourself tech-savvy and have a Surface tablet device, you may have wondered if you can run Linux on Surface Pro 3 tablets.

The answer is: YES, you can.

The guys who maintain the Surface Pro 3. Continue reading Run Linux on Surface Pro 3

Traditional Windows Laptop to Surface 3 – Six Things To Know

If you’re still using a traditional Windows laptop but you’re considering making the jump from a laptop to a Surface 3, here’s a list of six things you’ll want to know to make the transition from laptop to Surface 3 smoother for you. Continue reading Traditional Windows Laptop to Surface 3 – Six Things To Know

June 2015 Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 Firmware

It’s that time of the month again… and Microsoft has released new firmware updates for Surface tablets.

This time, the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface 3 both received updates. The Surface Pro 3 has been receiving regular firmware upgrades since June 2014 but this is the first firmware update for the Surface 3.

Here’s a list of what’s included for both models… Continue reading June 2015 Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 Firmware

Safe Mode On Surface

Have you tried to get your Surface into Safe Mode only to find out that it’s harder than you think?

With Windows 7, all you had to do is hit F8 at boot and it would give you the option to enter Safe Mode but as you probably found out, that doesn’t work on the Surface.

So how can you do it?

Read on, today I’ll tell you all you need to know about Safe Mode on your Surface device.

Safe Mode On Surface: What is Safe Mode?

If you don’t know about Safe Mode, it’s a special mode of operation built into Windows that disables any drivers, devices, and applications that “could go wrong” and only loads a minimal set of what’s needed to run the computer.

This makes it very handy to facilitate troubleshooting or malware recovery if you’re having problems getting your Surface started normally.

Safe Mode On Surface: Accessing Safe Mode

In the past, with Windows 7, it was much easier (and more direct) to get into safe mode. With Windows 8.1 however, you first have to access the Advanced Start screen then navigate a series of menus to get into Safe Mode.

There are multiple ways to access the Advanced Start screen but, on a Surface the most reliable (although not necessarily quickest) is to do the following:

  • Bring up the Search charm
  • Search for Change advanced startup options
  • Select Change advanced startup options from the results
  • Tap Restart Now from under the Advanced Startup section

Your Surface will restart and boot into the Advanced Startup screen.

I advocate this method because there’s no guarantee you’ll have a keyboard with you. However, if you do happen to have a keyboard attached, it’s much easier to get to the advanced boot screen. All you have to do is hold down the shift key while you tap the restart option from your Start Screen (under the Power icon). If you do that, it will take you straight to the Advanced Start screen.

In either case, once you’re at the Advanced Startup screen, you will need to follow the steps outlined in the infographic below to actually get into Safe Mode.


Safe Mode On Surface: Safe Mode and Bitlocker

If you have Bitlocker encryption turned on for your system drive, you’ll get a prompt for the Bitlocker key once you finish the steps in the infographic flowchart to boot into Safe Mode.

In order to get past this and into Safe Mode, you’ll be prompted to enter your recovery key. You can find out more about how to do that at this web page: Microsoft Recovery Key FAQ

Safe Mode On Surface: Add Safe Mode to Startup

Since you’re probably not going to need to get into Safe Mode too often, the steps above are a pain but not unbearable. However, if you would like to be able to get into safe mode easily without navigating a series of menus, you can always add a “Safe Mode” option at startup.

This has the advantage of being relatively quick and easy to get into Safe Mode on your Surface if you should need to but, it comes at the cost of slowing down your Surface at startup.

Also, this method is not recommended if you’re using Bitlocker encryption on your Surface because you will need to enter your encryption key to start your Surface in Safe Mode.

The method I outline below will add a screen to the start sequence giving you the choice to either start Windows Normally or start in Safe Mode. If you don’t make a choice, it will start normally after a 30 second delay.

  • Attach a keyboard to your Surface (it’s just easier this way)
  • Press the WIN + X keys at the same time or tap and hold (right-click) on the Start button to open the Power User Menu
  • Select Command Prompt (Admin). This will open what’s called an elevated command prompt
  • Click Yes button if the User Account Control message prompts you
  • In the elevated command prompt, type the following command (including the quotes): bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Safe Mode” and press Enter
  • Press WIN + R, and type Msconfig in the Run dialog then tap or click the OK button and the System Configuration utility window should appear

  • From there, go to the Boot tab and select Safe Mode (C:\Windows)
  • Check the Safe boot checkbox then check the Network box

  • Finally click the OK button
  • If you have Bitlocker enabled, you’ll get a warning like the one below

  • Click Yes to proceed

Once you’ve finished this procedure, you’ll start seeing a blue selection menu when you restart your Surface asking you to boot into Windows 8.1 or Safe Mode. There will be a 30 second timer and when it reaches 0, assuming you followed along correctly, it will boot into Windows 8.1 normally.

Safe Mode On Surface: Remove Safe Mode from Startup

If you would like to remove the Safe Mode from the Windows Boot Manager, all you have to do is go back into the Microsoft Configuration (msconfig) utility and delete the Safe Mode entry from under the Boot tab.

Knowing how to get into Safe Mode is one of those things that you don’t need often but, if you do, you won’t want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do it while your Surface is (likely) broken or having problems.

So, I would bookmark this article and keep it handy, just in case.

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