How to Enable or Disable Battery Limit in Surface devices

Batteries have a declining life. As you keep charging and discharging, the time Surface runs on battery declines. To make sure battery lasts longer, many of us keep our Surface plugged in unless we have to work on the go. Microsoft has introduced a Battery Limit feature for this use case which helps to prolong battery life longevity, i.e., preserves the battery’s ability to take and hold a charge.

Enable or Disable Battery Limit in Surface devices

Surface UEFI Battery Limit Feature

So how does Battery Limit feature increase life of the battery? It changes the way UEFI charges Surface device battery. Once you enable this feature, it will charge battery up to 50% of total capacity, and then stop charging. The system will maintain the limit until the device is plugged in. In case you plug in the machine at battery charge of more than 50%. The battery icon will show the device is plugged in, but discharging until it reaches 50% of its maximum charge capacity.

This feature becomes available to the Surface devices via the Surface UEFI firmware update. The update is rolled out through Windows Update or via the MSI driver and firmware packages available on the Microsoft download center.

Enable or Disable Battery Limit in Surface Pro 4 and later

Currently, battery limit feature is available on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 3. Other Surface devices will receive this feature in the future. One can enable it by configuring the Surface UEFI.

  • Boot into UEFI with Power + Vol Up when turning on the device.
  • Select Boot configuration > Advanced Options.
  • Toggle Enable Battery Limit Mode to On.

Enable or Disable Battery Limit in Surface Pro 3

You can turn on Battery Limit on On Surface Pro 3, via Kiosk Mode. This mode was initially meant for scenarios where the device needs to run continuously on power.

  • Boot into UEFI with Power + Vol Up when turning on the device.
  • Choose Kiosk Mode.
  • Select Battery Limit, and then choose Enabled.

Enable Battery Limit using Surface Enterprise Management Mode or Firmware PowerShell scripts

SEMM or PowerShell scripts are two more options to enable UEFI Battery Limit. You can use Microsoft Surface UEFI Configurator on Surface Pro 4 along with scripts.  However, on Surface Pro 3, you can only use PowerShell scripts.

Using Microsoft Surface UEFI Configurator

SIMM Kiosk Overrides

SEMM is a feature of Surface devices which works with UEFI. It allows administrators to secure and manage firmware settings in an organization. If you have multiple Surface laptops, you can control settings for all of them using this tool.

  • In the SEMM, go to advance settings.
  • Toggle on Kiosk Overrides.
  • Set the battery profile as Battery Limit from the dropdown.

Using Surface UEFI Manager PowerShell scripts

Download the PowerShell script for Surface Pro 4 from here, and Surface Pro 3 from here. To enable battery limit, change the value for “Active management scheme for battery usage pattern” to 1 from 0. On Surface Pro 3, change value of Proposed Value under BatteryLimitEnable to 1. 

Supported Surface Devices for Battery Limit

Here is the list of supported Surface Devices, and the UEFI version

  • Surface Pro 3 – September 10, 2018 update. UEFI version: 3.11.2550.0, EC version: 38.14.80.0 and later versions.
  • Surface 3 – December 6th, 2018 update.  UEFI version:1.51116.218.0
  • Surface Pro 4 – September 10, 2018 update. UEFI version: 108.2318.769.0, EC version: 103.2241.256.0 and later versions.
  • Surface Book – October 10, 2018 update. UEFI Version: 91.2327.769.0, EC Version 90.2226.256.0 and later versions.
  • Surface Go – November 9, 2018 update. UEFI Version: 1.0.10.0 and later versions.

It is not available for devices including Surface Laptop (1st gen), Surface Pro (5th gen), Surface Pro with Advanced LTE Model 1807, Surface Book 2, Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Go with LTE Advanced. Make sure to check the Microsoft support page for the latest updates.

Do you use your Surface plugged in all the time? If yes, this is an excellent feature. While keeping it plugged in was anyways helping, this feature makes sure the battery lasts even longer.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.

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