Surface Pro 4
Windows Hello appears to be draining battery in the Surface Pro 4 even when in sleep mode Microsoft

Another day, another issue for Microsoft's newly launched Surface tablets. This time it's an annoying battery drain that is the focus of discussion among owners of the new Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

Users on Reddit and Microsoft support communities have reported that their Surface Pro 4 (and likely Surface Book) overheats and drains battery even when the device is in sleep mode. While Microsoft is yet to acknowledge this issue, the newly introduced Windows Hello appears to be the likely culprit for the battery drain. Even though disabling it does not completely fix the battery lag it dramatically reduces drain.

"Marty_Br and myself have been running tests on what is causing the severe battery drain and heating during sleep for Surface Book (and likely the Surface Pro 4). We have discovered that removing Windows Hello under 'Sign-in options' has significantly decreased the battery drain during sleep. There must be some sort of driver problem preventing the computer from sleeping properly. This does not stop the drain completely, but improved my drain by 90% or more," a user said on Reddit forum.

The Windows Hello – a biometric authentication that allows you to use your face, iris or fingerprint to unlock your Windows 10 devices – was not present in the review units. A recent software update made available with the market rollout of these Surface devices brought this feature.

Consider disabling the feature to address the battery drain until Microsoft brings out a permanent fix. Take the following steps to remove Windows Hello:

  • Go to settings
  • Tap on accounts
  • Tap on sign-in options
  • Under Windows Hello box click on Remove button
  • Now restart your system

Another potential fix is by tweaking the power settings, by changing to hibernate mode from sleep. If you are curious to know more about the functions your Surface does during sleep, run a command powercfg/sleepstudy from the command line. This will inform you that the CPU is running at full blast when the tablet should be in sleep mode.