Surface Go battery drainage

Unexpected and surprising discovery. I use my Surface Go almost exclusively at places with public Wi-Fi and these days they provide outlets so it is always plugged in. Hence, the next time I use it battery level is around 95 % when I start up.
A few times a month I unplug my home Wi-Fi in order to completely unwind from anything computer and internet related. To reset my brain or whatever you want to call it. Yesterday was such a day.

So, imagine my surprise when I booted the device this morning and battery level was at 5%. What could possible drain it while being unplugged, closed down and no access to Wi-Fi? My personal belief is that it is connecting to my neighbors’ routers and having a “conversation” with Redmond about telemetry by somehow piggybacking on their devices. Or am I being too paranoid?

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Can you ever be too paranoid? Any chance you closed the keyboard cover (I seem to recall that you dont use one) before complete shutdown? Ive had the battery discharge when my go failed to move from sleep to hibernate.

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You’re right, I use an external keyboard so I always power down with the on/off switch.

I have the same difficulty with Windows 10 on my (now) old Samsung Notebook 9 pro 15.

I put it in hibernate, and two-three days later, the battery is dead.

I tried everything I could think of, short of manually disconnecting the WiFi card, and nothing helped. The computer is clearly doing something while powered down. -And paranoia aside, I can’t imagine it would be the WiFi card; that thing is an energy hog and would drain the battery in under a day all by itself. Maybe it only wakes up periodically and does momentary pings or something? Who knows?

Now, I thought this was a new issue, but in retrospect, I realized that while I was using it every day on a job site for a couple of years, I was always plugging it in first thing so I never noticed that hibernate still drains the battery. (Which seems damned weird, if you ask me! -That a hibernated computer still draws power. I was always under the impression that hibernate simply snap-shot the current state to the hard drive and loaded that image into memory on startup).

I never did figure it out.

These days, I use the notebook less frequently and simply do a full shut down between uses. That works, but it does mean that startup is less than convenient.

On a side note, regarding WiFi…

I picked up a $20 WiFi dongle and put it on the end of a 10 foot USB cable and toss it out like a fishing line to catch some internet when I want to use the machine away from home. -I did this because I hate having unnecessary radiation in my face. (When I was on that previously mentioned job site, I always used a 20 foot ethernet cable to attach to the company router). -But I don’t work there anymore and when I do use the notebook, I find myself getting lax in places where I didn’t have hard line access to a router, and end up just radiating myself (like a chump). So I finally got fed up and bought a dongle. It works.

But there’s more! The point of this anecdote is this…

It not only works, but it works a LOT better than the built-in WiFi card ever did. It’s much faster and much more reliable; it powers up and connects immediately when you plug it into the USB slot. So now I have permanently disabled the native WiFi card and use my internet fishing line now exclusively.

Plus it makes me look weird in public, which I’m down with. So it’s good all around.

I find it amazing that so much data can move back and forth through a teeny tiny dongle which doesn’t even have a proper antenna or anything. It’s smaller than a half-size USB stick.


I might try an experiment where I open up the notebook, pull the WiFi card and see if the hibernate issue persists. Then I’ll KNOW if my paranoia was warranted.


I’ve had something like this happen every once in awhile with my 12.9" iPad Pro. I barely use it these days, and just leave it sitting for a week or more. Most of the time it’s still above 50% when I pick it up, but every once in awhile it’ll be down to 10%. I think it’s just something in the OS that does sometimes just does something different and drains the battery.

Same here with my old Galaxy Book2, even when just fully shutting it down.

In @Kumabjorn’s case I wonder if it could be an issue with the battery calibration. If it’s basically always plugged in, battery calibrations have been known to drift. Letting it hit zero and fully charging it a few times should fix that though.

Aside from that, one thing to try is to run powercfg /sleepstudy in an Admin cmd window and then to view it type start sleepstudy-report.html or just open the html from Explorer.exe.

It generates a graph like the one below, as well as detailed tables of where power went.


That’s cool!

That goes on my to-do list.

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Nothing yesterday, so a one off?