I have previously reported (complained) that because the Surface RT keeps WiFi enabled when sleeping, you won’t get more than 2-3 days out of your device, even without touching it. Well, I found a setting that may help.

If you go to Settings > Change PC Settings > Personalize > Lock Screen and scroll down a bit you will find the apps that run in the background and show quick status and notifications. When I checked this the first time on my Surface RT, all seven slots were active with a bunch of different apps, much like my Desktop setting as you can see below.

From left to right you are looking at: Messaging, Mail, Calendar, Package Tracker, Yahoo Mail, Skype and Traffic Camera. While I don’t really care what is active on my desktop, which is plugged into a wall, I do care what is active on my “always on, battery draining” Surface RT”. This wouldn’t be a problem for a typical laptop, as WiFi will (should) go to sleep when the machine does.

I am using my Surface RT for more things lately, but I already have a phone that gives me notifications for mail, messaging, etc., so I don’t need two devices binging each time I get a new message. I have disabled all but Calendar and Package Tracker for now, and after three days my Surface RT battery went from 100% down to 66%. In the past I would have been between 25% and  0% in the same amount of time.

I don’t get a popup notification when a new message arrives, but the Live Tile does update immediately. And again, if my phone tingles and I am using my Surface RT, what’s the problem. I would prefer that WiFi could be set to go to sleep (like every Windows Phone does as a default) when you close the Surface RT touch cover, but this is a good workaround, at least for me. Maybe it will be for you as well.


  1. Damn Jim, you still got it big guy.

    If you keep it up, these excellent battery tips, pretty soon I’m gonna have to set you up with your own little “thanks” donate button. I just can’t in good conscience let you give out these priceless battery tips from your own research without trying to get you some cheddar for it (after my 83% cut of course, industry standard).

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