Surface Pro 3 Battery FAQ for the Surface Pro Embedded Controller Firmware update

Applies to: Surface DevicesSurface

Here are answers to some common questions about the Surface Pro 3 battery after the recent firmware updates.

Symptoms

A limited number of Surface Pro 3 owners find that their battery can no longer hold a charge, and it looks like the battery capacity has diminished. With the power plugged in, the Surface Pro 3 is fine, but the battery will run out quickly once it's not being charged.

Cause

On a limited number of Surface Pro 3 devices, an error condition occurs that causes the full charge capacity of the battery to be misreported to the operating system and device firmware. When this condition occurs, the system no longer charges the battery to its full actual capacity, and the Surface is unable to function on battery power.

Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank. In this case, if the fuel gauge isn’t working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank—even though the tank is fine.

Resolution

An update is now available to correct this issue. This update corrects the logic in the firmware component that functions as the “fuel gauge” for the Surface Pro 3 battery, so that the actual battery capacity on devices with this particular part is accurately reported. This allows the Surface to once again leverage the maximum charge capacity of the battery.

Once this fix is applied to a Surface Pro 3, the reported full charge capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles. Surface Pro 3 devices that previously experienced the problem can now operate on battery power, and the issue won’t occur on devices that haven't experienced the issue.

How to get the update

Things to check first

Before you begin, make sure your Surface Pro 3 is plugged directly into AC power using the standard AC power adapter. Do not use the Surface Docking Station. Disconnect any USB devices or external monitors, and check that Windows shows a 40% charge or greater when you hover over the icon in the taskbar.

Install the latest Surface updates

  1. Go to Start and select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
  2. Select Check for updates.
  3. Install System Firmware Update - 11/7/2016 (or later), and then select Restart now. Do not shut down.
  4. After your Surface restarts, you'll see a black screen with the Surface logo and the message that a system firmware update is being applied. The update may take several minutes to complete.
     
  5. After the update has been applied, your Surface will boot back into Windows. At this point, you'll need to do another restart for the new battery logic to take effect.

Frequently asked questions

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