How to disable the discrete GPU on Microsoft Surface Book

In this article, we will show you the three methods to disable your Surface Book's discrete GPU so you can run any apps and games with the integrated graphics for better battery life.

How to disable dGPU on Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book is the most powerful laptop lineup from Microsoft that is designed to deliver incredible performance and versatility to meet the demands of professional creative works. It comes with the most cutting-edge technologies including the 100 percent sRGB PixelSense™ display, Windows 10 Pro, all-day battery life, and the latest processing components.

Among those, the discrete GPU is one of the key distinguishing features of Microsoft Surface Book to differentiate itself from other Surface lineups. It’s really helpful in creating 3D contents, editing photos, videos, and playing games.

However, there are still some situations you might want to skip the discrete GPU to exclusively use the integrated Intel graphics to handle specific tasks for better performance and power efficiency. Today, I will show you the three different methods to disable the discrete GPU on your Surface Book.

  1. How to disable Surface Book’s discrete GPU by detaching from the base
  2. How to disable Surface Book’s discrete GPU via Device Manager
  3. How to disable Surface Book’s discrete GPU via UEFI settings

1 How to disable Surface Book’s discrete GPU by detaching from the base

This is really a straight-forward method that you can do to force your apps or games to run with the integrated GPU by detaching the clipboard section from the base which contains the accelerated graphics processing unit while launching the app or game. To do so:

  1. On the keyboard, press and hold the Detach key for a few seconds or just click the Surface Detach icon inside the taskbar.
  2. If you didn’t close all apps and games that are currently using the dGPU, it shows an error message as below:Surface Detach - Need attention
  3. Close all those detected apps and games and try to detach again.
    Surface Detach - Ready to detach
  4. When it’s ready to detach, detach the clipboard section from the base.
  5. Launch your app or game and wait until it’s completely loaded. The app or game will use integrated graphics.
  6. You can now reattach the clipboard to the base.

2 How to disable Surface Book’s discrete GPU via Device Manager

Here is another approach to disable the discrete GPU on Surface Book and Surface Book 2 by using the Device Manager management console. To do so:

  1. Right-click the Start icon, and go to Device Manager.
    Right-click start > device manager
  2. In the device tree, locate and expand the Display adapters.
  3. Right-click on NVIDIA GeForce GPU, and select Disable device.
    Display adapters > NVIDIA GeForce GPU > Disable device
  4. It will disable the device and you will see a disabled status appear under the NVIDIA GeForce GPU as below:
    Now the dGPU is disabled

3 How to disable Surface Book’s discrete GPU via UEFI settings

There is another method that you can turn off the discrete GPU on your Surface Book via UEFI settings. It will completely hide the discrete GPU from your system for better performance and security. To do so:

  1. Shut down your Surface Book.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up button on your Surface, then press and release the Power button.
  3. When you see the Surface logo screen appear, release the Volume Up button. The Surface UEFI screen will appear in a few seconds.How to Enter Surface Book UEFI/BIOS Settings
  4. It will display the Surface UEFI configuration page as below:
    Surface Book UEFI > PC Information
  5. Go to Devices section and you see the option to enable/disable the “DGPU” in the Devices page as below.Go to Surface UEFI > Devices > DGPU
  6. Toggle the DGPU to off to turn off the discrete GPU on your Surface Book.
    DGPU Disabled via Surface UEFI
  7. In Surface UEFI menu, go to Exit, and click on Restart Now.
    Surface Book UEFI Exit Page
  8. It will save your settings and restart your Surface.
  9. Now you can see that the “NVIDIA GeForce GPU” is no longer appear in device manager anymore.
    dGPU no longer appear in the device manager

Conclusion

With the three methods, you can prevent an app or game from running with the discrete GPU which sometimes causing issues and battery drain. If you have any questions or problems with the procedures detailed in this tutorial, please leave a comment below.