How to unlock power plans and advanced settings on Surface devices

Start from Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced a new feature called Connected Standby. With Windows 10, this feature has been expanded to the Modern Standby. With modern standby, your system can be in connected standby or disconnected standby depending on hardware support and software configuration.

Table of contents

  1. What is Modern Standby?
  2. Power Plans on Surface Devices
  3. How to Unlock Power Plans on Surface Devices

1What is Modern Standby?

Connected Standby on Surface

This modern standby allows your PC instant on/instant off just like you expect to have with your phones. Just like the phone, even in standby mode, it still remained up-to-date when Wi-Fi or a suitable network is available.

There are three advantages of using Modern Standby:

  • Instant On/Off: your Windows PC and tablet devices can instantly power on and off just like the way your smartphones do.
  • Background activity while the system is “off”: allows your PC or tablets devices perform the background tasks from Windows Store apps while the system is “off”.
  • Simplified wake story: unlike traditional device wake, with modern standby system waking just require a hardware interrupt.

For more information, you can check Modern Standby at Microsoft MSDN.

2Power Plans on Surface Devices

Every Microsoft Surface device shipped with a predefined power plan called Balanced with a very few advanced configurations as below:

Default Balanced Power Plan on Microsoft Surface

The limited power configuration in Advanced Settings because of the Connected Standby feature that is enabled by default on every Surface device. Those advanced settings are hidden and intelligently managed by Surface. However, if you want to unlock those advanced options, you can do that by following the instruction below:

3How to Unlock Power Plans on Surface Devices

In order to unlock all available power plans and advanced settings, you need to disable connected standby via Registry Editor. To turn off connected standby:

  1. On your type cover, press + R
  2. Type regedit to open Register Editor.
  3. Now you need to go to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power
  4. Double click on “CsEnabled”
  5. Change Value data from “1″ to “0″
  6. Click OK.
    Configure Connected Standby via Registry Editor
  7. Restart your computer to apply these changes to your system.

After restarting your computer, now you can access all power plans options including Power saver, Balanced, and High performance.

Power Plans on Surface

With connected standby disabled, you also can access the full options of advanced settings of each power plan you selected.

All Advanced Settings on Surface

After finishing changing, click OK to accept all changes.

Note After you turn off Connected Standby, instant on/off, and OneNote activation by Surface pen while standby will be unavailable. When you press the Power button, your Surface will go into hibernation. However, after you finish creating or customizing all power plans and settings you can still re-enable Connected Standby to restore all those functionalities. And all plans and settings will still remain there even after you enable the Connected Standby.  

To turn on Connected Standby you just go to Registry Editor again change the Value data of CsEnabled to 1 and restart your computer. Finally, all modern standby features will be back on and your plans and settings will also keep in your system.