Surface Pro 3 Tip: How to Hibernate and Keep InstantGo (Updated)



Update: I’ve played around a little more with the Surface Pro 3 since writing this post, and I’m not so sure that the machine actually woke up from sleep. Rather, I’ve noticed that the power button is actually very easily depressed, or rather perhaps the amount of time it must be depressed to wake it up is too short. Either way, it’s entirely possible that I accidentally hit the button and woke the machine up as I was putting it into the case, because it really only takes a light touch to do so.

I’ll leave this post as-is in case the issue isn’t the button. And, this is still a helpful tip if you want to put your Surface Pro 3 into hibernation to save battery life (InstantGo does burn the battery a bit). But I’ll also be contacting Microsoft to see if something can be done about how easy it is to accidentally push the power button.


InstantGo, what used to be called Connected Standby prior to Windows 8.1, is a great feature that essentially makes a machine like the Surface Pro 3 act like an ARM-based tablet. When you close the Type Cover, the Surface Pro 3 goes into a sleep mode that can connect periodically and check email, process alerts, etc., while waking up essentially instantaneously.

What’s not so great about the sleep power state, and I’ve experienced this on every notebook I’ve owned, is that sometimes machines will wake up unexpectedly, including when they’re stuffed into a bag or a case. I remember once pulling out my MacBook Air (which is prone to suffering from this problem) out of a slip cover and finding its fan spinning at full speed and its metal case feeling hot enough to scorch flesh. Intel processors are designed to shut down if they exceed a certain temperature, and the MacBook Air didn’t seem to suffer any ill effects from this incident, but I was very reluctant from then on to just close the lid and put the MacBook Air in a case for traveling.

I was hoping that the Surface Pro 3 would be different, but yesterday I was leaving my mother-in-law’s house, closed the Type Cover to put the Surface Pro 3 to sleep, and slipped it into its folio case. When I got home, I pulled the machine out of the case and it was awake with the fan running and the case fairly warm. It wasn’t hot by any stretch, and I wasn’t terribly concerned that any damage had been done, but I was disconcerted nevertheless. The bottom line is that the Surface Pro 3 is apparently not immune to the issue of waking up from sleep when you don’t really want it to.

What complicates the issue is a conflict between the Hyper-V virtualization engine and InstantGo, whereby if you turn on Hyper-V (it’s off by default) then InstantGo (shown as “Sleep” in the power options) is no longer available and Hibernation takes its place. The converse is also true, for some reason: when Hyper-V is off, the only options are Sleep and Shutdown. Hibernation isn’t an option and it can’t be turned on as an option in the power settings.

This means that at first glance, it would seem that there’s an unfortunately tradeoff. Either stick with the default settings and either shutdown completely or hope that your Surface Pro 3 won’t spontaneously wake up and overheat, or enable Hyper-V and lose the instant-on functionality for all of those times when you’re not stuffing it into a case for travel.

There’s an even easier way to enable Hibernation on the Surface Pro 3. It involves running the Group Policy Editor and enabling Hibernate as an option, which will then show up in the Charms Power options.

To enable it, first open the Run command:

Run Command

Next, run the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc):

Run Group Editor

Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer, and select “Show hibernate in the power options menu”:

Group Policy Editor Hibernate Setting

Open the setting, and select “Enable”:

Enable Hibernate

Select “Apply,” then “OK,” and Hibernate will be available:

Hibernate Enabled

That’s it. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any issues.


Fortunately, there’s third option. Thanks to the user Kodos on the excellent forums at for this tip: you can force hibernation by running the command “shutdown /h” on the command line. You can tell that the machine has hibernated rather than simply slept because it takes a few second longer to wake up, and it returns to the same state that it was in when you ran the command.

To make things even easier, create a shortcut on your desktop that will run the command and hibernate your Surface Pro 3. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new shortcut by right-clicking on the desktop (or with a long touch) and select New > Shortcut.
  2. Enter “cmd.exe” and click “Next.”
  3. Give the shortcut a name, such as “Hibernate.”
  4. Right-click on the shortcut on the Desktop and select “Properties.”
  5. Enter the parameters “/k shutdown /h” to “Target:” (without the quotes) and click “Apply” then “OK.”
  6. Double-click on the shortcut and your machine should hibernate.

Voilà! You can now hibernate your Surface Pro 3 without any fuss.

I hope this helps. Let me know in the comments if this works for you or if I’ve made any mistakes here, and whether this tip helps you avoid catching your Surface Pro 3 on fire.



  1. Mark,
    Thanks for the suggestion. Just picked up a new SP3 256Gig SSD, I5 and have been less than pleased with the battery life. I don’t know if I have a defective unit at this point but am not getting what I expected in battery life. I need to measure a start to finish run to see what my results are but so far my observations are about 4-5 hours of battery life with browsing and email. And that is with Bluetooth off for the pen. I noticed that Instantgo drains the battery when not in use and put to sleep with the lid closed. I want to get some more data points on what that is and then I know what I can expect to save with immediate bear sleep.

    • Mark Coppock says

      I use this primarily when I’m transporting the SP3. Otherwise, I just let it do its thing. Battery life overall has been fine for me, but then again right now I’m not as mobile as I’ve been in the past. If I were, then I’d likely be more careful about managing things.

  2. thanks

  3. Thanks for this lifesaver! One note: I believe (90% sure) when I first tried this, the “show hibernate” option was missing in ctl panel. What finally worked for me was to enable hyper-V, reboot, then disable it again and reboot! Suddenly then hibernate showed up in the power options, and the box to show it was in ctl panel. Just saying.

    • Mark Coppock says

      Okay, thanks! Might be helpful for others who run into this issue… My methods both worked for me, but certainly different machines might react differently. I think the Connected Standby power mode is causing some issues across the board that Intel needs to resolve sometime soon.

  4. Thank you!!!

  5. I have an issue that brought me to your site from Google. May not be related but I will give it a try anyways. Starting 2 days ago, my SP3 stopped going into sleep mode on its own without me clicking the power button. All the settings are correct in the power options > power plan (5 minutes NOT plugged in and 10 minutes plugged in). I have tried restarting, saving the settings again, doing everything possible including searching everywhere on the web for the same issue. Have you heard of this issue?

    On another note, I found this hibernate thing very interesting and glad that I landed here so Thank you. Can this be set in the power option section as well?

  6. Mark – genius. The close lid / click the power button / sleep mode seems totally unpredictable to me. I have several times found my SP3 very hot with fan spinning after a trip to or from the office. Now I find myself constantly checking in my bag to see if it is happening again…because I have no idea how or why it keeps turning on. I’ve even put a it in a very tight sleeve to make sure it’s not flapping about in there, and disabled the lid from being able to initiate wake – but no luck. After reading on the Microsoft site ( that it does go into a hibernate state “after several hours” – a state which seems immune from the random wake – I realized I must find a way to force it into hibernate. You have saved me from many anxious trips. This is a note of thanks.

    • Mark Coppock says

      Glad to be of help! Do note that Microsoft released a firmware update yesterday that addresses waking up, and that’s aimed at the pen and the Home button–it’s possible that this is actually what was waking the machines and is now addressed. But I agree–putting into hibernate adds that little bit of confidence, and it doesn’t take much longer to wake up in any event. Better safe than sorry, I say.

      • hmmm, I haven’t seen that update yet. have to keep an eye out. Actually I’ve identified that it’s the mouse that has been waking it up. I’m using a Magic Mouse – if it’s clicked or moved, it immediately wakes my SP3 from sleep. Next I have to figure out how to disable this…there is a setting in device manager, but disabling it is not having any effect unfortunately. thanks again.

  7. G.S.Mishra says

    But should we prefer hibernate over sleep in devices that use ssd, like surface pro 3? Refer to the article in PCWorld at this link:

    • Mark Coppock says

      Personally, given evidence that SSDs last longer than expected in many cases and, in most cases, longer than the lifespan of a PC itself, I’m not terribly concerned about their longevity. At the same time, I don’t recommend that anyone hibernate their machines every time they’re putting it aside. I typically put my SP3 to sleep, but hibernate it when I’m going to put it in a case for traveling (to be 100% sure it won’t wake up).

  8. Eric Hamilton says

    This is extremely helpful. I use hibernate all the time, and was astonished that Microsoft did not appear to have a zero-battery drain option for maintaining current status. Both tricks did the trick. Thank you.

  9. Hi,

    how can I enable Hyper-v to show the option on ctrl pnl?

    Thanks for the great tip in advance.


  10. Mark,

    Thanks for your help with this. I had been looking all over for a way to hibernate, because I’ve been frustrated that the battery always draws down.

    One question about making a shortcut to your third option. I typed in the text (“/k shutdown /h” without quotes, using one space each location) into the box as requested, but I get an error that says “The name ‘/k’ specified in the Target box is not valid. Make sure the path and file name are correct.”

    Any ideas?

    • Mark Coppock says

      Hmm… Can you copy exactly what’s in “Target:”? If it’s exactly as I indicated it _should_ work, but…

    • I had the same problem on my Surface Pro 3.
      I took out the “/k “, leaving “shutdown.exe /h”, and clicked “Apply”. It was changed to “C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe /h” and it seems to work fine.

      • for me as well… works great, even without having the Group Policy Editor

        I’m glad I kept reading through the article.



  11. thanks for the tutorial ! can you help me to add a lock button to the charms (is that what the icons on the display menu are called?) or to set the power button to lock the screen but require password and keep InstantGo ? is that possible?
    thank you very much!

  12. Jesus Lankenau says

    Thanks a lot Mark, both options worked great! Muchas gracias!

  13. Awesome! 🙂

  14. I used the second option — the group editor thing and it has worked. I use the hibernate function because I like to be able to shut down but still have my programs up and running when I start up again later. I am not concerned with how fast the computer comes back on just that my stuff is up and available when I restart. I also don’t mind having to manually reconnect to wifi (or remember to disconnect before going to hibernate as needed) so those issues if they crop up won’t be a problem for me. THANK YOU so much for a workable solution with easy to follow step by step directions (I am good with computer basics but the more complicated/advanced stuff I am not so good with) which made it so even I could get the functionality I needed.

  15. It’s true that the power button gets triggered very easily, which indeed is something that MS should resolve in the next version.

    However wrt hibernation, does nobody know that you can easily enable it in the power-management control panel?

    • Unfortunately this option is not available on the Surface Pro 3 version of Win 8.1 Pro. It may be for Win 8.1 on laptops and other machines, but not for the SP3.

  16. MS should perhaps make a latch instead of a button, or some other protective hardware solution. A time-treshold on the button is not a solid solution, the tablet can get pressure for long periods in a bag.

  17. Thans so much for the information. It all worked for me.

  18. Thank you. This post is so helpful and instruction is easy to follow. Love it. THANKS!!

  19. reference Cleavitt76 on:

    Here is another way to expose the hibernate function.
    Open regedit.exe

    Navigate to…


    Change the value from “1” to “0”, then restart Windows.

    You will still need to enable/show the hibernate option by:

    Control Panel > Power Options > “Choose what the power option does” link > “Change settings that are currently unavailable” link > check the “Hibernate – show in power menu” checkbox near the bottom.

  20. David Williams says

    Thank you very much for your extremely helpful and concise instructions. Prior to reading your post, I had contacted Microsoft help twice to no avail, and I had searched the web extensively. Finally, I hit upon your discussion. I tried the second and third procedures, and both worked. I wasn’t going to set my Surface Pro 3 on fire, but I really burned up with Microsoft.

    • Mark Coppock says

      Glad I could help! 🙂

      • David Williams says

        Do you also know how to activate the “High Performance” power option? Prior to purchasing my Surface Pro 3, I used a Surface Pro 2 with Windows 8.1. I was able to display the “High Performance” option by opening the Control Panel, Define power buttons and turn on password protection, and clicking on Change settings that are currently unavailable, which then displayed the “High Performance” option. That procedure does not work in my Surface Pro 3.

  21. Pls help. I created the hibernate shortcut as you described. When I double click to run it, the normal DOS window popped up and says:

    The request is not supported.(50)



  1. […] or reduce the time InstanGo time is available. I haven’t tested this but there’s a tutorial here that you might want to look […]

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