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:
Next, run the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc):
Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer, and select “Show hibernate in the power options menu”:
Open the setting, and select “Enable”:
Select “Apply,” then “OK,” and Hibernate will be available:
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 www.surfaceforums.net 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:
- Create a new shortcut by right-clicking on the desktop (or with a long touch) and select New > Shortcut.
- Enter “cmd.exe” and click “Next.”
- Give the shortcut a name, such as “Hibernate.”
- Right-click on the shortcut on the Desktop and select “Properties.”
- Enter the parameters “/k shutdown /h” to “Target:” (without the quotes) and click “Apply” then “OK.”
- 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.