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Stop Microsoft Surface from Going to Sleep Constantly

Dealing with the Microsoft Surface going to sleep constantly can be annoying. Then you have to turn it back on, swipe through the Lock Screen and log in each time. Out of the box, the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT is set to go to go to sleep every two minutes by default. This is the setting whether it’s unplugged or plugged in to the power supply. You can change that behavior by adjusting the power settings, here’s how.

Note: Putting the Surface to sleep every two minutes is the default setting on the Surface RT. Whether or not this is the case for the Surface Pro remains to be seen. But you can adjust the power settings on each the same way.

Adjust Microsoft Surface Power Settings

Use the keyboard shortcut WinKey + X to bring up the power user menu and select Power Options.

Power Options

Power Options opens in Desktop mode, click Change Plan Settings.

Change Power Settings

Here’s where you can change the amount of time that passes before the Surface goes to sleep.

Edit Plan Settings

Configure the amount of time you want when it’s running on battery or when plugged in. When the Surface is plugged in I select more amount of time, and just a few minutes more when it’s on battery. Leaving the Dim Display setting on the default is best for saving battery power while it’s running on battery. It doesn’t turn off your display, just makes it less bright.

After making you selections make sure to tap Save Changes.

Put Computer to Sleep

Going to sleep every two minutes is good for saving battery power, but very annoying when you’re trying to get things done. You will compromise some battery time by increasing the time until it sleeps, but will be less annoyed. Especially while you’re using it as a laptop and have it plugged in.

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8 Responses to Stop Microsoft Surface from Going to Sleep Constantly

  1. Jon February 28, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Excellent post. Perfectly solved my problem. Most of my other MS Surface questions have been VERY difficult to get answers – if at all… Thank you!

  2. Brian Burgess March 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    @Jon thanks a lot! If you need more help with Windows 8 or RT, check out our ever growing Guide to Windows 8:

    http://www.groovypost.com/howto/complete-guide-use-windows-8/

  3. Nez April 7, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi, I tried this, I even tried setting it to NEVER go to sleep and it still sleeps and goes to the lockscreen after 10 mins :( You tried setting it to never sleep and actually had this work?

    • Joel June 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Nez, did you find a solution? Mine does the same thing and I’ve tried over and over to adjust the settings but it still times out after a few minutes… very frustrating.

  4. Ann August 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    I’ve changed all power settings to never, rebooted, and I still get a black screen that requires me to tap it every 2 mins. If I wait too long to tap the screen, it requires my password.

    I have surface pro.

  5. Sue April 17, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Thank you, thank you! I searched for info on resetting Surface Pro sleep at MS “Help” but it was no help! Thank you for your clear instructions. Without you newsletter and blog folks we MS users would be out of luck!

  6. Stephanie July 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Enormous help & easy to understand, thank you so much!!

  7. George August 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    I’ve done everything – more than once. My desktop goes to sleep after just one(1) minute, and I’ve reset in power settings many times. I’ve tried creating my own settings. I’ve tried max use settings, with never saving power. I’ve tried every time amt., but nothing seems to work. Is this a broken function? How can I fix this? It’s SO annoying having to log in again after only one minute of inactivity. I’ve set power off for NO log in……..?

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