Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Windows RT 8.1.


Surface RT and Surface 2 battery and power

Your Surface uses an internal lithium-ion battery designed to go everywhere you go. The amount of time your battery lasts varies depending on the kinds of things you do with your Surface.


How much battery charge is left?

You can check the battery status in a few different places.

Lock screen. When you wake up Surface, the battery status appears on the lock screen (lower-left corner).

Charms. When you swipe in from the right-edge of the screen, the battery status appears in the lower-left corner of the screen.

Battery icon on the lock screen

Desktop taskbar. When you’re at the desktop, the battery status appears on the taskbar (lower-right corner). Tap or click the battery icon for info about the charging and battery status, including the percent remaining.

To learn more about the battery icon and status, see Battery: Frequently asked questions .

Battery status at  the desktop

Windows alerts you when the battery starts to get low. When you’re alerted, be sure to attach the power supply. If you don’t recharge the battery, Surface will eventually save your work and shut down.

Charging Surface

When the battery is low, charge your Surface using the included 24-watt power supply. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Insert the plug into an electrical outlet or power strip.
Step 2:  Connect the power cord to the charging port on your Surface. It clicks into place (either direction works).
Once connected, a small light appears at the end of the connector to show that Surface is getting power.

If the light doesn’t appear, see Surface battery won’t charge.

Surface 2 power supply light
Surface 2

To make sure your Surface is charging, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and look in the lower-left corner for the battery status. When charging, the battery icon appears with an electrical plug. Once the battery is fully charged, you can remove the power cord from the charging port.

Note
You can’t charge Surface RT or Surface 2 using its built-in USB port. Instead, use the included power supply. You can also use the Surface Car Charger with USB Port to charge Surface and another USB device (such as your phone), while you’re travelling in your car. For more info on the Car Charger, see Surface accessories.

How long does it take to charge Surface?

It takes 2 to 3 hours to charge your Surface RT or Surface 2 battery fully from an empty state.

Having battery or power problems?

Additional power supplies

You can buy an extra 24-watt power supply or a 48-watt power supply with a USB charging port. The 48-watt power supply doesn’t charge Surface RT or Surface 2 faster than the 24-watt power supply, but the USB port is handy when you want to charge a cell phone or other USB device while your Surface charges.

For more info, see Surface accessories.

On, off, InstantGo, restart

There's really no need to turn off (shut down) Surface completely. If you don’t use Surface for a few minutes, it goes into a power-saving sleep state called InstantGo, in which the screen turns off and locks. When this happens, Surface stays connected to your wireless network and app notifications (such as how many new email messages you have) appear on the lock screen.

Change when Surface sleeps

You can change when Surface sleeps. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings, then tap or click PC and devices.
Step 3:  Tap or click Power and sleep.
Step 4:  Under Sleep, select when you want Surface to sleep when Surface is running on battery and when it’s plugged in.

Note
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that control how your Surface uses power. For more info about power plans, see Power Plans: FAQ (Surface RT and Surface 2 support InstantGo.)

If you want to turn off Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power, and then tap or click Shut down.

For more info, see Surface RT and Surface 2 power states.

Battery: Making it last

Here are some ways you can help make your battery last longer:

  • Reduce the screen brightness. Open the Settings charm, and tap or click Screen, then move the slider. The brighter the screen, the more power it uses.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi. If you don’t need Wi-Fi for a while, you can turn it off to conserve battery life. To do this, open the Settings charm, tap or click the wireless network Wireless network icon icon, and then slide Wi-Fi to Off.
  • Turn on Airplane mode. If you don’t need Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for a while, this is something else you can take to conserve battery life. Open the Settings charm, tap or click the wireless network Wireless network icon icon, and then slide Airplane mode to On.
  • Turn off or remove devices that you aren't using. Many USB devices use power just by being connected, so you might want to unplug these devices when you're not using them.
  • Turn off mobile broadband. If you have a Surface 2 model with mobile broadband (4G), you can switch off your mobile broadband connection to conserve battery power. Open the Settings charm, tap or click the wireless network Wireless network icon icon, then slide Mobile broadband to Off.

Battery care

  • Operating temperature. Surface is designed to work between 32°F and 95°F (or 0°C to 35°C). Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to high temperatures, so keep your Surface out of the sun and don’t leave it in a hot car.
  • Recharge anytime. The battery doesn’t need to be empty or low before you recharge. You can recharge the battery whenever you’d like. However, it’s best to let the battery run to below 10 percent at least once per month before you recharge it.
  • Battery warranty. If your Surface battery is found to be defective during the warranty period, it is covered under the standard Surface Warranty. For more details about the Surface Warranty or for extended warranty coverage, see Surface standard warranty and Microsoft Complete for Surface.


Contact us

Need personal assistance? Surface Support agents are available to help.
Get Started