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A solution for my 4 hour battery life problem

illuzn

New Member
Hi All,

I had previously been racking my brains trying to figure out why on earth I was constantly getting less than 4 hours battery life with just web browsing and why my surface was hotter than the surface of the sun from just web browsing.

Obviously I've disabled intel powerboost on battery to get those precious minutes of juice.

However, I came across this the other day and its effectively given me another 1 hour or so of battery life: disable live tiles that you are not using!

I have a windows phone and the live tiles on that are quite battery efficient. However, the same does not seem to be the case for Windows 8 live tiles. I've got around 30 live tiles pinned to my start screen and I went about disabling all but the essential ones for myself (mail, calendar, people and weather).

From doing that I've netted myself another 1 hour in battery life. Secondary only to the powerboost tweak, this has really been the only tweak that gets me a real battery life increase (as opposed to the fake things like sleep settings).

To be honest I'm not sure if its just one faulty tile app or its the fact that I had 30 of them. But I can only say I'm much more pleased now with how my battery is holding up. And really why do I need live updates on my highscore from some game... check those live tiles peeps!

Edit. Further to the above, please also check the following repositories of background apps that run and consider whether or not they should be.

Lock Screen Apps - These are allowed to run in the background and show notifications on your lock screen. Go to Charms, Settings, Change PC Settings, PC and Devices, Lock Screen... scroll down to see which apps are activated here. The good news is that a maximum of 6 are allowed.

Notification Apps - These apps are allow to run in the background and launch notification balloons (think of the popup that happens when you get new messages/ email). Go to Charms, Settings, Change PC Settings, Search and Apps, Notifications... scroll down to see which apps are activated here. I had around 30 apps with this access which I culled back to a core 5-10.

Most apps that can run in the background are frankly stupid (e.g. games which ask you to do a daily login). Reducing/ removing these will aid battery life.
 
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CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Yes this is good to know. Spoken many times about the massive varied results people were getting with their Surface Pro batteries... this could be a reason! I wonder if anyone can be bothered, perhaps if you're suffering from bad battery life, you could type up how long you're getting and the amount of live tiles you're running to see if there's any correlation :)
 

Arizona Willie

Active Member
Is there a good ( easy / quick ) way to find out how many Live Tiles I have and how do you turn them off? I see a downward arrow on many tiles and it comes and goes but if a tile has the arrow and I open it, nothing seems to happen. I thought perhaps it was an update but apparently not.

This morning is the first time since 8.1 that I checked my remaining battery and it jumped from 4 + hours to over 6 and I didn't disable anything. I have fixed up a spreadsheet that I input the time remaining and the percent remaining and it calculates what the full charge would be at 100% and it has varied wildly from showing 1.96 hours to 6.21 hours with the average being 4.41 hours. But if it continues calculating full charge over 6 hours that average will jump pretty quickly.


Yes this is good to know. Spoken many times about the massive varied results people were getting with their Surface Pro batteries... this could be a reason! I wonder if anyone can be bothered, perhaps if you're suffering from bad battery life, you could type up how long you're getting and the amount of live tiles you're running to see if there's any correlation :)
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Is there a good ( easy / quick ) way to find out how many Live Tiles I have and how do you turn them off? I see a downward arrow on many tiles and it comes and goes but if a tile has the arrow and I open it, nothing seems to happen. I thought perhaps it was an update but apparently not.

This morning is the first time since 8.1 that I checked my remaining battery and it jumped from 4 + hours to over 6 and I didn't disable anything. I have fixed up a spreadsheet that I input the time remaining and the percent remaining and it calculates what the full charge would be at 100% and it has varied wildly from showing 1.96 hours to 6.21 hours with the average being 4.41 hours. But if it continues calculating full charge over 6 hours that average will jump pretty quickly.
There isn't an easy way to see how many live tiles you have, but there's an easy way to disable them in batches. Swipe up from bottom on the Start Screen and hit Customize, and touch the tiles to multi-select. With a bunch of tiles selected, at the bottom you should see the option "Turn live tile off" and that should apply to your entire selection.

I don't know about the downward arrow on individual tiles--that might be the app auto-update feature, which I had disabled when setting up my Surface (I prefer controlling updates since sometimes they break things).
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
I would say the culprit is how many Apps you've allowed to run in the Background, Twitter, Facebook, The Bing News Apps, Weather and almost every other News or Technology App, these download content in the background so that you have fresh content when you open them. Some of the Live Tiles are just showing stuff you've accessed or have access to....
 
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illuzn

New Member
Is there a good ( easy / quick ) way to find out how many Live Tiles I have and how do you turn them off? I see a downward arrow on many tiles and it comes and goes but if a tile has the arrow and I open it, nothing seems to happen. I thought perhaps it was an update but apparently not.

This morning is the first time since 8.1 that I checked my remaining battery and it jumped from 4 + hours to over 6 and I didn't disable anything. I have fixed up a spreadsheet that I input the time remaining and the percent remaining and it calculates what the full charge would be at 100% and it has varied wildly from showing 1.96 hours to 6.21 hours with the average being 4.41 hours. But if it continues calculating full charge over 6 hours that average will jump pretty quickly.
There isn't an easy way to work this out. But if you press winkey + X and start task manager. In one of the tabs you can see (and sort by) live tile data usage. I just worked out that my 2 tv tiles and metrotube were downloading around 5mb per hour. While that doesn't sound like a lot, remember that that data is distributed over the whole hour - so it is waking up your CPU, getting it to pull the data, then processing it onto your start screen.

I also have a hypothesis that the game tiles might be trying to connect to xbox live and pull your game statistics down. I know how long it takes to log-in to xbox live games online so I'd imagine that this is quite taxing as well.

If only MS allowed us to set in the power profiles to disable live tiles on battery - that would be awesome. Obviously the 6 lock screen notifications would still update (and that would cover the core apps which I actually want updating while on battery).
 
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illuzn

New Member
I would say the culprit is how many Apps you've allowed to run in the Background, Twitter, Facebook, The Bing News Apps, Weather and almost every other News or Technology App, these download content in the background so that you have fresh content when you open them. Some of the Live Tiles are just showing stuff you've accessed or have access to....
Are these the "lock screen applications" with notifications activated? or is there another list of applications somewhere that I need to disable this. Out of that list I only use Facebook and Weather on the lockscreen which seems to allow them to continue to pull data even if the live tile is disabled.
 
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illuzn

New Member
Okay guys, did a little more digging and its not just live tiles that are able to run in the background. There are a whole set of applications which can run in the background to give you notifications!

To check them out: Charms Menu, Settings, Change PC Settings, Search and apps, Notifications... scroll down and there will be a huge list. Almost every application I had installed had notifications turned on! I couldn't believe it.
 

Ruffles

Active Member
I would say the culprit is how many Apps you've allowed to run in the Background, Twitter, Facebook, The Bing News Apps, Weather and almost every other News or Technology App, these download content in the background so that you have fresh content when you open them. Some of the Live Tiles are just showing stuff you've accessed or have access to....
How do you find the list of which apps can run in the background? I've seen the little list pop up when you first start an app and it says you have too many and have to select one to disable but besides installing a new app, how do I get that list back?
 

hypokondriak

New Member
I wonder if there is a powershell cmdlet to disable all notifications and then re-enable? Short of having it be automatic, at least having a disable/enable script on the desktop would be nice in times you want to eek out more battery.

Sent from the SurfaceForums.net app for Windows 8
 

deldalton

New Member
Okay guys, did a little more digging and its not just live tiles that are able to run in the background. There are a whole set of applications which can run in the background to give you notifications!

To check them out: Charms Menu, Settings, Change PC Settings, Search and apps, Notifications... scroll down and there will be a huge list. Almost every application I had installed had notifications turned on! I couldn't believe it.
I'll check this out later! Thanks, illuzn.
 
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