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Microsoft fixes Surface Pro 3 battery issues with a firmware update

The Microsoft Surface brand is gaining a massive boost in popularity after the Surface Studio reveal – but there’s a whole range of Surface devices that came out before the hype, and the Surface Pro 3 is one of them.

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The Surface Pro 3 have had a problem plague it since its launch, concerning the battery life of the device; Microsoft released a firmware update on August 29th this year, which they claimed would fix these issues – it didn’t.

The original batch of Surface Pro 3 featured batteries from Simplo, and those received their fair share of complaints; Microsoft changed the battery manufacturer to LGC later on, but these batteries were even worse – users complained that they weren’t charging at all.

On November 7th, Microsoft released yet another firmware update for the Surface Pro 3, addressing the battery issues. The update showed up on the Surface Update History page with a detailed changelog – the update corrects “the firmware component that functions as a ‘fuel gauge’ so that the battery capacity is accurately reported.”

Once this fix is applied to a Surface Pro 3, the reported full charge capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles. Surface Pro 3 devices that previously experienced the problem can now operate on battery power, and the issue won’t occur on devices that haven’t experienced the issue.

It’s mind-boggling that an issue such as this wasn’t very complicated – it’s even worse to think that it took Microsoft all these months to figure out a fix for this; perhaps it’s more complicated under the hood than it seems to be from the outside.

If you want to upgrade the firmware manually, you must have the Surface Pro 3 connected to AC power from wall before going through the process. If you have the Surface Pro 3 connected to the charger, follow these instructions:

  • Open Start, type Settings.
  • Browse through Update & security > Windows Update.
  • Press the “Check for updates” button, and wait for it to fetch the updates.
  • An updated named “System Firmware Update – 11/7/2016” should show up – that’s the one you need, just install the update – it might require a reboot.

Once again: make sure the Surface Pro 3 is connected to wall power via its charger – not the dock. The power should also be uninterrupted during the firmware update process – the consequences of a power failure during the update process could be turning the device into a brick.

You can read more about the update on the Surface Pro 3 update history page, and the Battery FAQ for Surface Pro 3.

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