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The Battery Drains Quicker Than Expected on a Dell Laptop With Modern Standby Mode Enabled

Summary: The following article provides information about a situation where your Dell laptop battery drains faster than expected. Especially in a suspend to Random Access Memory (RAM (S3 sleep state)) or when the laptop has the lid closed. ...

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Laptop battery drains faster than expected

A lot of Dell's recent laptops support the Modern Standby mode. This mode keeps the computer power on and is what responds instantly if the power idle mode is configured and connected standby is enabled.

Windows Modern Standby: Expands on the Windows 8.1 Connected Standby power mode. It is more inclusive. It allows computers that do not support all the prior requirements for Connected Standby to take advantage of the low-power idle mode. (for example, Computers that are based on the configuration of an SSD + hard drive or SSHD, and/or a network adapter.)

Note: The Windows Update process (especially the critical updates) remains in operation in modern standby mode. It increases the CPU utilization during the update process and drains the battery when connected to a Local Area Network (LAN). Dell Technologies recommends that you connect the AC adapter when setting up a new laptop. The Windows update process is now mandatory and there can be many updates that you are required to download on to a new computer.

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In Modern Standby, the computer uses the S0 low-power idle mode. Modern Standby has the flexibility to configure the default behavior to limit network activity while in the low-power state. Windows operating systems reduce the power consumption of the operating system. It only wakes from the lowest power state when necessary. With Modern Standby, the computer wakes when there is real-time action that is required. Such as operating system maintenance, or a user wakes the computer. Modern Standby is available for all Windows desktop and Mobile operating systems since Windows 10.

Note: You cannot switch between S3 and Modern Standby by changing a setting in the BIOS. Switching the power mode is not supported in Windows without a complete operating system reinstall.

This can cause the computer to have more battery drain than the traditional S3 power mode.

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Note: The pictures that are used in this article may not be identical to what you see on your laptop. The screenshots can change slightly depending on the version and update of the Windows Operating System that you have installed on your computer.

You can quickly check the power states and settings that are available to you, by running the following command at a command-line prompt (See Figure 1.):

Powercfg /a

modern standby not connected

(Figure.1 Command Prompt Window running the Powercfg /a command)

Dell always recommends that you start by updating the BIOS and other computer drivers to the most recent revisions available.

You can download these drivers from the Dell Support Website.

  1. Select your computer from the available list or enter your service tag.

  2. Go to Drivers & Downloads.

  3. Ensure that the correct operating system is showing for your computer.

  4. Install the SupportAssist application and allow it to detect which drivers you need to update.

  5. Follow the online instructions to download and install them.

  6. BIOS updates involve power cycling your computer - ensure that you have the laptop connected to external power throughout.

You can also follow these suggested steps to set your computer up to use the battery more efficiently.

  1. Optimize the Hibernate after setting:

    1. Click power option in the system tray (see Figure 2.)

      XPS 9365 1

      (Figure.2 Clicking the Power Icon in the system tray)

    2. Click Change plan settings on the power plan in use (See Figure 3.)

      XPS 9365 2

      (Figure.3 Change Power Plan settings for the power plan in use.)

    3. Click Change advanced power settings (See Figure 4.)

      XPS 9365 3

      (Figure.4 Changing the advanced power settings)

    4. Enter into option Sleep - Hibernate after - On battery (Minutes), input with 240 and then apply (See Figure 5.)

      on battery

      (Figure.5 Change the Hibernate after, On Battery option to 240 minutes)

  2. Turn off the option Stay connected to network while asleep:

    1. Click the power icon in the system tray. Click Power & sleep settings (See Figure 6.)

      XPS 9365 4

      (Figure.6 Power & sleep Settings)

    2. Under Power & sleep page with Network connection item (default is disabled) (See Figure 7.)

      XPS 9365 5

      (Figure.7 Adjusting Power & sleep Settings)

    3. Clear On Battery power, stay connected to network while asleep (See Figure 8.)

      XPS 9365 6

      (Figure.8 Disabling On battery power, stay connected to network while asleep)

Note: If the S3 state is Not available, attempting to disable modern standby using registry edits can make the situation worse. Registry edits found online have been known to cause Black Screens or Blue Screens when resuming from suspended states.

For reference: Windows Modern standby External Link or change the power mode for your Windows PC External Link

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Article Properties

Affected Product

G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS

Last Published Date

02 Jan 2024



Article Type