Microsoft finally patches big Surface Pro 3 battery problem

What took so long?

Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has finally fixed a serious battery bug plaguing Surface Pro 3 users.

The company released an update for the tablet a month ago, but didn't include a fix for the battery problem until today. The update fixes a bug that incorrectly reported lower battery capacity, thus leaving the Surface Pro 3 battery under utilized.

"Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank," writes Microsoft in a FAQ. "In this case, if the fuel gauge isn't working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank - even though the tank is fine."

The problem went on for the past several months, with Surface Pro 3 users complaining about shorter than expected battery life. Some users reportedly couldn't last more than an hour on a charge. For reference, Microsoft claims the Surface Pro 3 gets up to nine hours of use.

Download the update

Today's update fixes the misreporting of actual battery capacity, but it will take several charge and discharge cycles to correct itself.

To get the update, bring up the Start menu and find the Settings app. Click on "Update & security" and then "Windows Update." Click "Check for updates" and you should see an update called "System Firmware Update - 8/29/2016."

Make sure your computer is plugged in while the update occurs, otherwise you may corrupt the firmware. You'll want to reboot once more after Windows launches to ensure the new battery firmware takes effect.

Microsoft didn't say what took so long for the fix, but Surface Pro 3 users no longer need to fear straying from the plug.

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