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Fine-Tune a Custom Power Plan

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how computers use and conserve power. You can create custom power plans that are optimized for specific computers.

You can manage most common power plan settings through Control Panel. For more information, see Create a Custom Power Plan. To fine-tune hardware-specific configurations that are not configurable through Control Panel, use the PowerCfg tool.

You can customize all configurable Windows power options by using the powercfg command from an elevated command prompt. This includes hardware-specific configurations that are not configurable through Control Panel.

  1. On your technician computer, at an elevated command prompt, type the following:

    powercfg -LIST
    

    The computer will return the list of available power plans. In the following examples, these plans are Balanced and Power saver.

    Existing Power Schemes (* Active)
    -----------------------------------
    Power Scheme GUID: {guidPlan1}  (Balanced) *
    Power Scheme GUID: {guidPlan2}  (Power saver)
    

    Note the GUIDs that are listed next to the power plans that you want to change. You will need these GUIDs to manually update settings and capture the power plans.

  1. To modify a plan, use the GUID of the power plan that you want to change to set that power plan as the active power plan. For example:

    powercfg -SETACTIVE {guidPlan2}
    

  1. This section describes how to manually configure other power configuration settings by using the powercfg command. Test these settings to create an optimal power plan for your system.

    1. At an elevated command prompt, type the following:

      powercfg -QUERY
      

      The computer displays information for all of the power settings for this plan.

    2. Find the GUID for the subgroup of the setting that you want to change. For example, to modify a display setting, find the GUID for the Display subgroup:

      Subgroup GUID: {guidSubgroup-Display}  (Display)
      
    3. Find the GUID for the setting that you want to change. For example, to modify the Display Brightness setting, find the GUID for the (Display brightness) setting:

      Power Setting GUID: {guidPowerSetting-Brightness}  (Display brightness)
      
    4. Review the information from the query command, review the possible settings, and determine a value that works for your computer.

      noteNote
      You must enter these values by using decimal integers. However, the values appear on the screen as hexadecimal values that are specific to the setting.

      For example, to set the maximum display brightness to 50 percent brightness, enter the value as 50. When you use the powercfg -QUERY command to confirm the setting, the value appears as 0x00000032.

      Power Setting GUID: {guidPowerSetting-Brightness}  (Display brightness)
            Minimum Possible Setting: 0x00000000
            Maximum Possible Setting: 0x00000064
            Possible Settings increment: 0x00000001
            Possible Settings units: %
          Current AC Power Setting Index: 0x00000064
          Current DC Power Setting Index: 0x00000032
      
  2. Adjust the value for the power setting for times when the computer is plugged in. For example, to set the display brightness level to 100 percent when the computer is plugged in, type the following:

    powercfg -SETACVALUEINDEX {guidPlan-New} {guidSubgroup-Display}  {guidPowerSetting-Brightness} 100
    
  3. Adjust the value for the power setting for times when the computer is on battery power. For example, to set the display brightness level to 75 percent when the computer is on battery power, type the following:

    powercfg -SETDCVALUEINDEX {guidPlan-New} {guidSubgroup-Display}  {guidPowerSetting-Brightness} 75
    
  4. Use the Query command to verify the setting. For example:

    powercfg -QUERY
    

    The computer shows the new power setting index in hexadecimal notation. For example:

    Power Setting GUID: {guidPowerSetting-Brightness}  (Display brightness)
          Minimum Possible Setting: 0x00000000
          Maximum Possible Setting: 0x00000064
          Possible Settings increment: 0x00000001
          Possible Settings units: %
        Current AC Power Setting Index: 0x00000064
        Current DC Power Setting Index: 0x0000004b
    

    The hexadecimal value 0x00000064 represents 100 percent display brightness when the computer is plugged in. The hexadecimal value 0x0000004b represents 75 percent display brightness when the computer is using battery power.

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