Preventing Windows 10 Power Settings Changing by Themselves (on ASUS Laptops)

Drivers Apr 6, 2020

The short answer is; uninstall ASUS Smart Gesture, set up your power settings how you want them and then reinstall the latest version of Smart Gesture. The download links for which are down there.

The other day I posted what I thought was a workaround for the issue mentioned in the title (which I deleted because it was utterly wrong). Basically what happens is, you start using your laptop and at some point hear the fan buzzing away or notice your battery life is apparently draining quicker than a keg at a beer festival. If you then check your advanced power settings from within the power options control panel you may find that your Intel graphics power management options have magically changed by themselves, most likely set to maximum performance on both AC and battery power, but also things like the minimum processor state being set to 100%.

My initial workaround was to go into the Local Group Policy Editor and enable a setting that I thought would lock the options down. My logic being that if you as an administrator can't change the settings then nothing else could either, even a rogue application. Of course this would only benefit users of Windows 10 Pro as Home users can't access the group policy editor. As stated I was wrong however, as although it seemed to work at first, sure enough given a short length of time the settings changed by themselves again.

I've looked into this a lot since then and I've come to some base conclusions, namely on the potential causes and what people have in common that report it online. First of all, let me list what I have specifically in terms of hardware and software:

  • ASUS Laptop.
  • Intel Processor.
  • Dedicated Nvidia graphics.
  • Event Viewer seemed to suggest power scheme changes were coming from an ASUS application, called AsusTPCenter.exe which is installed as part of their Smart Gesture software (that's the Touchpad driver and related software oddly enough).
  • Intel's graphics power management plan was what kept being changed while on battery, for no apparent reason, as well as the minimum processor idle state and cooling fan policy.

It appears that all whom suffer from this problem at least have an Intel processor and so also have integrated Intel graphics too. They all also seem to have an ASUS laptop with ASUS Smart Gesture installed as well. After my initial decision to just try and lock the settings down failed, I decided to try and determine when exactly the settings would change by themselves, as up to that point I'd only ever noticed it randomly and couldn't specifically tell when they had changed or what I was doing when they did.

I discovered it was largely occurring when I opened the browser and started using it. I don't think Firefox had anything to do with this, but it seemed likely that the increase in power use required to launch and process Firefox was tripping something behind the scenes and AsusTPCenter.exe was reconfiguring the power settings to what it thought they should be, so that the Intel graphics and processor wouldn't be throttled. I could be utterly wrong in that assumption of course, it might just be one of your run-of-the-mill glitches with no rhyme or reason behind it.

So how do you fix it?

In the end I decided to do the simplest thing I could think of and just uninstall ASUS Smart Gesture and then reinstall the same or a newer version of it, which I did. After uninstalling it I first changed my power settings back to how I wanted them, then reinstalled the drivers and low and behold this seems to have worked. ASUS have a version on their website at the time of writing this, in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties both marked as being version 4.0.12. Instead I was able to come across a newer version of the 64-bit software (4.0.24) here. I recommend for ASUS laptop users as the guy has a whole host of links to updated ASUS software that even ASUS doesn't seem to have available on their own fucking support site.

Quite why the touchpad software feels it has the right to mess about with my power configuration I do not know, but Event Viewer apparently confirmed that is what has been causing the changes. In fact it seems to make a lot of changes a lot of the time, as the entry in Event Viewer was showing up regularly in the log. It's worth noting that ASUS Smart Gesture is installed automatically by Windows Update when it scans and updates your computer after first being installed (or at least it was for me) and presumably they are kept updated that way. However drivers delivered via Windows' own updating system don't always tend to be the latest and greatest available due to the time it takes to get them certified.

Having said that though I forget exactly what version of Smart Gesture I had on my laptop originally. It could very well have been the latest version that had broken somehow or other and a reinstall fixed the problem, after all sometimes the simplest solution is the right one (Occam's razor).