Using Powercfg to Query an Existing Power Scheme

by Barry Dysert
(last updated September 26, 2016)

As you may know, your computer can run under a variety of different power schemes. A power scheme is a collection of hardware and system settings that manage how your computer uses power. They are typically used the most with laptops, where it's more crucial to trade off between performance and battery preservation. Even a desktop machine can use them, though. There are three schemes that come with Windows by default. They are Balanced, High Performance, and Power Saver, and you can create others if none of these suits you.

There is a command utility in Windows called Powercfg, which provides a great deal of control over your power schemes. (You can use the GUI for much of this functionality, too, but a lot of people prefer using the command line.) Powercfg takes numerous switches to tell it what you want to do regarding your power schemes. To see all of the switches available to Powercfg, invoke it with the "-HELP" (or "-?") switch.

For this tip we want to display the contents of the specified power scheme. First, we'll get a list of the available power schemes: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Powercfg -list.

Now let's say we want to find out more details about the High Performance scheme. For this we'll use the "-QUERY" (or "-Q") switch and specify that scheme's GUID. Before I show an example, be aware that this produces a great deal of output—more than would be appropriate to list in this tip. So I'm going to pipe the output to More and only list the first screenful of resulting lines: (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Powercfg -query (partial listing).

Note the GUID that I specified on the first line is the same GUID as was listed in the previous figure for the High Performance scheme. What all this data means is well beyond the scope of this tip.

The "-QUERY" switch does take an optional second GUID for a subgroup. Now that we have some subgroups shown in the above figure, we can limit our view to just one subgroup of the High Performance scheme by specifying the second GUID after the first: (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Powercfg -query showing a subgroup.

 This tip (13474) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Ways to Combine Two (or More) Text Files

There have probably been times when you've wanted to combine two or more text files into one. Windows provides a few ...

Discover More

Increasing the Number of Restore Points

You may feel constrained by the low number of restore points your system is keeping. You can increase the disk space ...

Discover More

Understanding the Start Menu Search Box

The Start Menu Search Box is a great addition to Windows. It can save you a great deal of time by putting frequently used ...

Discover More
MORE WINDOWSTIPS

Using Powercfg to Duplicate an Existing Power Scheme

The Powercfg utility allows you to control how power is used on your system. This tip shows you how to use the command-line ...

Discover More

Changing the MAC Address for a Network Adapter

MAC addresses are used to uniquely identify devices on your network, such as a network adapter. Here's how you can modify the ...

Discover More

Connecting to an External Screen

Got a second monitor or projector you want to use with your Windows system? Here's how easy it is to take advantage of that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Business Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share