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When the UPS switches over to battery power (e.g., when the mains power cuts off or goes out of spec), I'd expect to (and like to) see a notification bubble (toast) in the notification area. Is there a way to make that happen?

  • Windows 10 19043.1165 on desktop PC
  • APC BackUPS XC 1500 (with refreshed batteries)

Windows knows about the UPS. I've connected the UPS to a USB port, and the Battery Saver tab in the Settings control panel applet shows the current charge for the UPS's batteries. In Device Manager, under the Batteries node, there is a HID UPS Battery. It seems to be a generic Microsoft driver from 2006.

The APC website offers deprecated software for managing the UPS, but it seems to have been unmaintained and unsupported for quite a while, so I'm not inclined to install that.

The option to display the power status in the notification area of the task bar seems to be disabled for desktop devices.

I checked the Services, and I see one called "Power" that says "Manages power policy and power policy notifications." That service is running and its startup type is automatic.

Moments ago, my UPS kicked in for almost a minute. The UPS's front panel said it was because of an undervoltage on the mains.

  • There was no notification on the desktop.
  • I opened the Battery Saver tab of the Settings applet during the event, and it was updating the battery charge level in real time, but it showed no other indication that it was currently running on batteries.
  • Afterwards, I checked the Event Viewer but I cannot find any logged events that correspond to the event.

During longer outages in the past, Windows has put the PC into hibernation mode, as expected, so it seems to recognize when it's running on emergency backup power. But even during those events there were no notifications.

Is there a way to get desktop notifications for these types of power change events?

2 Answers 2

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You need to research a newer UPS to see if that is a function the UPS software supplies.

I have that age of APC UPS and it works well. But there is not any way to get from the UPS a notification on my Windows 10 machine.

If I am not around to manage the Computer, the APC software will initiate an orderly shutdown.

Your UPS (its basic design in 2006) precedes Windows 10 by nearly a decade, so for your UPS to provide notifications: No (certainly not likely). Newer UPS: Maybe - depends on the UPS.

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  • I take your point, but there's no need to exaggerate. I bought the UPS new 9 years ago this month, approximately three years before the rollout of Windows 10. The last version of the user manual is stamped November 2016, more than a year after the introduction of Windows 10. In absence of providing vendor-specific software, Windows 10 is providing a default driver that was built in 2006. Aug 22, 2021 at 23:04
  • I did clarify my post about the initial design year. I do not try to exaggerate when I post. Thanks.
    – John
    Aug 23, 2021 at 0:07
  • Yeah, I get it. I couldn't find any info on when it was designed, but it got UL certification near the end of 2009, still well before Windows 10. Before using it with this machine, I used to get notifications (and a power indicator icon on the task bar) without vendor software, just stock Windows 7. Usually Microsoft is really good about backward compatibility, and since their driver dates back to 2006, I'm still rather surprised why this functionality was lost. Aug 23, 2021 at 4:03
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Your UPS is the Power Saving Back-UPS XS 1500.

It is compatible with the software PowerChute Personal Edition v3.1 whose manual describes what happens when power is cut:

Hibernation Warning

While the internal battery in your battery backup is supplying power, PowerChute monitors the situation with reference to the options chosen on the Runtime page under Configuration. When the set conditions are met, a warning dialog box displays.

If hibernation is enabled, PowerChute displays the Hibernation Warning dialog and initiates hibernation. (If hibernation is disabled, PowerChute displays the Shutdown Warning dialog and initiates a shutdown. See Using Hibernation and Sleep.)

On the dialog box, a timer counts down from 10 seconds, indicating the time until hibernation or shutdown begins.

If your purpose is to shut-down the computer before your work is lost, in case of a power drop, then you may use the PowerChute software. This software dates to June 2019, so is not very outdated. It has an very good chance of still working.

If you wish to understand the protocol used between the UPS and the software, you will need to install a wire-sniffer between the two, and trace the signals. This seems like a very heavy task to do.

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  • The Windows 10 native power management is fine for shutting down the PC. All I'm looking for is desktop notifications. Per the (abysmal) reviews, FAQ, and Known Issues list: the PowerChute software requires disabling native power management, runs the user-mode component as admin, doesn't uninstall cleanly, and may have an expired authenticode signature. Apparently the 2019 version was only recently posted, as the latest I saw was 2016 when I replaced my batteries a few weeks ago. I would prefer a solution that relies on native power management. Aug 22, 2021 at 21:07

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