Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.


Install Surface and Windows updates

Two types of updates keep Surface performing its best: Surface hardware updates (also known as firmware), and Windows software updates. Both types install automatically as they become available.


Before you begin

Here are some important tips:

  • Plug your Surface into a working electrical outlet before installing updates. Don’t unplug or power off your Surface during the update process.
  • If you have a Surface Cover, make sure that it’s attached before you turn on your Surface so that you get the updates for the Cover, too.
  • You must be connected to the Internet to download updates for Surface. If you can’t install updates because of Wi-Fi problems, see Can’t connect to a wireless network?
  • By default, tethered and mobile broadband connections are metered. Windows updates may not download over a metered connection. Metered Internet connections: FAQ has more info about this. Connect to Wi-Fi to make sure you get all updates.
  • The amount of time it takes to install updates will vary -- depending on the speed of your Internet connection and the number and size of the updates.

Update Surface and Windows

When updates become available, they’re installed automatically on your Surface over Wi-Fi, but may be limited over a metered connection. To get all the updates, connect to Wi-Fi first. Windows notifies you if you need to restart Surface to complete the installation of an update.

You can also check for updates manually. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click Change PC settings, tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Windows Update.
Step 3: Tap or click Check now.
Step 4: If there are updates available, tap or click View details.
Step 5: Tap or click to select the updates you want to install, and then tap or click Install.
You may need to restart Surface after the updates have been installed.
Note
When a Surface firmware update is available, you’ll see a notification on your Surface. Just follow the on-screen instructions to update Surface using Windows Update.

Get updates on a metered connection

If you are using mobile broadband to connect to the Internet, your connection will be automatically set to metered. Only high-priority updates will download over this type of connection and it is best to connect to Wi-Fi to install Windows and firmware updates.

You can change your settings to allow all updates over your mobile broadband connection, which is useful if you have no other connection options or have an unlimited data plan. To change the setting:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 2: Tap or click Network.
Step 3: Tap or click the name of the mobile broadband connection under Mobile broadband.
Step 4: Under Data usage, tap or click the slider below Set as a metered connection to turn it off.
Turning off metered settings will allow other updates, such as apps, to download as well. Turn the setting back on to save data on your plan.
Note
Windows updates can contain large amounts of data. Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data use.

See your update history

To see what Windows and Surface updates you already have installed:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 2: Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Windows Update.
Step 3: Tap or click View your update history. A list of the updates installed is shown.

For descriptions of the Surface updates released so far, see Surface update history.

Change Windows Update settings

Surface RT and Surface 2: Windows Update settings are always on and can’t be disabled. You can’t change Windows Update settings for Windows RT.

Surface Pro: To change your Windows Update settings:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Change PC settings.
Step 2: Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Windows Update.
Step 3: Tap or click Choose how updates get installed, select the settings you want, and then tap or click Apply.

For example, if you had turned off automatic updating during set up, and you want to turn this feature back on again, choose Install updates automatically (recommended).

For more info about Windows Update, see Windows automatic updating: Frequently asked questions.

Problems installing updates?

If you’re having trouble installing an update, try running the Windows Update automatic troubleshooter. The troubleshooter can fix some common problems with Windows Update.

If you’re still having a problem, see Troubleshoot problems with installing updates or search Windows Help for solutions.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Search.
Step 2: In the search box, enter help, and in the search results, tap or click Help and Support.
Step 3: In the Help and Support search box, enter Windows updates and press Enter.
Topics related to Windows Update are shown.