Applies to

Surface Pro 4, Surface Book.

Applies to

Surface 3, Surface Pro 3.

Operating system:

Choose which OneNote app opens with Surface Pen

Use the Surface app in Windows 10 to customize the functionality of the top button on your Surface Pen.


By default, when you click the top button on your Surface Pen, the OneNote Windows Store app opens to a new Quick Note, ready to capture your thoughts. If you’ve installed the Surface app from Windows Store and OneNote 2013 or OneNote 2016—the desktop app—you can choose which version of OneNote your Surface Pen opens.

Customize your Surface Pen (Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book only)

Note
This option is not available for Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, or Surface Pro.

You can use the Surface app to choose which OneNote app your Surface opens when you click the top button on your Surface Pen. To learn how to install the Surface app from the Windows Store, see Install and use the Surface app.

To customize your Surface Pen, you will need the following on your Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book:

  • The latest version of the Surface app (v10.0.342.0 or later) available from the Windows Store. To learn how to install the latest version of the app, see Install and uninstall apps on Surface.
  • The latest Surface Pen Settings driver (v10.0.302.0 or later) available from Windows Update. To learn how to install the latest update, see Install Surface and Windows updates.
  • Windows 10 build 10586 or later available from Windows Update. If you aren’t sure which Windows 10 build you’re using, see Which Windows operating system am I running?
  • Notes
    • Surface Pen with two side buttons is designed for Surface Pro 3 and works with Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, or Surface 3.

A drawing of Surface pen with two side buttons, which are labeled 1 for the LED and 2 for the Top button
1 LED
2 Top button
    • Surface Pen with single button on flat edge is designed for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book and works with Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface 3, and Surface Pro 3. (Windows 10 must be installed on your device to use all of the features of Surface Pen with single button on flat edge.)
1 Top button
2 LED

You can customize the single-click and double-click functionality on Surface Pen with two side buttons, and the single-click, double-click, and press-and-hold functionality on Surface Pen with single button on flat edge. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open the Surface app.
Step 2: On the left side of the app, select Pen .
Step 3: Under Button Customization, choose which action to take when you single-click, double-click, or press and hold the top button on your pen.
The Surface Pen Button Customization screen includes options for specifying the action to be performed by a single click, double click, and press and hold.

Choose which OneNote app opens with Surface Pen

If you have both OneNote and OneNote 2013 installed on your Surface 3 or Surface Pro 3, you can choose which one opens when you press the top button on your Surface Pen.


When you press the top button on your Surface Pen, OneNote opens. If you prefer, you can change a setting so your pen opens OneNote 2013 (desktop) instead. Change the setting as described here, or use the Surface app.

Make OneNote 2013 the default

Step 1:  Open OneNote 2013 (desktop).
If you don’t already have it installed, see Get OneNote 2013 to download it.
Step 2:  On the File menu, tap or click Options, and tap or click Advanced.
Step 3:  Under Default OneNote Application, tap or click the checkbox Make OneNote 2013 (desktop) the default OneNote application for OneNote links, notes and clips.
If you don’t see this option, you need to update your Office apps. See Update Office 2013 below.
Step 4:  In the pop-up window, tap or click OneNote (desktop), and tap or click OK.

You can use these steps to switch the default back by choosing OneNote instead of OneNote (desktop) in Step 4.

Update Office 2013

If you don’t see Default OneNote application in the advanced OneNote options menu, you need to update Microsoft Office 2013. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Open OneNote 2013 (desktop).
Step 2:  On the File menu, tap or click Account.
Step 3:  Tap or click the Update Options button, and tap or click Update.
After you install the Office updates, try the steps again to change the default OneNote app setting.