Can’t connect to mobile broadband?

If you're having trouble getting or maintaining a mobile broadband connection on your Surface, here are some things you can try.

Applies to

Surface 3 (4G LTE).

Applies to

Surface 2 (4G).

Applies to

Surface 3 (4G LTE).

Applies to

Surface 2 (4G).

Operating system:

Before you begin

If you can’t connect to mobile broadband or share your connection, first try installing the latest drivers from Windows Update. Sharing your mobile broadband connection requires Wi-Fi drivers that work with Wi-Fi Direct.


When updates become available, they’re installed automatically on your Surface when it’s connected to Wi-Fi. Only high-priority updates are installed over metered connections like a mobile broadband connection.

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

Step 1:

Connect your Surface to Wi-Fi, if it's not already connected. For more info, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.

Step 2: Go to Start  Windows logo, and select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
Step 3: Select Check for updates.
If updates are available, they will install automatically. You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

If you’re still having trouble, check out the solutions below.

Surface says “Insert a SIM” but the SIM card is already in the Surface

If you have just inserted the SIM card, wait at least 30 seconds to see if your Surface recognizes the SIM card. If you still see the message, remove the SIM card tray and check that the card is seated properly in the tray. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Shut down your Surface.

Step 2:

Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the SIM card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.

Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you’re using a dongle to access mobile broadband, shut down your Surface, remove and replace the dongle, and restart your Surface.

If your Surface still doesn’t recognize the SIM card, try using another data SIM card and see if your Surface recognizes it. If your Surface does recognize the new card, the problem is likely your other SIM card. Contact your mobile operator to replace your SIM card.

If your Surface does not recognize either SIM card, contact us.

Cellular is not a connection option

If Cellular isn’t listed as an option when you select wireless network Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar, your Surface mobile broadband (4G LTE) modem may be disabled, or your Surface may not recognize your dongle.

First, make sure you’ve installed all the latest Windows updates. If Cellular is still not listed as an option, shut down your Surface and remove and replace the SIM card tray or dongle.

If you still don’t see Cellular when you select wireless network Wi-Fi icon, you can use Device Manager to check the modem on your Surface. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, enter device manager, and in the search results, select Device Manager.
Step 2: Select the arrow next to Network adapters to expand the adapters list, and check to see if Surface 3 Modem Device is listed.

If Surface 3 Modem Device is listed:

Step 1: Double tap or double click it to open the properties.
Step 2: Under Driver, select Disable.
Step 3:

Select Yes in the warning box.

Step 4: Select Enable to restart the modem.

If you still don’t see Cellular when you select wireless network Wi-Fi icon, contact us.

The mobile operator isn't listed under Cellular in Settings

If you’re setting up a Surface for the first time and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option on the Wireless screen, connect to a Wi-Fi network to complete the setup. You will be able to connect to mobile broadband once your Surface is set up. Here’s how to connect to a Wi-Fi network:

Step 1: On the Wireless screen, under Wi-Fi, select a wireless network name.
Step 2: If prompted, enter your wireless network password and select Connect. If you don’t know your password, see How to find your wireless network password.

If you have already set up your Surface and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option when you go to Start  Windows logo > Settings > Network & Internet > Cellular, check to see if the mobile broadband connection option is turned off. Here’s how:

Step 1: Select wireless network Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar.
Step 2:

Check to make sure Cellular is undimmed.

  • If Cellular is dimmed, select the tile to turn on mobile broadband.
  • If Cellular is undimmed, select the tile to turn off mobile broadband. Then select the tile again to turn mobile broadband back on.

If the mobile broadband on your Surface won’t turn on, see ”You can’t turn mobile broadband on” below.

If you still don’t see the option, try removing and reinserting the SIM card.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you still don’t see your mobile operator under Cellular, you likely need a new SIM card. Contact your mobile operator for a replacement.

You can’t turn mobile broadband on

If you can’t turn on mobile broadband, check to see if you are in Airplane mode. To do this:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Network & Internet > Airplane Mode.
Step 2: Check the toggle under Airplane mode, and if it says On, move it to Off.

If Airplane mode is off and you still can’t turn mobile broadband on, try removing your SIM card, checking it for damage, and reinstalling it.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray and inspect it for damage, but avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.
Step 6: Try turning on mobile broadband.

If the SIM card is damaged, contact your mobile operator for a replacement. If you get a replacement SIM card and you still can’t connect to mobile broadband, contact us.

You have limited or no connectivity

If you have limited or no connectivity, you may be out of your mobile operator’s range. To find out, check your data signal:

Step 1: In the taskbar, select wireless network Wi-Fi icon.
Step 2: Check to see how many bars are lit up in the cellular icon.
If you have only one lit bar, or none, you are likely on the edge of or out of your operator’s range. To reconnect, you need to move to get back in range.

You can connect from some locations but not others

If you are traveling outside of your mobile operator’s network coverage area and want to use a mobile broadband connection, make sure that roaming is turned on. Roaming allows you to connect to the Internet even when you are away from your mobile operator’s network. Some operators charge extra for roaming or have a different data plan that includes this. Check with your mobile operator for more info on its roaming plans.

To set your Surface so roaming turns on by default when you are out of your mobile operator’s range:

Step 1: Go to Start  Windows logo, and select > Settings > Network & Internet > Cellular.
Step 2: Select the name of your mobile operator.
Step 3: Select Connect automatically.
Step 4: Select Allow roaming.

Before you begin

If you can’t connect to mobile broadband or share your connection, first try installing the latest drivers from Windows Update. Sharing your mobile broadband connection requires Wi-Fi drivers that work with Wi-Fi Direct.

When updates become available, they’re installed automatically on your Surface when it’s connected to Wi-Fi. Only high-priority updates are installed over metered connections like a mobile broadband connection.

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

Step 1: Connect your Surface to Wi-Fi, if it's not already connected. For more info, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.
Step 2: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 3: Select Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Windows Update.
Step 4: Select Check now.
Step 5: If updates are available, select View details.
Step 6: Choose the updates you want to install, and select Install.
You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

If you’re still having trouble, check out the solutions below.

Surface says “Insert a SIM” but the SIM card is already in the Surface

If you have just inserted the SIM card, wait at least 30 seconds to see if your Surface recognizes the SIM card. If you still see the message, remove the SIM card tray and check that the card is seated properly in the tray. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Shut down your Surface.

Step 2:

Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the SIM card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.

Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you’re using a dongle to access mobile broadband, shut down your Surface, remove and replace the dongle, and restart your Surface.

If your Surface still doesn’t recognize the SIM card, try using another data SIM card and see if your Surface recognizes it. If your Surface does recognize the new card, the problem is likely your other SIM card. Contact your mobile operator to replace your SIM card.

If your Surface does not recognize either SIM card, contact us.

Mobile broadband is not a connection option

If mobile broadband isn’t listed as an option in Networks, your Surface mobile broadband (4G) modem may be disabled, or your Surface may not recognize your dongle.

First, make sure you have installed all the latest Windows updates. If mobile broadband is still not listed as an option, shut down your Surface and remove and replace the SIM card tray or dongle.

If the Network list still does not show the “Mobile broadband” header, you can use Device Manager to check the modem on your Surface. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, enter device manager, and in the search results, select Device Manager.
Step 2: Select the arrow next to Network adapters to expand the adapters list, and check to see if Surface 2 Modem device is listed.

If Surface 2 Modem Device is listed:

Step 1: Double tap or double click it to open the properties.
Step 2: Under Driver, select Disable.
Step 3:

Select Yes in the warning box.

Step 4: Select Enable to restart the modem.

If the Networks list still does not show the “Mobile broadband" header, contact us.

The mobile operator isn't listed under Mobile broadband in Networks

If you’re setting up a Surface for the first time and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option on the Wireless screen, connect to a Wi-Fi network to complete the setup. You will be able to connect to mobile broadband once your Surface is set up. Here’s how to connect to a Wi-Fi network:

Step 1: On the Wireless screen, under Wi-Fi, select a wireless network name.
Step 2: If prompted, enter your wireless network password and select Connect. If you don’t know your password, see How to find your wireless network password.

If you have already set up your Surface and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option when you open the Networks list from the Charms menu, check to see if the mobile broadband connection option is turned off. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 2: Select wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Check to make sure the toggle under Mobile broadband is set to On.
  • If Mobile broadband is set to Off, move the slider to On.
  • If Mobile broadband is set to On, move the slider to Off. Then move it back to On.
    If the mobile broadband on your Surface won’t turn on, see “You can’t turn mobile broadband on” below.

If you still don’t see the option, try removing and reinserting the SIM card.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you still don’t see your mobile operator under Mobile broadband, you likely need a new SIM card. Contact your mobile operator for a replacement.

You can’t turn mobile broadband on

If you can’t turn on mobile broadband, check to see if you are in Airplane mode. To do this:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 2: Select wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Check the toggle under Airplane mode, and if it says On, move it to Off.

If Airplane mode is off and you still can’t turn mobile broadband on, try removing your SIM card, checking it for damage, and reinstalling it.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray and inspect it for damage, but avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.
Step 6: Try turning on Mobile broadband.

If the SIM card is damaged, contact your mobile operator for a replacement. If you get a replacement SIM card and you still can’t connect to mobile broadband, contact us.

You have limited or no connectivity

If you have limited or no connectivity, you may be out of your mobile operator’s range. To find out, check your data signal:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 2: Check to see how many bars are lit up in the network icon.
If you have only one lit bar, or none, you are likely on the edge of or out of your operator’s range. To reconnect, you need to move to get back in range.

You can connect from some locations but not others

If you are traveling outside of your mobile operator’s network coverage area and want to use a mobile broadband connection, make sure that roaming is turned on. Roaming allows you to connect to the Internet even when you are away from your mobile operator’s network. Some operators charge extra for roaming or have a different data plan that includes this. Check with your mobile operator for more info on its roaming plans.

To set your Surface so roaming turns on by default when you are out of your mobile operator’s range:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Settings.)
Step 2: Select wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Select the name of your mobile operator.
Step 4: Select Connect automatically.
Step 5: Select Roam automatically.

Before you begin

If you can’t connect to mobile broadband or share your connection, first try installing the latest drivers from Windows Update. Sharing your mobile broadband connection requires Wi-Fi drivers that work with Wi-Fi Direct.

When updates become available, they’re installed automatically on your Surface when it’s connected to Wi-Fi. Only high-priority updates are installed over metered connections like a mobile broadband connection.

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

Step 1:

Connect your Surface to Wi-Fi, if it's not already connected. For more info, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.

Step 2: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 3: Tap or click Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Windows Update.
Step 4: Tap or click Check now.
Step 5: If updates are available, tap or click View details.
Step 6: Tap or click to select the updates you want to install, and tap or click Install.
You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

If you’re still having trouble, check out the solutions below.

Surface says “Insert a SIM” but the SIM card is already in the Surface

If you have just inserted the SIM card, wait at least 30 seconds to see if your Surface recognizes the SIM card. If you still see the message, remove the SIM card tray and check that the card is seated properly in the tray. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Shut down your Surface.

Step 2:

Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the SIM card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.

Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you’re using a dongle to access mobile broadband, shut down your Surface, remove and replace the dongle, and restart your Surface.

If your Surface still doesn’t recognize the SIM card, try using another data SIM card and see if your Surface recognizes it. If your Surface does recognize the new card, the problem is likely your other SIM card. Contact your mobile operator to replace your SIM card.

If your Surface does not recognize either SIM card, contact us.

Mobile broadband is not a connection option

If mobile broadband isn’t listed as an option in Networks, your Surface mobile broadband (4G) modem may be disabled, or your Surface may not recognize your dongle.

First, make sure you have installed all the latest Windows updates. If mobile broadband is still not listed as an option, shut down your Surface and remove and replace the SIM card tray or dongle.

If the Network list still does not show the “Mobile broadband” header, you can use Device Manager to check the modem on your Surface. Here’s how:

Step 1:

On the Start screen, enter device manager.

Step 2:

In the search results, tap or click Device Manager.

Step 3: Tap or click the arrow next to Network adapters to expand the adapters list, and check to see if Surface 2 Modem device or Surface Mobile Broadband is listed.

If Surface 2 Modem Device or Surface Mobile Broadband is listed:

Step 1:

Double tap or double click it to open the properties.

Step 2:

Under Driver, tap or click Disable.

Step 3: Tap or click Yes in the warning box.
Step 4: Tap or click Enable to restart the modem.

If the Networks list still does not show the “Mobile broadband” header, contact us.

The mobile operator isn't listed under Mobile broadband in Networks

If you’re setting up a Surface for the first time and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option on the Wireless screen, connect to a Wi-Fi network to complete the setup. You will be able to connect to mobile broadband once your Surface is set up. Here’s how to connect to a Wi-Fi network:

Step 1: On the Wireless screen, under Wi-Fi, tap or click a wireless network name.
Step 2: If prompted, enter your wireless network password and tap or click Connect. If you don’t know your password, see How to find your wireless network password.

If you have already set up your Surface and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option when you open the Networks list from the Charms menu, check to see if the mobile broadband connection option is turned off. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Check to make sure the toggle under Mobile broadband is set to On.
  • If Mobile broadband is set to Off, tap or click the toggle to turn mobile broadband on.
  • If Mobile broadband is set to On, tap or click the toggle to turn mobile broadband off. Then tap it again to turn it back on.

If the mobile broadband on your Surface won’t turn on, see “You can’t turn mobile broadband on” below.

If you still don’t see the option, try removing and reinserting the SIM card.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you still don’t see your mobile operator under Mobile broadband, you likely need a new SIM card. Contact your mobile operator for a replacement.

You can’t turn mobile broadband on

If you can’t turn on mobile broadband, check to see if you are in Airplane mode. To do this:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Check the toggle under Airplane mode, and if it says On, tap or click it to switch it to Off.

If Airplane mode is off and you still can’t turn mobile broadband on, try removing your SIM card, checking it for damage, and reinstalling it.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray and inspect it for damage, but avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.
Step 6: Try turning on Mobile broadband.

If the SIM card is damaged, contact your mobile operator for a SIM card replacement. If you get a replacement SIM card and you still can’t connect to mobile broadband, contact us.

You have limited or no connectivity

If you have limited or no connectivity, you may be out of your mobile operator’s range. To find out, check your data signal:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Check to see how many bars are lit up in the network icon.
If you have only one lit bar, or none, you are likely on the edge of or out of your operator’s range. To reconnect, you need to move to get back in range.

You can connect from some locations but not others

If you are traveling outside of your mobile operator’s network coverage area and want to use a mobile broadband connection, make sure that roaming is turned on. Roaming allows you to connect to the Internet even when you are away from your mobile operator’s network. Some operators charge extra for roaming or have a different data plan that includes this. Check with your mobile operator for more info on its roaming plans.

To set your Surface so roaming turns on by default when you are out of your mobile operator’s range:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Tap or click the name of your mobile operator.
Step 4: Tap or click Connect automatically.
Step 5: Tap or click Roam automatically.

Before you begin

If you can’t connect to mobile broadband or share your connection, first try installing the latest drivers from Windows Update. Sharing your mobile broadband connection requires Wi-Fi drivers that work with Wi-Fi Direct.

When updates become available, they’re installed automatically on your Surface when it’s connected to Wi-Fi. Only high-priority updates are installed over metered connections like a mobile broadband connection.

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

Step 1:

Connect your Surface to Wi-Fi, if it's not already connected. For more info, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.

Step 2: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 3: Tap or click Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Windows Update.
Step 4: Tap or click Check now.
Step 5: If updates are available, tap or click View details.
Step 6: Tap or click to select the updates you want to install, and tap or click Install.
You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

If you’re still having trouble, check out the solutions below.

Surface says “Insert a SIM” but the SIM card is already in the Surface

If you have just inserted the SIM card, wait at least 30 seconds to see if your Surface recognizes the SIM card. If you still see the message, remove the SIM card tray and check that the card is seated properly in the tray. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Shut down your Surface.

Step 2:

Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the SIM card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.

Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you’re using a dongle to access mobile broadband, shut down your Surface, remove and replace the dongle, and restart your Surface.

If your Surface still doesn’t recognize the SIM card, try using another data SIM card and see if your Surface recognizes it. If your Surface does recognize the new card, the problem is likely your other SIM card. Contact your mobile operator to replace your SIM card.

If your Surface does not recognize either SIM card, contact us.

Mobile broadband is not a connection option

If mobile broadband isn’t listed as an option in Networks, your Surface mobile broadband (4G) modem may be disabled, or your Surface may not recognize your dongle.

First, make sure you have installed all the latest Windows updates. If mobile broadband is still not listed as an option, shut down your Surface and remove and replace the SIM card tray or dongle.

If the Network list still does not show the “Mobile broadband” header, you can use Device Manager to check the modem on your Surface. Here’s how:

Step 1:

On the Start screen, enter device manager.

Step 2:

In the search results, tap or click Device Manager.

Step 3: Tap or click the arrow next to Network adapters to expand the adapters list, and check to see if Surface 2 Modem device or Surface Mobile Broadband is listed.

If Surface 2 Modem Device or Surface Mobile Broadband is listed:

Step 1:

Double tap or double click it to open the properties.

Step 2:

Under Driver, tap or click Disable.

Step 3: Tap or click Yes in the warning box.
Step 4: Tap or click Enable to restart the modem.

If the Networks list still does not show the “Mobile broadband” header, contact us.

The mobile operator isn't listed under Mobile broadband in Networks

If you’re setting up a Surface for the first time and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option on the Wireless screen, connect to a Wi-Fi network to complete the setup. You will be able to connect to mobile broadband once your Surface is set up. Here’s how to connect to a Wi-Fi network:

Step 1: On the Wireless screen, under Wi-Fi, tap or click a wireless network name.
Step 2: If prompted, enter your wireless network password and tap or click Connect. If you don’t know your password, see How to find your wireless network password.

If you have already set up your Surface and don’t see a mobile operator listed as an option when you open the Networks list from the Charms menu, check to see if the mobile broadband connection option is turned off. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Check to make sure the toggle under Mobile broadband is set to On.
  • If Mobile broadband is set to Off, tap or click the toggle to turn mobile broadband on.
  • If Mobile broadband is set to On, tap or click the toggle to turn mobile broadband off. Then tap it again to turn it back on.

If the mobile broadband on your Surface won’t turn on, see “You can’t turn mobile broadband on” below.

If you still don’t see the option, try removing and reinserting the SIM card.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray. Avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.

If you still don’t see your mobile operator under Mobile broadband, you likely need a new SIM card. Contact your mobile operator for a replacement.

You can’t turn mobile broadband on

If you can’t turn on mobile broadband, check to see if you are in Airplane mode. To do this:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Check the toggle under Airplane mode, and if it says On, tap or click it to switch it to Off.

If Airplane mode is off and you still can’t turn mobile broadband on, try removing your SIM card, checking it for damage, and reinstalling it.

Step 1: Shut down your Surface.
Step 2: Remove the SIM card tray and inspect it for damage, but avoid touching the metallic part of the card.
If you aren’t sure how to remove the SIM card, see Remove a SIM card from Surface.
Step 3: Replace the SIM card in the tray, lining up the notches on the card and the tray.
Step 4: Replace the SIM card tray with the logo side toward you, and slide it into your Surface, pressing it in slightly.
Step 5: Turn on your Surface.
Step 6: Try turning on Mobile broadband.

If the SIM card is damaged, contact your mobile operator for a SIM card replacement. If you get a replacement SIM card and you still can’t connect to mobile broadband, contact us.

You have limited or no connectivity

If you have limited or no connectivity, you may be out of your mobile operator’s range. To find out, check your data signal:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Check to see how many bars are lit up in the network icon.
If you have only one lit bar, or none, you are likely on the edge of or out of your operator’s range. To reconnect, you need to move to get back in range.

You can connect from some locations but not others

If you are traveling outside of your mobile operator’s network coverage area and want to use a mobile broadband connection, make sure that roaming is turned on. Roaming allows you to connect to the Internet even when you are away from your mobile operator’s network. Some operators charge extra for roaming or have a different data plan that includes this. Check with your mobile operator for more info on its roaming plans.

To set your Surface so roaming turns on by default when you are out of your mobile operator’s range:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2: Tap or click wireless network Wireless network icon.
Step 3: Tap or click the name of your mobile operator.
Step 4: Tap or click Connect automatically.
Step 5: Tap or click Roam automatically.

Contact Us

Answer Desk

Answer Techs are available to help.

Want to get in person help?
Schedule an answer desk store appointment.

Talk to a live agent