Applies to

Surface 3, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating system:

Troubleshoot your Surface Cover

If your Surface doesn’t detect your Surface Cover when you connect it, if your Cover stops working, or if the keys or touchpad don’t work consistently, try these solutions.


Note

If your Surface Cover is torn or needs physical repair or replacement, go to Get my Surface fixed.

Nothing on my Cover works

Solution 1: Clean the connection between your Surface and the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface Pro models, Surface 3, or Surface Book.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The keys on the Cover don’t work, but the touchpad does

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure filter keys are turned off in your Ease of Access settings

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 2:  Under Filter Keys, make sure the toggle is set to Off.

Solution 5: Two-button shutdown (Surface Pro models only)

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2:  Press and hold the volume-up button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and then release both.
The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
Step 3:  After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.
Step 4:  Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The touchpad doesn’t work, but the keys on the Cover do

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure the touchpad isn’t turned off

The way to check whether the touchpad is turned on, to turn the touchpad on or off, and to change other touchpad settings depends on which Cover and which model of Surface you have.

If you have one of these Covers
And one of these Surface models
Attach the Cover and

Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Power Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
Surface 3 Type Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 4

Surface Pro
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 3
Surface 3
Surface Pro 4

Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Devices > Mouse and touchpad.
Make changes under Touchpad.
Touch Cover (early model)
Type Cover (early model)
Surface Pro
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 3

Use the Surface Trackpad Settings app to turn the touchpad on or off and to change most other settings. It’s available for free from the Windows Store.

To help prevent the cursor from moving accidentally while you type, set the delay:
Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Devices > Mouse and touchpad.

For more info, see Touchpad use and settings.

Solution 5: Two-button shutdown (Surface Pro models only)

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2:  Press and hold the volume-up button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and then release both.
The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
Step 3:  After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.
Step 4:  Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you still have a problem

If your still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

What I type isn’t what I see on the screen

Here are some solutions if the keyboard seems to respond erratically—for example, if:

  • You type one character but see another on the screen.
  • The keyboard doesn’t respond when you type quickly.
  • You press a key and it’s as though you held down Ctrl, Alt, or Shift while you pressed it.

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Check your keyboard language settings

Set up a keyboard language

Keyboards differ depending on the language and regional settings. Here’s how to make sure your Cover is set up for your language:

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2:  Select Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3:  Make sure your region is selected in the drop-down box.
Step 4: 

See what language is listed under Languages.

  • If you don’t see the language you want, select Add a language, then choose the language you want to add.
  • To delete a language you don’t want, select it and select Remove.

Choose a special keyboard layout

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2:  Select Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3: 

Select your language > Options.

  • To add a layout, select Add an input method and choose the layout from the list.
  • To remove a layout, select it and select Remove.

Check which keyboard layout you’re using

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

  • Select the language abbreviation at the right edge of the taskbar, and select the language or layout you want to use.

Solution 5: Check your Sticky Keys setting

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 2:  Under Sticky Keys, make sure the toggle is set to Off.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface Pro models, Surface 3, or Surface Book.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

I’m having trouble with backlighting or the touchscreen brightness keys

Solution 1: Adjust the keyboard backlighting

Adjust the keyboard backlighting with the brightness keys on your Cover. To decrease the backlighting, use the Dim backlighting key key. To increase backlighting brightness, use the Brighten backlighting key key.

Notes
  • If you don’t see these keys on your Cover, it doesn’t have backlighting. For more info, see Find out which Surface Typing Cover you have.
  • The Dim backlighting key and Brighten backlighting key keys on the Type Cover control brightness for the keyboard backlighting only.
  • On the Surface 3 Type Cover or Type Cover for Surface Pro 4, you can use the Dim screen icon and Alt-text: Brighten screen icon keys to dim or brighten the screen. To adjust the brightness of the screen if you’re using a different Cover, see The Surface touchscreen.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.


Troubleshoot your Surface Cover

If your Surface doesn’t detect your Surface Cover when you connect it, if your Cover stops working, or if the keys or touchpad don’t work consistently, try these solutions.


Note
If your Surface Cover is torn or needs physical repair or replacement, go to Get my Surface fixed.

Nothing on my Cover works

Solution 1: Clean the connection between your Surface and the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and the Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: 

Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.

Attach Cover

The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.

Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 5: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The keys on the Cover don’t work, but the touchpad does

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: 

Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.

Attach Cover

The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.

Step 4: 

Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure filter keys are turned off in your Ease of Access settings

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Change PC settings.
Step 2:  Select Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 3:  Make sure Filter Keys is set to Off.

Solution 5: Run the Surface troubleshooter

Try running the Surface troubleshooter. The troubleshooter can find and fix problems with the Surface Cover.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The touchpad doesn’t work, but the keys on the Cover do

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: 

Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.

Attach Cover

The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.

Step 4: 

Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure that the touchpad isn’t turned off

The way to check whether the touchpad is turned on, to turn the touchpad on or off, and to change other touchpad settings depends which Cover and which Surface you have.

If you have this Surface
And one of these Covers
Attach the Cover and
Surface 2
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Power Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
Surface 3 Type Cover
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and select Settings > Change PC settings > PC and devices > Mouse and touchpad.
Surface RT
Touch Cover (early model)
Type Cover (early model)
Use the Trackpad Settings app (available for free from the Windows Store)
Note
For the following Surface + Cover combinations, touchpad settings aren’t available.

Surface RT
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Surface 2
Touch Cover (early model)
Type Cover (early model)

For more info, see Touchpad use and settings.

Solution 5: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

What I type isn’t what I see on the screen

Here are some solutions if the keyboard seems to respond erratically—for example if:

  • You type one character but see another on the screen.
  • The keyboard doesn’t respond when you type quickly.
  • You press a key and it’s as though you held down CTRL, ALT or Shift while you pressed it.

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: 

Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.

Attach Cover

The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.

Step 4: 

Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Check your keyboard language settings

Set up a keyboard language

Keyboards differ depending on the language and regional settings. Here’s how to make sure your Cover is set up for your language:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Change PC settings.
Step 2:  Select Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3:  Make sure your region is selected in the drop-down box.
Step 4:  See what language is listed under Languages. If you don’t see the language you want, select Add a language and select the language you want to add.
Step 5:  To delete a language you don’t want, select the unwanted language and select Remove.

Choose a special keyboard layout

You can also choose a different keyboard layout, like Dvorak or a layout specific to a different region. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Change PC settings > Control Panel.
Step 2:  Under the Clock, Language, and Region category, select Change input methods.
If your view of Control Panel shows icons instead of categories, select Language.
Step 3: 

Select Options next to your language to see a list of your current input methods.

  • Select Preview next to a method to see the keyboard layout.
  • Select Remove next to a method to stop using the keyboard layout.
  • Select Add an input method to select a different keyboard layout. Then choose the layout from the list and select Add.

Check which keyboard layout you’re using

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

  • Select the language abbreviation at the right edge of the taskbar, and select the language or layout you want to use.

Solution 5: Check your Sticky Keys setting

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Change PC settings.
Step 2:  Select Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 3:  Make sure Sticky Keys is set to Off.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If there’s still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us..

I’m having trouble with backlighting or the touchscreen brightness keys

Solution 1: Adjust the keyboard backlighting

Adjust the keyboard backlighting with the brightness keys on your Type Cover. To decrease the backlighting, use the Dim backlighting key key. To increase backlighting brightness, use the Brighten backlighting key key.

Notes
  • If you don’t see these keys on your Cover, it doesn’t have backlighting. For more info, see Find out which Surface Typing Cover you have.
  • The Dim backlighting key and Brighten backlighting key keys on the Type Cover control brightness for the keyboard backlighting only.
  • On the Surface 3 Type Cover, you can use the Dim screen icon and Alt-text: Brighten screen icon keys to dim or brighten the screen. To adjust the brightness of the screen if you’re using a different Cover, see The Surface touchscreen.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and select Settings > Power > Restart.

If you still have a problem

If there’s still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.


Troubleshoot your Surface Cover

If your Surface doesn’t detect your Surface Cover when you connect it, if your Cover stops working, or if the keys or touchpad don’t work consistently, try these solutions.


Note

If your Surface Cover is torn or needs physical repair or replacement, go to Get my Surface fixed.

Nothing on my Cover works

Solution 1: Clean the connection between your Surface and the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and the Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try typing on the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing your Surface.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on your Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

Solution 5: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The keys on the Cover don’t work, but the touchpad does

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try typing on the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure filter keys are turned off in your Ease of Access settings

Step 1:  On the Start screen, tap or click Search Search button.
Step 2:  In the search box, enter filter keys, and in the search results, tap or click Turn filter keys on or off.
Step 3:  Under Filter Keys, make sure that Filter Keys is turned Off.

Solution 5: Two-button shutdown

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT or Surface 2.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2:  Press and hold the volume-up button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds, then release both.
The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
Step 3:  After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.
Step 4:  Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing your Surface.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on your Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you’ve installed will be gone, as will your customized settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The touchpad doesn’t work, but the keys on the Cover do

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try typing on the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure the touchpad isn’t turned off

The way to check whether the touchpad is turned on, to turn the touchpad on or off, and to change other touchpad settings depends on which Cover and which model of Surface you have.

If you have one of these Covers
And one of these Surface models
Attach the Cover and
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Power Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
Surface 3 Type Cover
Surface Pro
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 3
Surface 3
On the Start screen, search for PC Settings and tap or click PC Settings > PC and devices > Mouse and touchpad.
Touch Cover (early model)
Type Cover (early model)
Surface Pro
Use the Trackpad Settings app. It’s available for free from the Windows Store.

For more info, see Touchpad use and settings.

Solution 5: Two-button shutdown

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT or Surface 2.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2:  Press and hold volume-up button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds, then release both.
The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
Step 3:  After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.
Step 4:  Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing your Surface.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on your Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you’ve installed will be gone, as will your customized settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you still have a problem

If there’s still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

What I type isn’t what I see on the screen

Here are some solutions if the keyboard seems to respond erratically—for example if:

  • You type one character but see another on the screen.
  • The keyboard doesn’t respond when you type quickly.
  • You press a key and it’s as though you held down Ctrl, Alt or Shift while you pressed it.

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try typing on the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Check your keyboard language settings

Set up a keyboard language

Keyboards differ depending on the language and regional settings. Here’s how to make sure your Cover is set up for your language:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3:  Make sure your region is selected in the drop-down box.
Step 4:  See what language is listed under Languages. If you don’t see the language you want, tap or click Add a language, and tap or click the language you want to add.
Step 5:  To delete a language you don’t want, tap or click the unwanted language, and tap or click Remove.
Choose a special keyboard layout

You can also choose a different keyboard layout, like Dvorak or a layout specific to a different region. Here’s how:

Step 1:  On the Start screen, tap or click Search Search button.
Step 2:  In the search box, enter control panel, and in the search results, tap or click Control Panel.
Step 3:  Under the Clock, Language and Region category, tap or click Change input methods.
If your view of Control Panel shows icons instead of categories, tap or click Language.
Step 4:  Tap or click Options next to your language to see a list of your current input methods.

  • Tap or click Preview next to a method to see the keyboard layout.
  • Tap or click Remove next to a method to stop using the keyboard layout.
  • Tap or click Add an input method to select a different keyboard layout. Then choose the layout from the list and tap or click Add.
Check which keyboard layout you’re using

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

  • Tap or click the language abbreviation at the right edge of the taskbar, and tap or click the language or layout you want to use.

Solution 5: Check your Sticky Keys setting

If you hold down the Shift, Ctrl or Alt key for more than 10 seconds, those keys may continue to work as if they’re pressed, even after you’ve released them.

To return keys to their normal function, double-tap the Shift, Ctrl and Alt keys individually.

Here’s another way to do it:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 3:  Make sure Sticky Keys is set to Off.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store. Desktop apps you installed will be deleted, but you can reinstall them after refreshing your Surface.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on your Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you’ve installed will be gone, as will your customized settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore, refresh or reset Surface Pro or Surface 3.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

I’m having trouble with backlighting or the touchscreen brightness keys

Solution 1: Adjust the keyboard backlighting

Adjust the keyboard backlighting with the brightness keys on your Cover. To decrease the backlighting, use the Dim backlighting key key. To increase backlighting brightness, use the Brighten backlighting key key.

Notes

  • If you don’t see these keys on your Cover, it doesn’t have backlighting. For more info, see Find out which Surface Typing Cover you have.
  • The Dim backlighting key and Brighten backlighting key keys on the Type Cover control brightness for the keyboard backlighting only.
  • On the Surface 3 Type Cover, you can use the Dim screen icon and Brighten screen icon keys to dim or brighten the screen. To adjust the brightness of the screen if you’re using a different Cover, see The Surface touchscreen.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.


Troubleshoot your Surface Cover

If your Surface doesn’t detect your Surface Cover when you connect it, if your Cover stops working, or if the keys or touchpad don’t work consistently, try these solutions.


Note

If your Surface Cover is torn or needs physical repair or replacement, go to Get my Surface fixed.

Nothing on my Cover works

Solution 1: Clean the connection between your Surface and the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and the Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 5: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The keys on the Cover don’t work, but the touchpad does

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure filter keys are turned off in your Ease of Access settings

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 3:  Make sure Filter Keys is set to Off.

Solution 5: Run the Surface troubleshooter

Try running the Surface troubleshooter. The troubleshooter can find and fix problems with the Surface Cover.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

The touchpad doesn’t work, but the keys on the Cover do

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure the touchpad isn’t turned off

The way to check whether the touchpad is turned on, to turn the touchpad on or off, and to change other touchpad settings depends which Cover and which Surface you have.

If you have this Surface
And one of these Surface models
Attach the Cover and
Surface 2
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Power Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
Surface 3 Type Cover
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap or click Settings, and tap or click PC settings. Then tap or click PC and devices, and tap or click Mouse and touchpad.
Surface RT
Touch Cover (early model)
Type Cover (early model)
Use the Trackpad Settings app. It’s available for free from the Windows Store.
Note
For the following Surface + Cover combinations, touchpad settings aren’t available.

Surface RT
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Surface 2
Touch Cover
Type Cover (early model)

For more info, see Touchpad use and settings.

Solution 5: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

What I type isn’t what I see on the screen

Here are some solutions if the keyboard seems to respond erratically—for example if:

  • You type one character but see another on the screen.
  • The keyboard doesn’t respond when you type quickly.
  • You press a key and it’s as though you held down Ctrl, Alt or Shift while you pressed it.

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2:  Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4:  Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Check your keyboard language settings

Set up a keyboard language

Keyboards differ depending on the language and regional settings. Here’s how to make sure your Cover is set up for your language:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3:  Make sure your region is selected in the drop-down box.
Step 4:  See what language is listed under Languages. If you don’t see the language you want, tap or click Add a language, and tap or click the language you want to add.
Step 5:  To delete a language you don’t want, tap or click the unwanted language, then tap or click Remove.
Choose a special keyboard layout

You can also choose a different keyboard layout, like Dvorak or a layout specific to a different region. 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 top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Control Panel.
Step 3:  Under the Clock, Language and Region category, tap or click Change input methods.
If your view of Control Panel shows icons instead of categories, tap or click Language.
Step 4:  Tap or click Options next to your language to see a list of your current input methods.

  • Tap or click Preview next to a method to see the keyboard layout.
  • Tap or click Remove next to a method to stop using the keyboard layout.
  • Tap or click Add an input method to select a different keyboard layout. Then choose the layout from the list and tap or click Add.
Check which keyboard layout you’re using

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

  • Tap or click the language abbreviation at the right edge of the taskbar, and tap or click the language or layout you want to use.

Solution 5: Check your Sticky Keys setting

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Change PC settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 3:  Make sure Sticky Keys is set to Off.

Solution 6: Refresh your Surface

Refreshing your Surface reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, apps that came installed on your Surface, and apps you installed from the Windows Store.

Note
Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on Surface. Windows updates, app updates, and other apps you installed will be gone, as will your customised settings. Reinstall your updates and apps after the refresh is complete.

For detailed how-to info, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

Solution 7: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2.

If you still have a problem

If your still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.

I’m having trouble with backlighting or the touchscreen brightness keys

Solution 1: Adjust the keyboard backlighting

Adjust the keyboard backlighting with the brightness keys on your Cover. To decrease the backlighting, use the Dim backlighting key key. To increase backlighting brightness, use the Brighten backlighting key key.

Notes


  • If you don’t see these keys on your Cover, it doesn’t have backlighting. For more info, see Find out which Surface Typing Cover you have.
  • The Dim backlighting key and Brighten backlighting key keys on the Type Cover control brightness for the keyboard backlighting only.
  • On the Surface 3 Type Cover, you can use the Dim screen icon and Brighten screen icon keys to dim or brighten the screen. To adjust the brightness of the screen if you’re using a different Cover, see The Surface touchscreen.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Settings.)
Step 2:  Tap or click Power > Restart.

If you still have a problem

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, contact us.