Applies to

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

Applies to

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

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating system:

Surface support FAQ

Here are answers to some common questions about using and troubleshooting Surface.


Can I upgrade my Surface to Windows 10?

Windows 10 is available for Surface Pro models and Surface 3 only. To learn about upgrade options and new features in Windows 10, see Upgrade Surface to Windows 10.

Where can I find detailed information about the new Surface 3?

Get the most out of your Surface 3 by learning what’s new and what you can do. Our Surface 3 User Guide is a quick read and gives essential how-to info to get you going. See Surface User Guides to download yours.

See Surface 3 features for a quick overview of Surface 3 features.

How do I know if I have the latest updates installed on Surface?

Surface installs updates automatically as they become available through the Windows Update service. You can also check for updates manually. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Go to Start Windows logo > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
Step 2:  Select Check for updates. If updates are available, select Details.
Step 3:  Select the updates you want to install, and select Install.
You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

To find out more, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

You can also check for updates to your Windows Store apps. Learn how in Troubleshoot Windows apps on Surface.

Why isn’t my pen working with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3?

If your Surface Pen doesn’t work when you try to write or when you press the right-click or eraser button, you may need to install the latest Surface and Windows updates. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

Once the installation is complete, restart your Surface and see if the pen works.

If you’re still having trouble with your pen, you may need to replace the battery. To learn more, see Troubleshoot Surface Pen.

If installing the latest updates or replacing the battery doesn’t solve the problem, your pen may need to be replaced. For more info, contact us.

Note
Surface Pen is included with Surface Pro 3 and is available for purchase as an accessory for Surface 3.

Can I use the pen that came with Surface Pro 3 with Surface 3?

Yes, Surface Pen––the pen that comes in the box with Surface Pro 3––is compatible with both Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3. For more info, see Using Surface Pen.

Where can I get a recovery image for Surface?

Surface comes with built-in recovery tools that let you refresh or reset your Surface. But if you can’t get to these tools, you can download the files you need to get your Surface working again. For more info, see Download a recovery image for your Surface.

For info about built-in recovery tools on Surface, see:

Can I use a third-party charger with my Surface?

Your Surface is designed to work best with the included power supply. Using a third-party power supply may result in slow charging and is not recommended.

How do I set up my e-mail?

The Mail app is your one-stop shop for e-mail on your Surface. The first time you start the Mail app, it’ll prompt you to set up an account. You can add your Outlook.com, Gmail, AOL and Yahoo! accounts, and even your work e-mail (Exchange ActiveSync).

Some Surface models include Outlook 2013 RT in addition to the Mail app. Learn about your e-mail options in Set up and use e-mail, including everyday e-mail handling, changing account settings, and managing messages and folders. Check out Troubleshoot email if you run into problems.

What is a Microsoft account?

A Microsoft account is an e-mail address and password that you can use to sign in to your Surface. When you sign in with a Microsoft account, your Surface is connected to the cloud, and the settings, preferences and apps associated with your account “follow” you to any other Windows 8 or later PC.

A Microsoft account makes it easy to purchase apps, music, videos and games for your Surface.

Another benefit of using a Microsoft account to sign in is that if you ever forget your password, you can reset it online.

For more info about the benefits of using a Microsoft account, see All about accounts.

What if I forget my password?

There are several ways to reset or retrieve your password, depending on what type of account you set up on your Surface. For info, see I forgot my password.

What if I can’t connect to Wi-Fi?

If you're having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, you may need to restart Wi-Fi on your Surface or your network hardware. Sometimes fixing the problem is as simple as installing the latest updates for your Surface. Try the solutions in Can’t connect to a wireless network to troubleshoot Wi-Fi.

I can’t connect to mobile broadband. What’s wrong?

If you’re having trouble connecting your Surface 2 (4G) or Surface 3 (4G LTE) to a network, it may be caused by one or more of the following:

  • You need to install the latest Surface and Windows updates.
  • You may not have mobile coverage.
  • You may not have an active data plan.

For info about how to solve these problems, see Can’t connect to mobile broadband?

For answers to frequently asked questions about mobile broadband, see Mobile broadband (4G): FAQ.

How can I extend battery life on my Surface?

There are several ways you can extend battery life — reduce the brightness of your screen, unplug USB devices you aren’t using, or turn off Wi-Fi if you don’t need it for a while. On Surface Pro models and Surface 3, you can also choose a power plan that saves power. If you have Windows 10, you can use Battery saver settings. For more info about your Surface battery, see Surface battery and power.

My battery won’t charge. What should I do?

If you're having problems charging your Surface, see Surface won’t turn on, Windows won’t start, or the battery won’t charge.

My Surface won’t turn on. How can I fix it?

The issue may be with the power supply, the charging connectors, or just a low battery charge. You can find solutions and troubleshooting tips in Surface won’t turn on, Windows won’t start, or the battery won’t charge.

What if my Surface Cover isn’t responding, or responds intermittently?

Sometimes this happens when your Surface Cover isn't aligned quite right with your Surface. You may need to detach and reattach the Cover a few times until you're sure you have a good connection. For more info, see Troubleshoot your Surface Cover.

Can I use my Surface Pro Touch Cover, Type Cover or Power Cover with Surface 3?

The Surface 3 Type Cover is designed for Surface 3. If you use one of the other Surface Typing Covers with Surface 3, the touchpad and keyboard will work, but when you close them, your Surface 3 won’t go to sleep. Also, the Power Cover won’t charge Surface 3.

Which devices are compatible with Windows RT 8.1?

Surface 2 and Surface RT are compatible with printers, mice, speakers and other devices that have the “Designed for Windows RT 8.1” logo. These devices work right out of the box—and you don’t have to install drivers. Some older devices might not work with Windows RT 8.1. To check what's compatible, see the Windows Compatibility Centre.

What are my options for getting help with my Surface?

There are several ways you can get help and support for your Surface:

  • Surface support online
    Help is available here on the Surface support site. Find how-to and troubleshooting info that you can browse at your own pace.
  • Surface community forums
    In Surface community forums, you can post questions and get answers from other Surface users.
  • Surface support agents

    Contact us to talk with the experts by phone or chat. Be sure to register your Surface online first and have your Surface product serial number handy. See Find the serial number on Surface or Find the serial number on your Surface Cover.

    Under the standard warranty coverage that comes with your Surface, you get 90 days of technical support for pre-installed software. After your warranty runs out, fees may apply.

  • Surface support on Twitter
    Follow Surface Support on Twitter to get help with troubleshooting and answers to questions about Surface.

Can I upgrade my Surface to Windows 10?

Windows 10 is available for Surface Pro models and Surface 3. To learn about upgrade options and new features in Windows 10, see Upgrade Surface to Windows 10.

Where can I find detailed information about the new Surface 3?

Get the most out of your Surface 3 by learning what’s new and what you can do.

Our Surface 3 User Guide is a quick read and gives essential how-to info to get you going. See Surface User Guides to download yours.

See Surface 3 features for a quick overview of Surface 3 features.

How do I know if I have the latest updates installed on Surface?

Surface installs updates automatically as they become available through the Windows Update service. You can also check for updates manually. 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, then tap or click Update and recovery.
Step 3:  Tap or click Check now.
Step 4:  If updates are available, tap or click View details.
Step 5:  Select the updates you want to install, and tap or click Install.
You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

To find out more, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

You can also check for updates to your Windows Store apps. Learn how in Troubleshoot Windows apps on Surface.

Why isn’t my pen working with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3?

If your Surface Pen doesn’t work when you try to write or when you press the right-click or eraser button, you may need to install the latest Surface and Windows updates. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

Once the installation is complete, restart your Surface and see if the pen works.

If you’re still having trouble with your pen, you may need to replace the battery. To learn more, see Troubleshoot Surface Pen.

If installing the latest updates or replacing the battery doesn’t solve the problem, your pen may need to be replaced. For more info, contact us.

Note
Surface Pen is included with Surface Pro 3 and is available for purchase as an accessory for Surface 3.

Can I use the pen that came with Surface Pro 3 with Surface 3?

Yes, Surface Pen––the pen that comes in the box with Surface Pro 3––is compatible with both Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3. For more info, see Using Surface Pen.

Where can I get a recovery image for Surface?

Surface comes with built-in recovery tools that let you refresh or reset your Surface. But if you can’t get to these tools, you can download the files you need to get your Surface working again. For more info, see Download a recovery image for your Surface.

For info about built-in recovery tools on Surface, see:

Can I use a third-party charger with my Surface?

Your Surface is designed to work best with the included power supply. Using a third-party power supply may result in slow charging and is not recommended.

How do I set up my e-mail?

The Mail app is your one-stop shop for e-mail on your Surface. The first time you start the Mail app, it’ll prompt you to set up an account. You can add your Outlook.com, Gmail, AOL and Yahoo! accounts, and even your work e-mail (Exchange ActiveSync).

Some Surface models include Outlook 2013 RT in addition to the Mail app. Learn about your e-mail options in Set up and use e-mail, including everyday e-mail handling, changing account settings, and managing messages and folders. Check out Troubleshoot email if you run into problems.

What is a Microsoft account?

A Microsoft account is an e-mail address and password that you can use to sign in to your Surface. When you sign in with a Microsoft account, your Surface is connected to the cloud, and the settings, preferences and apps associated with your account “follow” you to any other Windows 8 or later PC.

A Microsoft account makes it easy to purchase apps, music, videos and games for your Surface.

Another benefit of using a Microsoft account to sign in is that if you ever forget your password, you can reset it online.

For more info about the benefits of using a Microsoft account, see All about accounts.

What if I forget my password?

There are several ways to reset or retrieve your password, depending on what type of account you set up on your Surface. For info, see I forgot my password.

What if I can’t connect to Wi-Fi?

If you're having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, you may need to restart Wi-Fi on your Surface or your network hardware. Sometimes fixing the problem is as simple as installing the latest updates for your Surface. Try the solutions in Can’t connect to a wireless network to troubleshoot Wi-Fi.

I can’t connect to mobile broadband. What’s wrong?

If you’re having trouble connecting your Surface 2 (4G) or Surface 3 (4G LTE) to a network, it may be caused by one or more of the following:

  • You need to install the latest Surface and Windows updates.
  • You may not have mobile coverage.
  • You may not have an active data plan.

For info about how to solve these problems, see Can’t connect to mobile broadband?

For answers to frequently asked questions about mobile broadband, see Mobile broadband (4G): FAQ.

How can I extend battery life on my Surface?

There are several ways you can extend battery life — reduce the brightness of your screen, unplug USB devices you aren’t using, or turn off Wi-Fi if you don’t need it for a while. On Surface Pro models and Surface 3, you can also choose a power plan that saves power. For more info about your Surface battery, see Surface battery and power:

My battery won’t charge. What should I do?

If you're having problems charging your Surface, see Surface won’t turn on, Windows won’t start, or the battery won’t charge.

My Surface won’t turn on. How can I fix it?

Whether the issue is with the power supply, the charging connectors, or just a low battery charge, you can find solutions and troubleshooting tips in Surface won’t turn on, Windows won’t start or the battery won’t charge.

What if my Surface Cover isn’t responding, or responds intermittently?

Sometimes this happens when your Surface Cover isn't aligned quite right with your Surface. You may need to detach and reattach the Cover a few times until you're sure you have a good connection. For more info, see Troubleshoot your Surface Cover.

Can I use my Surface Pro Touch Cover, Type Cover or Power Cover with Surface 3?

The Surface 3 Type Cover is designed for Surface 3. If you use one of the other Surface Typing Covers with Surface 3, the touchpad and keyboard will work, but when you close them, Surface 3 won’t go to sleep. Also, the Power Cover won’t charge Surface 3.

Which devices are compatible with Windows RT 8.1?

Surface 2 and Surface RT are compatible with printers, mice, speakers and other devices that have the “Designed for Windows RT 8.1” logo. These devices work right out of the box—and you don’t have to install drivers. Some older devices might not work with Windows RT 8.1. To check what's compatible, see the Windows Compatibility Centre.

What are my options for getting help with my Surface?

There are several ways you can get help and support for your Surface:

  • Surface support online
    Help is available here on the Surface support site. Find how-to and troubleshooting info that you can browse at your own pace.
  • Surface community forums
    In Surface community forums, you can post questions and get answers from other Surface users.
  • Surface support agents

    Contact us to talk with the experts by phone or chat. Be sure to register your Surface online first and have your Surface product serial number handy. See Find the serial number on Surface or Find the serial number on your Surface Cover.

    Under the standard warranty coverage that comes with your Surface, you get 90 days of technical support for pre-installed software. After your warranty runs out, fees may apply.

  • Surface support on Twitter
    Follow Surface Support on Twitter to get help with troubleshooting and answers to questions about Surface.

Can I upgrade my Surface to Windows 10?

Windows 10 is available for Surface Pro models and Surface 3. To learn about upgrade options and new features in Windows 10, see Upgrade Surface to Windows 10.

Where can I find detailed information about the new Surface 3?

Get the most out of your Surface 3 by learning what’s new and what you can do.

Our Surface 3 User Guide is a quick read and gives essential how-to info to get you going. See Surface User Guides to download yours.

See Surface 3 features for a quick overview of Surface 3 features.

How do I know if I have the latest updates installed on Surface?

Surface installs updates automatically as they become available through the Windows Update service. You can also check for updates manually. 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, then tap or click Update and recovery.
Step 3:  Tap or click Check now.
Step 4:  If updates are available, tap or click View details.
Step 5:  Select the updates you want to install, and tap or click Install.
You may need to restart your Surface after the updates have installed.

To find out more, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

You can also check for updates to your Windows Store apps. Learn how in Troubleshoot Windows apps on Surface.

Why isn’t my pen working with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3?

If your Surface Pen doesn’t work when you try to write or when you press the right-click or eraser button, you may need to install the latest Surface and Windows updates. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

Once the installation is complete, restart your Surface and see if the pen works.

If you’re still having trouble with your pen, you may need to replace the battery. To learn more, see Troubleshoot Surface Pen.

If installing the latest updates or replacing the battery doesn’t solve the problem, your pen may need to be replaced. For more info, contact us.

Note
Surface Pen is included with Surface Pro 3 and is available for purchase as an accessory for Surface 3.

Can I use the pen that came with Surface Pro 3 with Surface 3?

Yes, Surface Pen––the pen that comes in the box with Surface Pro 3––is compatible with both Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3. For more info, see Using Surface Pen.

Where can I get a recovery image for Surface?

Surface comes with built-in recovery tools that let you refresh or reset your Surface. But if you can’t get to these tools, you can download the files you need to get your Surface working again. For more info, see Download a recovery image for your Surface.

For info about built-in recovery tools on Surface, see:

Can I use a third-party charger with my Surface?

Your Surface is designed to work best with the included power supply. Using a third-party power supply may result in slow charging and is not recommended.

How do I set up my e-mail?

The Mail app is your one-stop shop for e-mail on your Surface. The first time you start the Mail app, it’ll prompt you to set up an account. You can add your Outlook.com, Gmail, AOL and Yahoo! accounts, and even your work e-mail (Exchange ActiveSync).

Some Surface models include Outlook 2013 RT in addition to the Mail app. Learn about your e-mail options in Set up and use e-mail, including everyday e-mail handling, changing account settings, and managing messages and folders. Check out Troubleshoot email if you run into problems.

What is a Microsoft account?

A Microsoft account is an e-mail address and password that you can use to sign in to your Surface. When you sign in with a Microsoft account, your Surface is connected to the cloud, and the settings, preferences and apps associated with your account “follow” you to any other Windows 8 or later PC.

A Microsoft account makes it easy to purchase apps, music, videos and games for your Surface.

Another benefit of using a Microsoft account to sign in is that if you ever forget your password, you can reset it online.

For more info about the benefits of using a Microsoft account, see All about accounts.

What if I forget my password?

There are several ways to reset or retrieve your password, depending on what type of account you set up on your Surface. For info, see I forgot my password.

What if I can’t connect to Wi-Fi?

If you're having trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, you may need to restart Wi-Fi on your Surface or your network hardware. Sometimes fixing the problem is as simple as installing the latest updates for your Surface. Try the solutions in Can’t connect to a wireless network to troubleshoot Wi-Fi.

I can’t connect to mobile broadband. What’s wrong?

If you’re having trouble connecting your Surface 2 (4G) or Surface 3 (4G LTE) to a network, it may be caused by one or more of the following:

  • You need to install the latest Surface and Windows updates.
  • You may not have mobile coverage.
  • You may not have an active data plan.

For info about how to solve these problems, see Can’t connect to mobile broadband?

For answers to frequently asked questions about mobile broadband, see Mobile broadband (4G): FAQ.

How can I extend battery life on my Surface?

There are several ways you can extend battery life — reduce the brightness of your screen, unplug USB devices you aren’t using, or turn off Wi-Fi if you don’t need it for a while. On Surface Pro models and Surface 3, you can also choose a power plan that saves power. For more info about your Surface battery, see Surface battery and power:

My battery won’t charge. What should I do?

If you're having problems charging your Surface, see Surface won’t turn on, Windows won’t start, or the battery won’t charge.

My Surface won’t turn on. How can I fix it?

Whether the issue is with the power supply, the charging connectors, or just a low battery charge, you can find solutions and troubleshooting tips in Surface won’t turn on, Windows won’t start or the battery won’t charge.

What if my Surface Cover isn’t responding, or responds intermittently?

Sometimes this happens when your Surface Cover isn't aligned quite right with your Surface. You may need to detach and reattach the Cover a few times until you're sure you have a good connection. For more info, see Troubleshoot your Surface Cover.

Can I use my Surface Pro Touch Cover, Type Cover or Power Cover with Surface 3?

The Surface 3 Type Cover is designed for Surface 3. If you use one of the other Surface Typing Covers with Surface 3, the touchpad and keyboard will work, but when you close them, Surface 3 won’t go to sleep. Also, the Power Cover won’t charge Surface 3.

Which devices are compatible with Windows RT 8.1?

Surface 2 and Surface RT are compatible with printers, mice, speakers and other devices that have the “Designed for Windows RT 8.1” logo. These devices work right out of the box—and you don’t have to install drivers. Some older devices might not work with Windows RT 8.1. To check what's compatible, see the Windows Compatibility Centre.

What are my options for getting help with my Surface?

There are several ways you can get help and support for your Surface:

  • Surface support online
    Help is available here on the Surface support site. Find how-to and troubleshooting info that you can browse at your own pace.
  • Surface community forums
    In Surface community forums, you can post questions and get answers from other Surface users.
  • Surface support agents

    Contact us to talk with the experts by phone or chat. Be sure to register your Surface online first and have your Surface product serial number handy. See Find the serial number on Surface or Find the serial number on your Surface Cover.

    Under the standard warranty coverage that comes with your Surface, you get 90 days of technical support for pre-installed software. After your warranty runs out, fees may apply.

  • Surface support on Twitter
    Follow Surface Support on Twitter to get help with troubleshooting and answers to questions about Surface.