Applies to

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


What to do if Surface is running slower

If your Surface isn't running as quickly as it once did, here are some things to try to help pinpoint and solve the problem.


Solution 1: Restart Surface

Sometimes, a simple restart is all that's needed to get Surface running quickly again.

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

If Surface still runs slowly, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Close any unnecessary desktop apps

Running multiple desktop apps simultaneously can affect performance. Close any that aren’t critical to have open, and see if Surface runs faster as a result.

If Surface still runs slowly, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Try multiple apps

Try running different apps to see if Surface continues to run slowly. If the problem seems to be limited to one app, see Troubleshoot problems with an app.

If Surface runs more slowly no matter what apps you have running, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Install Surface and Windows updates

You may not have the most recent updates applied to your Surface. This can affect performance. Here’s how to check the update status:

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

If Surface still runs slowly, try Solution 5.

Solution 5: Check for low disk space and make some room

You may be able to improve performance if you free up some disk space on your Surface. See Tips to free up drive space on your PC for how-to info.

If Surface still runs slowly after you free up additional disk space, try Solution 6.

Solution 6: Let Surface cool down

Your Surface may be too hot. Move your Surface to a cooler spot, wait five minutes, and see if it runs faster.

If you are running a memory-intensive app, such as streaming video or playing a game, try closing it for a few minutes. That may cool your Surface down.

If Surface still runs slowly, try Solution 7.

Solution 7: Check for and remove malware and viruses (Surface Pro models only)

It’s possible that a virus or other malicious software is responsible for Surface running slower. Check whether your Surface Pro has a virus by using Windows Defender, which is included with Windows 8.1. For more info, see How do I find and remove a virus?

Note
In Surface RT and Surface 2, Windows Defender is always on, and can’t be turned off. It isn’t necessary to run it manually. Don’t use or install more than one antivirus programme unless referring to a software program.

If Surface still runs slowly, try Solution 8.

Solution 8: Two-button shutdown (Surface Pro models only)

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

Use this two-button shutdown process to ensure that Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap or click Settings, tap or click Power, then tap or click Shut down to shut down Surface.
If you can’t shut down Surface normally, press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds.
Step 2:  Once Surface turns off, press and hold volume-up button and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds, and then release both buttons.
Step 3:  The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
Step 4:  After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.
Step 5:  Press and release the Power button to turn your Surface back on.

If Surface still runs slowly, try Solution 9.

Solution 9: Restore, refresh, or reset Surface

If you think an app or driver that you recently installed may have caused problems with your Surface, you may be able to get things running normally again by restoring, refreshing or resetting your Surface (in that order).

Restore Surface

Restoring your Surface is a way to undo recent system changes that may be causing problems. Restoring Surface doesn’t change your personal files, but it might remove recently installed apps and drivers.

Note
Restore is not available for Surface RT or Surface 2.

If restoring Surface doesn't resolve the problem, refresh Surface.

Refresh Surface

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

Note
If you updated Surface Pro from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, refresh will reinstall Windows 8 (not Windows 8.1) and apps that came installed on Surface Pro. Other apps and your settings will be gone. You can reinstall them after the refresh is complete.

If refreshing Surface doesn't resolve the problem, reset Surface.

Reset Surface

Resetting your Surface reinstalls Windows, but removes your personal files, settings, and apps that did not come installed on your Surface. Reset keeps the apps that came installed on your Surface.

Note
If you updated Surface Pro from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, a reset will reinstall Windows 8 (not Windows 8.1). You’ll need to reinstall the Windows 8.1 update.

For detailed how-to info, see:

After you've refreshed Surface, check to see if its performance is better.

If your Surface still doesn't run as quickly as it once did, it needs service. Go to Get my Surface fixed.