Applies to

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

Troubleshoot your Surface Cover

If your Surface Cover isn’t detected when you connect it, if it stops working, or if the keys or touchpad don’t work consistently, try these solutions to fix the problem.

  • If your Surface Cover is torn or is otherwise physically in need of repair or replacement, go to Get my Surface fixed.
  • If your Surface Power Cover isn’t taking a charge, or if it isn’t charging your Surface, see Troubleshoot Power Cover.
  • If you’re having a problem with the keyboard backlighting, try adjusting it using the brightness keys on your Type Cover. To dim, use the F1 key. To increase brightness, use the F2 key. Backlighting levels are Off, Low, Medium and High.
  • Brightness keys on Type Cover only control brightness for the keyboard backlighting, not for the Surface screen. To adjust screen brightness, see Surface touchscreen.

Before you begin

Step 1: Disconnect any video adapters and any USB devices (such as printers, keyboards, or mice) from your Surface.
Step 2: Make sure the magnetic connectors on Surface and on the Cover are clean and free of damage. With the power supply unplugged from the electrical outlet, clean the connectors with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol. For more info, see Clean and care for Surface.
Step 3: Plug the power cord into a working outlet, and connect the power supply to Surface.
Step 4: Put Surface on a firm, flat surface, such as a table, with the kickstand out and the Cover attached to Surface in typing position.
Surface in typing position with kickstand out
Step 5: Try using the touchpad, or try typing at the Start screen.

If you’re still having a problem, try Solution 1.

Solution 1: Check the connection between Surface and the Cover

Step 1: Detach the Cover from Surface.
Step 2: Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors are making contact with the bottom edge of Surface.
Attach Cover to Surface

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

Step 3: Put Surface down on a firm, flat surface and try typing on the Cover again.

If things still aren’t working right, go to Solution 2.

Solution 2: Install Surface and Windows updates

Make sure you have the latest Surface and Windows updates. Here's how:

Step 1: Attach the Cover to Surface.
Step 2: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)
Step 3: Tap or click Change PC settings, tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Windows Update.
Step 4: Tap or click Check now.
Step 5: If there are updates available, tap or click View details.
Step 6: Tap or click to select the updates you want to install, and then tap or click Install.
You may need to restart Surface after the updates have been installed.
Try using the Cover again. If it still isn’t working right, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Run the Surface troubleshooter

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

Try using the Cover again. If it still isn’t working right, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Check your settings

If the keys on the Cover aren’t working, but the touchpad is

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

Step 1: From the Start screen, swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer
down, and then click Search.)
Step 2: Tap or click the arrow above the search box, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 3: In the search box, enter filter keys, and in the search results, tap or click Turn filter keys on or off.
Step 4: Under Filter Keys, make sure that Filter Keys is set to Off.

If the touchpad isn’t working, but the keys on the Cover are

Make sure that the touchpad hasn’t been turned off. The way to turn the touchpad on, and change other touchpad settings, depends which Cover and which Surface you have. For more info, see Touchpad use and settings.

If you have this Cover
And this Surface
Change settings in
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Power Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
Surface Pro
Surface 2
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 3
PC Settings
Touch Cover
Type Cover (early model)
Surface Pro
Surface RT
Trackpad Settings app (available in the Windows Store)
Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Surface RT
Touchpad settings aren’t available
Touch Cover
Type Cover (early model)
Surface 2
Surface Pro 2
Touchpad settings aren’t available
If you changed your settings, and you’re still having a problem with your Surface Pro, try Solution 5.

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

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 and tap or click Settings, tap or click Power, and 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:

After 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.

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.

If you still have a problem with your Surface Cover, try Solution 6.

Solution 6: 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.

Refresh will reinstall the version of Windows and the apps that came installed on 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:

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

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