Troubleshoot Pro Pen

Find info to help fix issues with the Pro Pen for Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 and get answers to frequently asked questions.

Operating system:

What can I do to fix my pen if it stops working?

If your Surface doesn’t recognize your Pro Pen or if your pen stops working correctly, try these solutions.

Note
If you need a new pen because yours is broken, you may be eligible to have it replaced under the Surface warranty. For more info, contact us.

Solution 1: Put Surface to sleep, then wake it up

Step 1: Press and release the power button on your Surface.
Your Surface goes to sleep.
Step 2: Wait a minute, and then press and release the power button to wake your Surface up.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Install the latest Surface and Windows updates

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

If installing updates doesn’t fix the problem, try the next solution.

Solution 3: 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 ensure that your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo key, and select Power Power icon > Shut down
If you can’t shut down your Surface normally, press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.
Step 2: After your Surface turns off, press and hold the volume-up and the power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds, and then release both.
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 this doesn’t fix the problem, go to Get my Surface fixed.

Why does touch stop working when I use my pen?

The Surface touchscreen reads the presence of the Pro Pen tip when it gets close and responds by displaying a small dot on the screen. When the touchscreen senses that the pen tip is close, touch is disabled so you can write comfortably with your hand resting on the screen.

To restore the use of touch, move the pen tip away from the screen so the dot disappears.

Do Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 support pen pressure?

Yes. Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 support two kinds of pen pressure:

  • Built-in pressure detection. Windows Store apps and apps written for Windows 8 are built to work with the pressure detection that’s built into Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2.
  • Wintab pressure sensitivity. Other apps like Photoshop, Flash, and Manga Studio use a different kind of pressure sensitivity called Wintab. To use pressure sensitivity with these apps, install the Wacom Wintab driver.

How do I install the Wacom Wintab driver?

Important
This driver should be installed only if you need advanced pressure sensitivity for Wintab-based applications. It has no effect on other pen-related issues.
Step 1: Go to the Wacom Tablet PC Enhanced Tablet Driver page, select Download Driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Step 2: After the installation is complete, select Restart Now.

Next, adjust the driver settings.

How do I adjust the driver settings?

After you install the driver, you can adjust pen-specific settings and calibrate your screen. Here’s how:

Step 1: Select the search box in the taskbar, enter calibrate, and in the search results, select Calibrate the screen for pen or touch input.
Step 2: On the Display tab, under Display options, make sure that the monitor shown is Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.
If it’s not, select Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.
Step 3:Select Calibrate > Pen input, and use your Pro Pen to follow the on-screen instructions.
If prompted Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC?, select Yes.

Can I reset the pen if I’ve recalibrated it?

When you take it out of the box, your Pro Pen is ready to go with the settings that will give you the best performance. Even if you refresh or reset your Surface, your pen won’t lose these settings.

If you’ve recalibrated your pen, here’s how to restore the factory default settings:

Step 1: Select the search box in the taskbar, enter calibrate, and in the search results, select Calibrate the screen for pen or touch input.
Step 2: On the Display tab, under Display options, make sure that the monitor shown is Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.
If it’s not, select Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.
Step 3:Select Reset and follow the on-screen instructions.
If Reset is dimmed, your Pro Pen is already set to its factory default settings.

How do I update the pen?

New firmware updates that affect your Pro Pen will be available through Windows Update. Installing the latest updates for Surface and Windows may help fix problems with your pen. Here’s how:

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

Can I write notes in Office apps?

Yes, you can write notes or mark up content in any Office app with your Pro Pen. When you tap the screen with the pen in an Office 2013, Office 2016, or Office 365 app, Ink Tools is added to the ribbon. Below Ink Tools, select Pens to change the color or thickness of your writing (inking). See Use a pen to draw, write, or highlight text on a Windows tablet for more info.

Can I use my Pro Pen with Surface RT or Surface 2?

Surface RT and Surface 2 don’t support digital pen features. You can use a capacitive pen (sold separately), which works like a finger on a touchscreen, with Surface RT and Surface 2.

Can I use my Pro Pen with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3?

No, the Pro Pen isn’t compatible with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3. Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 are compatible with a different pen, Surface Pen.


What can I do to fix the pen if it stops working?

If your Surface doesn’t recognize the Pro Pen or if the pen stops working correctly, try these solutions.

Note
If you need a new pen because yours has broken, you may be eligible to have it replaced under the Surface warranty. For more info, contact us.

Solution 1: Put Surface to sleep, then wake it up

Step 1: Press and release the power button on Surface.
Surface goes to sleep.
Step 2: Wait a minute, and then press and release the power button to wake Surface up.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Install the latest Surface and Windows updates

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 Change PC settings > Update and recovery.
Step 3: Tap or click Check now. If updates are available, tap or click View details.
Step 4:

Choose the updates you want to install and tap or click Install.
You may need to restart Surface after the updates have been installed.

If installing updates doesn’t fix the problem, try the next solution.

Solution 3: 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 ensure that Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap or click Settings.
Step 2:

Tap or click Power > Shut down.
If you can’t shut down Surface normally, press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.

Step 3:

After Surface turns off, press and hold volume-up 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 4:

After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.

Step 5: Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, go to Get my Surface fixed.

Why does touch stop working when I use the pen?

The Surface touchscreen reads the presence of the Pro Pen tip when it gets close to the screen and responds by displaying a small dot on the screen. When the touchscreen senses that the pen tip is close, touch is disabled so that you can write comfortably with your hand resting on the screen.

To restore the use of touch, move the pen tip away from the screen so that the dot disappears.

Do Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 support pen pressure?

Yes. Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 support two kinds of pen pressure:

  • Built-in pressure detection. Windows Store apps and apps written for Windows 8 are built to work with the pressure detection that’s built into Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2.
  • Wintab pressure sensitivity. Other apps, like Photoshop, Flash, and Manga Studio, use a different kind of pressure sensitivity called Wintab. To use pressure sensitivity with these apps, install the Wacom Wintab driver.

How do I install the Wacom Wintab driver?

Important
This driver should be installed only if you need advanced pressure sensitivity for Wintab-based applications. It has no effect on other pen-related issues.
Step 1: Go to the Wacom Tablet PC Enhanced Tablet Driver page, tap or click Download Driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Step 2: After the installation is complete, tap or click Restart Now.

Next, adjust the driver settings.

How do I adjust the driver settings?

After you have installed the driver, you can adjust pen-specific settings and calibrate your screen. Here’s how:

Step 1:

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 click Search.)

Step 2: In the search box, enter calibrate, and in the search results, tap or click Calibrate the screen for pen or touch input.
Step 3:

On the Display tab, under Display options, make sure that the monitor shown is Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.
If it’s not, select Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.

Step 4:

Tap or click Calibrate > Pen input and use your Pro Pen to follow the on-screen instructions.
If prompted Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your PC?, select Yes.

Can I reset the pen if I’ve recalibrated it?

When you take it out of the box, your Pro Pen is ready to go with the settings that will give you the best performance. Even if you refresh or reset your Surface, the pen won’t lose these settings.

If you’ve recalibrated the pen, here’s how to restore the factory default settings:

Step 1: 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 click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter calibrate, and in the search results, tap or click Calibrate the screen for pen or touch input.
Step 3:

On the Display tab, under Display options, make sure that the monitor shown is Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.
If it’s not, select Mobile PC Display for Surface Pro or Surface Display Panel for Surface Pro 2.

Step 4:

Tap or click Reset and follow the on-screen instructions.
If Reset is dimmed, your Pro Pen is already set to its factory default settings.

How do I update the pen?

New firmware updates that affect the Pro Pen will be available through Windows Update. Installing the latest updates for Surface and Windows may help fix problems with the pen. 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 Change PC settings > Update and recovery.
Step 3: Tap or click Check now. If updates are available, tap or click View details.
Step 4:

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.

Can I write notes in Office apps?

Yes, you can write notes or markup content in any Office app with the Pro Pen. When you tap the screen with the pen in an Office 2013, Office 2016, or Office 365 app, Ink Tools is added to the ribbon. Below Ink Tools, tap Pens to change the color or thickness of your pen writing (inking). See Use a pen to draw, write, or highlight text on a Windows tablet for more info.

Can I use the Pro Pen with Surface RT or Surface 2?

Surface RT and Surface 2 don’t support digital pen features. You can use a capacitive pen (sold separately), which works like a finger on a touchscreen, with Surface RT and Surface 2.

Can I use the Pro Pen with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3?

No, the Pro Pen isn’t compatible with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3. Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 are compatible with a different pen, Surface Pen.


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