Applies to

Surface Book, Surface Book with Performance Base, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro.

Operating system:

Troubleshoot Surface blue screen errors

If you get a blue screen error (also called a stop error), a problem may have caused your Surface to shut down or restart unexpectedly. When this happens, you might see a blue screen with a message that your Surface ran into a problem and needs to restart.

Update Surface and Windows

To ensure your Surface is performing at its best, check to see that you have the latest drivers, firmware, quality improvements, and fixes installed. Follow these steps to ensure all Surface and Windows updates are installed:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo and select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
Step 2: Select Check for updates. Install any available updates.
Step 3: Select Restart now.

To learn more, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

Remove new hardware

Sometimes new hardware can cause blue screen errors. If you recently added new hardware to your Surface, shut down your Surface, unplug the new hardware, and then turn on your Surface.

Restore or reset your Surface

If you think an app or a driver you recently installed may have caused problems with your Surface, you might be able to get your device running normally by first restoring your Surface. If the restore doesn't work, you can then try resetting your Surface.

Restore your Surface

When you restore your Surface, you can undo recent system changes that may be causing problems. This option takes your Surface back to an earlier point in time, called a system restore point. Restore points are generated when you install a new app, driver, or Windows update. You can also create a system restore point manually. Restoring won’t affect your personal files, but it will remove any apps, drivers, and updates installed after the latest restore point creation.

If restoring your Surface doesn't resolve the problem, reset your Surface. See the next section to find out more about this process.

Reset your Surface

Because a reset reinstalls Windows completely, any problems you have after you perform a reset are most likely with your Surface or with a specific application.

There are two options for resetting your Surface:

  • Keep my files: This option reinstalls Windows 10 but keeps your personal files and any apps that came with your Surface. It removes changes you made to settings and any apps and drivers you installed.
  • Remove everything: This option reinstalls Windows 10 and any apps that came with your Surface. It removes your personal files, changes you made to settings, and any apps and drivers you installed.

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

After resetting your Surface

To help pinpoint the cause of the performance issue with your Surface, it’s important that you test and evaluate how it’s running immediately after you perform a reset and before you reinstall any updates, apps, or accessories.

Once you’ve checked the performance of your Surface, install the latest Surface and Windows updates and test it again. After each installation, evaluate how your Surface is running before continuing on to the next step. Testing the performance of your Surface after installing each app and device can help you pinpoint which application or process is causing the problem.

Still having trouble?

See Troubleshoot blue screen errors for Windows 10 for more help with blue screen errors.

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