FAQ: Protecting your data if you send your Surface in for service

Learn more about the data wiping capabilities and practices Microsoft uses during the service process for Surface.

Applies to

Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface RT.

If I need to send my Surface in for service, what should I do to ensure the privacy of my data before sending in my Surface device?

You are the best person to look after your data. If you can turn on your Surface device, Microsoft recommends that you back up the data valuable to you before sending your Surface device to a Microsoft Service Center. Then, take steps to erase all data from the Surface. See How to prepare your Surface for service.

Does Microsoft have software I can use to help me wipe data from my Surface before I send it in?

The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool is available at Microsoft Surface Data Eraser.

Does my Surface use removable media to store data? Can I remove it, or can I have Microsoft remove it and send it to me to ensure I always maintain ownership of the data?

Surface doesn’t have removable storage media.

Does Microsoft have an option to physically destroy the hard drive/storage media to ensure it can’t be reused?

Microsoft doesn’t have physical destruction capabilities.

Does Microsoft wipe the data from my Surface?

When a Surface device is returned to a Microsoft Service Center it goes through a data wipe process to ensure that the device’s data is erased.

My Surface won’t turn on. How will my data be removed from the hard drive at the service center?

A service center technician inspects your Surface and attempts to remove data using the appropriate tools. If your Surface continues to fail during this process, it is passed to the repair line to remove any faults. Then your Surface is sent back to the service center technician to have the data removed.

Where does the data wipe take place?

Data like Exchange Online Mailbox content and SharePoint Online Site content is stored in a Microsoft Data Center and is not affected by the Surface service process. Data that is stored on the Surface device's internal storage is erased at the Microsoft Service Center when the Surface device is repaired.

Will I be notified when my Surface has been through the wiping process?

Microsoft doesn’t have notification capabilities at this time.

Does Microsoft repair the Surface I have sent in, or does it replace the device?

Please refer to the Surface warranty terms and conditions for details on how your device will be serviced or replaced.

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