Applies to

Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro.

Operating system:

Troubleshoot your Surface Cover

If your Surface doesn’t detect your Surface Cover when you connect it, if your Cover stops working, or if the keys or touchpad don’t work consistently, try these solutions.


Notes


  • If your Surface Cover is torn or needs physical repair or replacement, go to Get my Surface fixed.
  • This troubleshooting article is for Surface 3 and Surface Pro devices only. If you're having problems with the Surface Book Clipboard, see Troubleshoot your Surface Book.

Before you begin

If you're having problems with your Surface Cover, try these solutions first. You can resolve many issues by performing a two-button shutdown or reinstalling the Surface Cover driver.

Check for updates

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:  If prompted, select Restart now.

Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 4:  Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 5:  Wet a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. (Use 95% or stronger isopropyl alcohol if possible.) Clean the six circular contacts located in the middle of the Cover interface to the Surface. Rub the cotton swap back and forth over the contacts to clean. After you are done cleaning, make sure the pins are dry and that no cotton fibers remain on the connector.
Step 6:  Repeat Step 2 for the mating Surface-side connector (six metallic circles at the Cover interface).
Step 7:  Reattach the Cover, making sure that all the magnetic connectors contact the bottom edge of your Surface.

Two-button shutdown (Surface Pro models only)

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3. Doing so may damage your device.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely.

Step 1:Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2:Press and hold the 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.

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

Reinstall the Surface Cover driver

If a two-button shutdown doesn't resolve the issue, try reinstalling the driver for your Surface Cover.

Step 1:Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and select Device Manager in the results.
Step 2:Select the arrow next to Other devices.
Step 3:Press and hold (or right-click) Surface Type Cover.
Step 4:Select Uninstall > OK.
Step 5:Restart your Surface.
Your Surface will automatically download and install the Surface Cover driver the next time you connect to the Internet.

Nothing on my Cover works

Solution 1: Clean the connection between your Surface and the Cover

Step 1: Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2: Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4: Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface.

If you still have a problem

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

The keys on the Cover don’t work, but the touchpad does

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1: Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2: Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4: Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure filter keys are turned off in your Ease of Access settings

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 2: Under Filter Keys, make sure the toggle is set to Off.

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

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3. Doing so may damage your device.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2: Press and hold the 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.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface.

If you still have a problem

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

The touchpad doesn’t work, but the keys on the Cover do

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1: Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2: Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
  Attach Cover
  The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4: Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Make sure the touchpad isn’t turned off

The way to check whether the touchpad is turned on, to turn the touchpad on or off, and to change other touchpad settings depends on which Cover and which model of Surface you have.

If you have one of these Covers
And one of these Surface models
Attach the Cover and

Touch Cover 2
Type Cover 2
Power Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
Surface 3 Type Cover
Type Cover for Surface Pro 4
Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID

Surface Pro
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 3
Surface 3
Surface Pro 4

Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Devices > Mouse and touchpad.
Make changes under Touchpad.
Touch Cover (early model)
Type Cover (early model)
Surface Pro
Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 3

Use the Surface Trackpad Settings app to turn the touchpad on or off and to change most other settings. It’s available for free from the Windows Store.

To help prevent the cursor from moving accidentally while you type, set the delay:
Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Devices > Mouse and touchpad.

For more info, see Touchpad use and settings.

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

Important
Don’t use this process on Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3. Doing so may damage your device.

Use this two-button shutdown process to make sure your Surface is turned off completely. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press and hold the power button on your Surface for 30 seconds and then release it.
Step 2: Press and hold the 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.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface.

If you still have a problem

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

What I type isn’t what I see on the screen

Here are some solutions if the keyboard seems to respond erratically—for example, if:

  • You type one character but see another on the screen.
  • The keyboard doesn’t respond when you type quickly.
  • You press a key and it’s as though you held down Ctrl, Alt, or Shift while you pressed it.

Solution 1: Detach and reattach the Cover

Step 1: Unplug your Surface and detach the Cover.
Step 2: Clean the magnetic connectors on your Surface and Cover with a soft cloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
Step 3: Reattach the Cover, making sure that all of the magnetic connectors make contact with the bottom edge of your Surface.
Attach Cover
The Cover should click into place. You shouldn’t see any gaps or any metal at the connection points. If you don’t get a good connection, remove the Cover and attach it again.
Step 4: Place your Surface on a firm, flat surface such as a table, with the kickstand out, and try using the Cover again.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Solution 4: Check your keyboard language settings

Set up a keyboard language

Keyboards differ depending on the language and regional settings. Here’s how to make sure your Cover is set up for your language:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2: Select Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3: Make sure your region is selected in the drop-down box.
Step 4:

See what language is listed under Languages.

  • If you don’t see the language you want, select Add a language, then choose the language you want to add.
  • To delete a language you don’t want, select it and select Remove.

Choose a special keyboard layout

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings.
Step 2: Select Time and language > Region and language.
Step 3:

Select your language > Options.

  • To add a layout, select Add an input method and choose the layout from the list.
  • To remove a layout, select it and select Remove.

Check which keyboard layout you’re using

If you have more than one language or layout set up, you may need to switch to the one you want. You can switch between them from the taskbar. Here’s how:

  • Select the language abbreviation at the right edge of the taskbar, and select the language or layout you want to use.

Solution 5: Check your Sticky Keys setting

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard.
Step 2: Under Sticky Keys, make sure the toggle is set to Off.

Solution 6: Reset your Surface

A reset does the following:

  • Removes all your personal settings
  • Removes all apps that you installed
  • Gives you the option of keeping or removing your personal files

For info on resetting your Surface, see Restore or reset Surface.

If you still have a problem

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

I’m having trouble with backlighting or the touchscreen brightness keys

Solution 1: Adjust the keyboard backlighting

Adjust the keyboard backlighting with the brightness keys on your Cover. To decrease the backlighting, use the Dim backlighting key key. To increase backlighting brightness, use the Brighten backlighting key key.

Notes
  • If you don’t see these keys on your Cover, it doesn’t have backlighting. For more info, see Find out which Surface keyboard you have.
  • The Dim backlighting key and Brighten backlighting key keys on the Type Cover control brightness for the keyboard backlighting only.
  • On the Surface 3 Type Cover or Type Cover for Surface Pro 4, you can use the Dim screen icon and Alt-text: Brighten screen icon keys to dim or brighten the screen. To adjust the brightness of the screen if you’re using a different Cover, see The Surface touchscreen.

Solution 2: Make sure you have the latest updates

Installing the updates may be all you need to get you going again.

Solution 3: Restart your Surface

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

If you still have a problem

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

The fingerprint reader on my Cover isn’t working

If you’re having problems with the fingerprint reader on your Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID, see Troubleshoot problems with Windows Hello on Surface.

Notes


  • Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID is not available in all countries and regions.
  • Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID is designed for Surface Pro 4. The fingerprint reader will not work if you use this cover with a different Surface device.

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