Applies to

Surface 3 (4G LTE).

Operating system:

Set up your Surface 3 (4G LTE)

Ready to set up your new Surface? Grab it and let’s go!

Set up your Surface

Step 1:

If you have a Surface Typing Cover, attach it to your Surface. It clicks into place. 

  Surface 3 4G LTE
Step 2:

Flip out the kickstand on the back of your Surface.

Step 3: Plug the power cord into an electrical outlet or power strip.
(Connect the plug to the power supply if needed).
Step 4:

Plug the full-size USB connector into the power supply and plug the Micro USB connector into the Micro USB charging port on your Surface with the power cord extending downward and the light on the power connector facing toward you.

Power connector on Surface 3
Step 5:

If your Surface did not come with a pre-installed SIM card, install one from your mobile operator. Here’s how:

Step 1: On the Start screen, select Power Power in the upper-right corner and select Shut down.
Step 2:

Insert the SIM ejector tool (included in the box with your Surface 3) into the hole in the Nano SIM card tray in the bottom edge of your Surface to open the tray.

inserting the SIM card in Surface 3
Step 3:

Put the Nano SIM card into the tray, aligning the notches on the card and the tray.

Step 4:

Gently push the tray back into place. If it doesn’t slide in easily, make sure the card is flat in the tray and try again.

Step 5: Press and release the power button on your Surface.
Surface turns on and Windows Setup begins.

Set up Windows

Windows Setup runs the first time you turn on your Surface. Here’s what to do next.

Choose a language, color, and name for your Surface

Choose a language, color, and name for your Surface. You can change these later if you want. You also must accept the License terms to continue.

Connect to a network

If possible, connect to a Wi-Fi network to complete setup. Wi-Fi is typically faster and less expensive than mobile broadband. If you need help connecting to a Wi-Fi network, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.

Since Surface 3 (4G LTE) is designed to use mobile broadband Internet access in addition to Wi-Fi, you can use a mobile broadband connection to complete the setup process if you have an active data plan. Doing so will use data from your plan and could run up extra charges.

Connect to a wireless network as part of setup

Step 1:

On the Get online screen, under Wi-Fi, select a wireless network name.

Step 2: If prompted, enter your wireless network password, and select Connect. If you don’t know your password, see How to find your wireless network password.

Connect using mobile broadband as part of setup

If you choose to use mobile broadband to complete setup, you’ll need to have an active data plan associated with your SIM card. If you are unsure, check with your mobile operator. To connect:

Step 1:

On the Get online screen, under Mobile broadband, select a mobile broadband network name.

Step 2:

If prompted, enter your SIM card PIN, and select Connect. If you don’t know your PIN, contact your mobile operator.

If you can’t connect to your wireless network or mobile broadband, select Skip this step and follow the steps on the screen to set up a local account. You can connect to a Microsoft account later by following the steps in Switch a local account to a Microsoft account.

If you try to connect to a mobile broadband network during setup but you don’t have an active SIM card, you will be prompted to enter mobile account information. Select the back arrow to return to the list of networks and select a Wi-Fi network to continue.

Choose your default settings

On the Settings screen, select either Use express settings to use the default settings or Customize to choose your settings. You can always change these settings later.

Create an account on Surface and sign in

For the best cloud-connected experience, we recommend using a Microsoft account—an email address and password. When you use your Microsoft account to sign in to your Surface, you'll get free online storage, mobile entertainment, and tons of apps in the Windows Store, and you’ll be able to connect your devices and accounts seamlessly.

Not sure if you have a Microsoft account? A Microsoft account is the email address and password that you use to sign in to Microsoft services like, OneDrive, and Xbox. If you've used these services, you already have a Microsoft account. Use your Microsoft account to sign in to your Surface.

If you already have a PC or Surface with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1, you can apply the settings you use on it to your new Surface simply by signing in using the same Microsoft account. For more info, see OneDrive on your PC.

Got all that? Now, let’s create an account on Surface and sign in.

If you already have a Microsoft account

Great! Follow these steps:

Step 1:

Enter the email address for your Microsoft account and select Next.

Step 2:

Enter the password for your Microsoft account, select Next, and follow the on-screen instructions to add or change your security info.

If you forget your Microsoft account password, you can reset your password online.

If you don’t have a Microsoft account

No problem. Setup can create a Microsoft account for you using an existing email address, or you can create a new email address.

To use an existing email address to create a Microsoft account:

Step 1:

Enter your favorite email address and select Next.

Step 2:

Enter a new password for your Microsoft account, select Next, and follow the on-screen instructions to add or change your security info.

To create a Microsoft account using a new email address:

Step 1:

At the bottom of the Sign in to your PC screen, select Sign up for a new email address.

Step 2:

Enter an email address, enter the info needed to create your Microsoft account, and select Next.

Step 3: Add security verification info and select Next.
It takes a moment for Surface to set up. When setup is complete, Windows goes to the menu.

Set up your mobile broadband connection

If you didn’t set up your mobile broadband connection when you set up your Surface, you can do it now. First, make sure the SIM card is installed in your Surface, as described at the top of this article. Next:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select Action center Notification icon in taskbar in the taskbar.
Step 2:

Press and hold (or right-click) Cellular and select Go to settings.

Step 3:

Select the name of your mobile operator.

Step 4: If you want to connect to this network every time it's in range, choose Connect automatically.
Windows will switch automatically between Wi-Fi and mobile broadband as needed. You might incur extra charges if you allow roaming.
Step 5: Select Connect.
If you don’t have an active data plan, you may be directed to an operator app or website for steps to set one up.

Move files to your Surface

You can add music, pictures, videos, and documents to your Surface. You can move files in several ways:

  • Add files to OneDrive and access them from your Surface.
  • Connect to a networked computer.
  • Use a USB flash drive or memory card. Surface 3 supports MicroSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards.

For more info, see Move files to your Surface.

OneDrive options

If you are installing Windows 10 on a new Surface, you'll see your OneDrive options. If you select Next, OneDrive will sync your OneDrive files to your Surface.

  • You might not see the OneDrive options screen if your settings have synced to your new Surface automatically. This happens if you use the same Microsoft account on your new Surface and on another PC, and you set up the other PC to sync settings. The other PC must be running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1 for this to work.
  • Syncing or sending data across a mobile broadband connection could result in extra charges. For more info, see Manage your mobile broadband data usage.

Surface app

Once you’re set up, check out the free Surface app to get quick access to Surface help and how-to topics, find helpful customization options, and more. Use the app to give us feedback so we can keep making Surface better.

The Surface app is pre-installed on Surface 3.

For more info, see Install and use the Surface app.

You're all done! Ready to explore?

To learn more about what you can do with your Surface 3, see Get Started with Surface 3.

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