Troubleshoot using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface

Applies to

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

Operating system:

If you’re having trouble connecting your Surface to the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter or you’re having playback issues or problems with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app, try these solutions.


Before you begin

  • Plug the adapter into an HDMI port on your HDTV, monitor, or projector and into a USB charging port. The adapter gets its power through the USB charging port.
  • For best performance, keep your Surface within 23 feet of the HDTV, monitor, or projector. To learn how to connect the adapter to your HDTV, monitor, or projector, see Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface.
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter plugged into HDTV
  • Before you pair your Surface with the adapter, we recommend that you connect your Surface to Wi-Fi. To learn how, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.
  • The adapter can connect to only one HDTV, monitor, or projector at a time.

Having trouble connecting Surface to the adapter?

If you’re having trouble connecting your Surface to the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, try these solutions in order.

Solution 1: Install the latest updates

Installing the latest updates for your Surface and Windows can help fix many common connection issues. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.
Step 2: Select Check for updates. 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 help, try Solution 2.

Solution 2: Check your HDMI and USB connections

Make sure both the HDMI end and USB end of the adapter are connected correctly.

  • Make sure the HDMI end of the adapter is connected to the HDMI port on your HDTV, monitor, or projector. Use the included HDMI extension cable if needed.
  • Make sure the USB end of the adapter is plugged into a USB power source.
Notes
  • If the HDTV, monitor, or projector you’re connecting to doesn’t have a USB charging port, you can use the USB charging port on a Surface Pro power supply or any other USB charger.
  • Use a USB extension cord if you need more length for your USB connector.
  • Make sure the electrical outlet you’re using for USB power is working properly. Test it by plugging in something else.

If you’re still having trouble after checking your connections, try Solution 3.

Solution 3: Update the adapter’s firmware

If you can connect your Surface to the adapter but what you can see on your Surface isn’t visible on your second screen, the adapter’s firmware may be out of date.

The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app provides settings and firmware updates for the adapter. If you haven’t already done so, install the app from the Windows Store. For info on how to install the app, see Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface.

To use the app to update the adapter’s firmware:

Step 1:

Open the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app.

Step 2:

If a firmware update is available, select Install and follow the on-screen instructions.

Note
The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app must be in the foreground on your Surface while installing firmware updates. Suspending the app will also suspend the update or may cause it to fail.

If your adapter’s firmware is up to date and you still have a problem, try Solution 4.

Solution 4: Reset the adapter

Try resetting the adapter. This is also helpful if you’ve forgotten your password. Here’s how:

Step 1: On the adapter next to the wired connection, press and hold the reset button for 10 seconds.
The LED light on the adapter will blink.
Step 2: When the message “Ready to connect” appears on your second screen, swipe in from the right edge of your Surface screen or select Action Center Action Center icon in taskbar in the taskbar.
Step 3:

Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If resetting the adapter doesn’t solve the problem, try Solution 5.

Solution 5: Remove the adapter and reconnect

There might be a problem with the connection between your Surface and the adapter. To fix the issue, try disconnecting the adapter from your Surface and reconnecting it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Devices > Connected devices.
Step 2:

Under Projectors, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and select Remove device

Step 3:

Select Add a device to connect your Surface and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If disconnecting and reconnecting the adapter doesn’t help, try Solution 6.

Solution 6: Allow the adapter to communicate through Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall might be preventing the adapter from connecting to your Surface. To allow the adapter to communicate through the firewall:

Step 1:

Select the search box in the taskbar, enter allow firewall, and in the search results, select Allow an app through Windows Firewall.

Step 2: Under Name, find Wireless Display and make sure Private and Public are selected. Then, select OK.
If you can’t select anything in the Allowed apps and features box, you are not logged in as an administrator. Select Change Settings, enter your administrator password, and select Yes. Your administrator password should be the same as the password you used to set up your Surface. Then, make sure Private and Public are selected and select OK.

If your firewall is set to allow the adapter to communicate but you still can’t connect, try Solution 7.

Solution 7: Change the wireless frequency band on your Surface

The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter can communicate with Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless frequency bands, but you must have the 2.4GHz band enabled on your Surface when you’re pairing your Surface with the adapter.

If you’re still having trouble connecting your Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, or Surface Book to the adapter, the 2.4GHz band might be disabled.

Note
Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface 2 default to the 2.4GHz band, and this can’t be changed.

Here’s how to enable the 2.4GHz band:

Step 1:

Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and in the search results, select Device Manager.

Step 2:

Select the arrow to the left of Network adapters and press and hold (or right-click) the Marvell AVASTAR adapter.

Step 3: Select Properties > Advanced.
If you don’t see the Advanced tab, you are not logged in as an administrator. Select Change Settings, enter your administrator password, and select Yes. Your administrator password should be the same as the password you used to set up your Surface. Then, select Advanced.
Step 4: Under Property, select Band.
Step 5:

Under Value, select the arrow and select Auto > OK.

Solution 8: Reinstall the Intel HD Graphics driver

An issue with the Intel HD Graphics driver on your Surface might be preventing your Surface from communicating with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. Try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and in the search results, select Device Manager.

Step 2:

Select the arrow to the left of Display adapters and press and hold (or right-click) the Intel HD Graphics driver.

Step 3:

Select Uninstall.

Step 4: Go to Start Start icon, and select Power > Restart.
Step 5:

After your Surface restarts, go to Start Start icon, and select Settings > Devices > Connected devices.

Step 6:

Select Add a device to connect your Surface and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If you still can’t connect your Surface to your Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, contact us.

Having trouble with video or audio playback?

If you have any of these issues with video or audio playback, here are some solutions to try.

Nothing displays on the second screen

If you can connect your Surface to the adapter but nothing displays on your second screen, try performing the steps in the solutions above. If that doesn’t solve the issue, try these solutions:

  • Make sure you have your Surface set to duplicate or extend the screen. For more info, see “Set up your screens,” in Connect Surface to a TV, monitor, or projector.
  • Unplug the USB end of the adapter to turn it off, and plug it back in to turn it on again.
  • Make sure your HDTV, monitor, or projector is set to the HDMI channel.
    To check and, if necessary, change the video input settings on your display, check the info that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.
  • Make sure your HDTV, monitor, or projector supports HDCP.
    If you aren’t sure if your display supports HDCP, check the info that came with your device or go to the manufacturer’s website.

Video is pixilated or audio stutters

If you notice pixilation in the video or if the audio stutters, try the following:

  • Move your Surface closer to the adapter. For best performance, your Surface should be within 23 feet of your HDTV, monitor, or projector.
  • Move the adapter away from microwave ovens, cordless phones, or baby monitors. Common household electronics such as these can cause radio frequency interference that may disrupt the connection between your Surface and the adapter.
  • If you don’t have enough room to plug the adapter into the HDMI port on your second screen, use the HDMI extension cable that was included in the box your adapter came in. If you’ve plugged the adapter into the HDMI port at an angle, this can cause issues with the video quality.

Video plays on your Surface but is frozen on your second screen

If video plays correctly on your Surface but is frozen on your second screen, disconnect the adapter from your Surface and the display, and reconnect it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select Action Center Action Center icon in taskbar in the taskbar.
Step 2: Select Connect, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, and select Disconnect.
Step 3: Unplug both ends of the adapter from your HDTV, monitor, or projector and plug them in again.
Step 4: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select Action Center Action Center icon in taskbar.
Step 5: Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to reconnect your Surface to the adapter.

Poor video quality

If the quality of the streaming video is poor, here are some ways to help improve it:

  • Make sure you’re not using an HDMI to VGA converter. Converting from HDMI to VGA reduces the signal strength of the video output and can distort the images.
  • Reduce radio frequency interference by moving the adapter away from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and other common household electronics.
  • Move your Surface closer to the adapter. The adapter works best when it’s within 23 feet of your Surface.
  • Download higher-quality video. The source itself might be of poor quality, which will affect the quality of the streaming video.

Video plays on the connected display, but audio comes from your Surface

If sound plays on your Surface when you’re streaming video to a connected display, you can configure the sound source manually. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Select the search box in the taskbar, enter sound, and in the search results, select Sound.

Step 2: Select Playback > Speakers/Intel WiDi > Set Default > OK.

Can’t change the resolution on your Surface

If the resolution on your HDTV, monitor, or projector is less than 1080p, your Surface will default to the resolution of your HDTV, monitor, or projector while it’s connected to the display.

You need an HDTV, monitor, or projector that supports up to 1080p resolution to stream content from your Surface in that resolution. After you disconnect your Surface from the adapter, your Surface will revert to its default resolution.

Display is not to scale, or some parts of the display are missing

If part of the screen on your Surface doesn’t appear on your second screen, the display might not be to scale. Try these solutions:

Adjust the resolution on your Surface

If you’ve set the resolution on your Surface to a lower resolution than its default setting, you can increase the resolution so it will fit correctly on your second screen. Here’s how:

Step 1:

Select the search box in the taskbar, enter screen resolution, and in the search results, select Change the screen resolution.

Step 2: Under Resolution, select the arrow, and select the resolution that says Recommended.
(The highest resolution is the recommended resolution on Surface.)
Step 3: Select Apply.
Use the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app to adjust display settings

You can use the adapter app to change how the screen on your Surface scales to the screen on your HDTV, monitor, or projector. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app.
Step 2: Under Adjust display, drag the slider to the right until you can see everything that’s on your Surface on the HDTV, monitor, or projector.

Having trouble with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app?

If you’re having issues with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app, here are some things to try.

The app shows “You’re not connected”

If the message “You’re not connected” appears in the app:

Step 1: Make sure both the HDMI end and the USB end of the adapter are connected to your HDTV, monitor, or projector.
Step 2: In the app, select Refresh.

App always shows “Waiting for connection”

If the app always shows “Waiting for connection,” first make sure your Surface is connected to the adapter, then disconnect the adapter and reconnect it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select Action Center Action Center icon in taskbar in the taskbar.
Step 2: Select Connect. The adapter will appear at the top of the menu.
(If the adapter doesn’t appear at the top, your Surface isn’t connected to the adapter. See Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface to learn how to connect your Surface to the adapter.)
Step 3:

Select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and select Disconnect.

Step 4: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select Action Center Action Center icon in taskbar.
Step 5: Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to reconnect your Surface to the adapter.
Note
The adapter won’t work if you are using a proxy server to access the Internet.

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