How to Set Up a New Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft’s Surface line up has now added an updated Microsoft Surface Pro 4. The tablet’s speed, portability, great Surface Pen stylus and useful Type Cover makes it a great option as a 2-in-1.

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We’ve collected some great tips and directions on setting up the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. We’ll show new owners how to set up Microsoft Surface Pro 4, starting with the first time the user powers on the powerful 2-in-1 tablet. Then, we’ll talk about the first things to do once it’s finished. We’ll also show how to update Windows 10 and update the pre-installed apps, grab some good Windows Store apps, change key settings and find useful accessories.

Surface Pro 4 Review (1)

First Time Starting Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The first time a user starts up their Surface Pro 4 the tablet asks you to make some choices. We’ve got a full article on going through these steps on a Windows 10 computer, but the Surface Pro 4 has a few more steps in the process.

Turn the device on with the power button and wait till you see the first screen below.

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Window 10 startup = local settings

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Choose the options from the four drop down boxes and then click on Next. The following screen asks you to agree to the “Legal Stuff,” so click or tap on Accept.

The icon in the lower left corner shows options for Accessibility. If someone using this has need of accessibility features, tap it.

Next the user will connect their Surface Pen with the Surface Pro 4. It comes in the box with the tablet. Remove the paper around the Pen and when you get to the screen below, follow the instructions.

2015-12-18 14.05.47

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Hold the Pen button on the end opposite the writing tip. After about five seconds the Surface Pro 4 will recognize your Surface Pen and pair it using Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection doesn’t stay connected constantly. It only connects when the user clicks the button again to open OneNote when the Surface Pro 4 is turned on.

surface pen instructions

Once the Pen’ connected you’ll see the above screen, which explains how the Pen’s button works.

For the rest of the steps in the first boot wizard, follow our Windows 10 setup guide.

Getting Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 Action Center

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Before doing anything else, get all the Windows updates. Open the Windows 10 Action Center by swiping in from the right edge of the screen or by choosing the Action Center icon in the lower right corner. It looks like a message box you’d see in a cartoon and sits next to the keyboard icon be default. Select All Settings.

windows 10 all settings

In the second row on the right you’ll find Updates & security. Select it to open the Windows Update screen.

windows update in windows 10

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Click or tap on Check for updates in the center of the screen and wait for the OS to find updates. It’s mostly likely that the OS will find a few.

Let them download.

windows update with surface pro 4 updates available

Windows 10 offers to install any updates it finds at scheduled time, but this first time it’s good to select the Restart now button towards the bottom.

Windows 10 restarts and updates. The Surface Pro 4 may restart a few times depending on the available updates. Now’s a good time to take a break and let it do it’s work.

Verify Your Account on This PC

Eventually you’ll see a notice in the Windows Notification area asking you to verify your identity on the Surface Pro 4. When you see it, tap or click on it, or open All Settings as you did above.

verify account

Tap, or click, on Accounts and then choose Your email and accounts. Midway down the page you’ll see the word Verify to get started. This opens a box that asks you to verify your Microsoft account using the email, phone, or a code. Pick the one you prefer. I choose my cell phone. This sends me a code via text.

Install Windows Store Apps and Updates

The first time you open the Windows Store, it might take a while because it will actually update the Windows Store software to the latest version. When it’s finished, start by getting all the updates available for pre-installed apps.

windows store account menu

Click on the round icon that sits in the upper right next to the Search box. A drop down list shows Downloads and Updates on the list. Click it and a list of updates will show up. If it doesn’t click on Check for updates just below the search box in the upper right. Click on Update all below the Check for updates button. On my Surface Pro 4, the Store found 31 updates. It takes a while to download and sometimes the Windows Store will freeze on an update or two. If that happens let it finish the others, restart Windows and then repeat the steps.

windows store app updates

If you want, go ahead and look around and download some apps you might like to use. We’ve compiled a list of 13 Windows 10 Essential Apps and Games from the Windows Store. We also put together a longer list of 45 apps for the Surface Pro 3, all of which run great on the Surface Pro 4. The list also includes some awesome games.

That should get you started with useful apps. Check out our list of great

Install Microsoft Office

Most Surface Pro 4 users will likely want to install Microsoft Office. You can either buy a full version that you pay for once (and keep it installed on the computer) or you can go with Office 365 Personal or Home, which gives you a subscription. This permits the user to install it and always get updated versions, plus some other freebies.

try office 365 free

I chose Office 365 Home because I have four family members who need it, The Home version gives users up to five PC installs per users. Plus they can install the mobile apps on their phone and tablet (up to five of each). This costs $100/year, but careful buyers can find deals. In fact I just found one on eBay that gave me Office 365 Home with 2 six month subscription codes for less than $45. That’s unusual and often the best deals cost $60-$80 for a year. Users can also choose to pay monthly.

Office 365 Personal gives users the full suite of apps like the Home version, but only for one person on up to 5 computers and their phone and tablet.

get office on start

The Surface Pro 4 comes with a link on the Start menu to get Office 365. Hit the Start button in the lower left or use the Windows keyboard button on the bottom row left between the Alt and Fn keys.

This opens the Office 365 trial subscription screen. Click on Try for free and it will download the installer using your browser. Once it’s finished find it in the Downloads folder of Windows Explorer. Double click it and start the installation process. It takes a few minutes.

office 365 installer

After it finishes, open an Office app like Word. The OS puts it on the Start menu under Recently added apps about midway down the list in the left hand column or the installer may add icons to the Taskbar.

Word will open and offer to run Office Automatic Updates. Click Accept to turn this feature on or click the little X to close it. I recommend you accept it so you get the latest updates.

sign in to get the most out of office

If you used your Microsoft account to log into Windows it will add it to Office for you, but it may need you to add your password again. If not, you will need to sign in using the button in the upper right corner that reads Sign in to get the most out of Office. Add your MS account email address. It will search for your account and show a screen to add your password.

Once you sign into one Office app, the others will sign in as well.

Change Important Settings on Surface Pro 4

You’ll want to change some key settings.

Disable Tasks

disable apps notification

During the first few days of use, the operating system will likely show you a notification saying “Disable apps to help improve performance.” After you’re done installing all of your programs and apps, click on it to do as it says. This give users a chance to get rid of unneeded apps that run automatically on startup and potentially slow down the system. Click the notification and it opens the Security and Maintenance screen. Click on Open Task Manager to open the list of apps that run automatically. Get rid of the apps you don’t think you’ll need. Click on the app in the list and then click Disable.

security and maintenance

See How to Get Started with Windows 10

Some other key settings to change include the following (all of which feature links to our How To posts related to that setting):

action center settings buttons

Find quick access to most Windows 10 settings using the buttons in the Action Center.

Great Surface Pro 4 Accessories to Get

The following accessories will benefit Surface Pro 4 users. Get them, or accessories like them.

Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint Reader

microsoft surface pro 4 type cover with fingerprint reader

The first two accessories you need are the Surface Pen and the new Type Cover. The Surface Pen comes with the Surface Pro 4 and you’ll connect it in the setup phase above. However, the Type Cover comes as an extra paid add-on. Get the Type Cover with fingerprint reader if you can afford it. Signing on with the touch of a finger is so satisfying and efficient. However, some might not think it’s worth an extra $30. If so, then buy the lower cost version without it.

Microsoft Dock

microsoft dock

If you hope to use the Surface Pro 4 as a tablet, laptop and then as a desktop system at home, then pick up the new Microsoft Dock. It’s not without problems, but those should get fixed soon.

It’s easy to hook up using the magnetic power connector on the Surface Pro 4. You can plug USB devices like keyboard and mouse into the Dock. Hook it up to an external monitor and use the Ethernet port for faster networking while docked.

Surface Pen Tip Kit

surface pro pen tip kit

The Surface Pen that comes in the box with the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t include the Surface Pen Tip Kit that users can buy for $10. It comes with a replacement that’s the same as the one in the Pen. It also has a tip that mimics a felt tip pen and one that’s thicker like a marker.

Roku Streaming Box

roku streaming stick

What the Apple TV does for an iPad or iPhone, the Roku Streaming Box can do for the Surface Pro 4. The tablet includes wireless display technology meaning a users can mirror or extend their Surface desktop onto a TV or projector with a Wireless Display device hooked up. Microsoft makes a great one but it’s only a dumb receiver that does nothing but connect the dock. Why not add the streaming features of a Roku Box while also getting the Wireless Display technology?

Roku makes various versions, one of which looks like a USB stick with an HDMI connector. Plug the Roku Stick ($39.99) into the TV and then plug the included USB cable into the TV’s USB port or a USB to AC adapter, also included with the Roku Stick.

The Roku Stick’s a little under powered, so consider picking up the Roku 4 ($129.99), which isn’t as portable but runs faster and includes 4K support.

See How to Cast & Stream from Windows 10

Both Rokus use a nice remote. The Roku 4 also supports voice search, a remote finder feature and a headset feature that keeps you from waking up others in the bedroom while watching video or listening to music.

Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse

logitech ultrathin touch mouse

The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 combines the touch and gestures of a trackpad with the pointing precision of a mouse.

As good as the Surface Type Cover works and as great as the Surface Pen does with pointing and drawing, a good mobile mouse complements the Surface Pro 4 making users more productive for office tasks. The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse works great as a tiny mobile Bluetooth mouse. It’s thin, light and includes some nice touch features. The mouse costs more ($69.99) at Logitech than it does at places like Amazon so go get it at Amazon for only $50. Aside from recharging via USB, it also connects to more than one device with a switch on the bottom that lets me pick between them instantly.

See 9 Essential Surface Pro 4 Accessories

Great Sleeve Case

waterfield designs sleeve cases for surface pro 4

The small form factor that we get with the Surface Pro 4 beg to get wrapped in a low profile protective case. That’s why we like the sleeve cases from WaterField Designs. They make three great sleeve cases that don’t add too much weight or thickness while protecting the Surface Pro 4.

bolt briefcase

If you want more of a traditional computer bag, then pick one of the other WaterField Designs bags designed for the Surface Pro 4. My favorite is the Bolt Briefcase.