Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Problems & Fixes

The Surface Pro 4 certainly isn’t a bad device. Its thin and light body make it a great ultrabook/tablet. The companion Type Cover that users are encouraged to purchase with it is a dream to type on. The Surface Pro 4’s 12.3-inch display is beautiful to look at. In time, it’s safe to say that Microsoft could have millions of Surface Pro 4 buyers on its hands. Trouble is, Surface Pro 4 problems mar the experience for some.

Surface Pro 4 Impressions (1)

Read: Surface Pro 4 Review – The Best There Is

Since the device’s launch date, buyers have flocked to communities and Microsoft’s own Answers website looking for ways to fix the Surface Pro 4 problems they’ve run into. Here in 2017, a lot of those issues are gone, but some still remain.

Here’s how to fix the Surface Pro 4 issues that we and Surface Pro 4 users have run into thus far. When possible, each problem also includes an update revealing if Microsoft has fixed the issue or if it’s still on-going.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Touchscreen Lock/Device Lock Up

By far, one of the most annoying Surface Pro 4 problems seems to be freezing. Some users are reporting that their device completely locks up sometimes, keeping them from interacting with their apps and files with a keyboard and with touch. What is causing this remains unclear. It’s also unclear when Microsoft will have a fix for this in place.

When it happens, reset your Surface Pro 4 by holding down the power button until your Surface Pro 4’s screen goes black. Press the power button to turn the device back on. Microsoft recently released a firmware update to address this issue.


Surface Pro 4 Problems: Screen Won’t Rotate/Missing Rotation Lock

Want to use the Surface Pro 4 as a digital notebook? Chances are that if you do, you’re turning the Surface Pro 4 in portrait mode so that it has the same rough dimensions as a legal pad. Tablet users rotate their screen so much for different activities that it’s easy to take it for granted.

Some users report that their Surface Pro 4 won’t let them rotate their screen out of landscape and into portrait mode. In fact, the screen rotation lock button disappears from the Action Center. Why this happens is a bit unclear, but it does seem to be directly related to the way the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t let users rotate their display when a Type Cover is attached. Try attaching your Type Cover to your Surface Pro 4.  The Rotation Lock button should reappear in the Action Center.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Windows Hello Won’t Work

Windows Hello lets Surface Pro 4 owners login to their device without a password or passcode. It’s terrific when it works. Unfortunately, sometimes it fails to work properly, saying that it can’t identify you in a room – even though camera is pointing right at you.

Go into the Settings app in from the Start Menu. Now look for Accounts and Select Sign In Options. In the Sign In Options area look for a button that lets you Improve Recognition for Windows Hello. Try to get the angle that your face is usually at when you’re using your Surface Pro 4. If you have glasses, be sure to get a scan with your eye wear on and off.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Type Cover Mouse and Keyboard Won’t Work

Sometimes the Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover keyboard simply stops responding. If this happens to you, detach the keyboard then use your finger to restart your device from the Start Menu. Connecting the two together and they should work fine going forward.

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Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pen Won’t Work

Randomly your Surface Pen may stop working with your Surface Pro 4. To fix the problem, pair the pen again with your device.

Read: How to Sync and Setup a Surface Pen

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Apps Can’t Use Camera Correctly

Sometimes you’re ready to record some video or capture an image with an app when the camera on your Surface Pro 4 fails to work correctly. This usually happens when you’ve recently used the dedicated Camera app.

Go back to the multitasking menu and drag the Camera app to the bottom of your screen to close it. Now try the original app again. If this doesn’t work you may need to restart.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Display Driver Crashes

Surface Pro 4 has a very, very nasty problem with its display driver crashing. The device will restart the driver itself, looking to you as if you display simply blinked for no reason. In our experience, it’s Microsoft’s Edge web browser causing this issue. Try browsing to the same site in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome.

Update: Microsoft recently issued a firmware update that fixed this issue.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Boot/Stuck on Boot Screen

There seems to be a firmware issue that keeps the Surface Pro 4 from booting or starting up correct when the Type Cover is attached, but folded backward. Detach your Type Cover if this is happening to you. Your Surface Pro 4 should start immediately.

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Surface Pro 4 Problems: Apps Wont Open

Sometimes apps on the Start Menu won’t open with touch. They’ll register a touch, but nothing happens afterward. In some cases, apps will do this repeatedly before finally opening correctly.

You can repeatedly tap to open the app or restart your device. Sometimes selecting that same app with a mouse pointer works too.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Blue Screen When Watching Video

Update: On more than one occasion our Surface Pro 4 has crashed and restarted itself while watching video specifically. The reason why remains illusive, but we’ve able to track the issue down to a bug related to video playback in Windows 10. Try watching the video with Internet Explorer instead of Microsoft Edge. If the issue happens often with a YouTube app in the Windows Store, try watching that same video through your web browser.


Surface Pro 4 Problems: Blue Screen

For some reason, Surface Pro 4 devices are getting a blue screen just after users wake it from sleep. It’s unclear what the cause is yet. The only fix for this issue will have to come from Microsoft itself. For now, let the device gather information about what caused the crash, then restart your device.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: One Column of Tiles on the Start Screen

When the Surface Pro 4’s cover isn’t attached, you can send the device into Tablet Mode, giving a Start Screen with Live Tiles for all of your installed apps. The Surface Pro 4 uses upscaling to render everything that it’s showing you. This scaling makes buttons, text and more appear bigger than if scaling was off. Unfortunately, this also has a side-effect of allowing just a single column of Windows.

You can fix this by adjusting the scaling on your device. Go into the Settings app and select System. In Display, which is the first screen that opens, look for the slider labeled “Change the size of text, apps and other items.” Surface Pro 4 is set to 200% by default. 175% or less lets you see multiple columns of Live Tiles with Tablet Mode on and portrait mode enabled.

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Surface Pro 4 Problems: Speaker Pop

All Surface Pro 4 devices seem to have a driver issue that causes their speakers to make a popping sound when users log in. Don’t worry, this is not a hardware issue. Your device’s speakers aren’t bad.

Update: Microsoft has released a Surface Pro 4 firmware update that kills this problem in most apps. However, it sometimes still occurs with Bluetooth headphones and inside the Movies & TV app.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: How to do a Factory Restore to Fix Issues

At some point, you may find that your Surface Pro 4 needs to be reset. Most people use the reset options for selling their device, but the nature of a reset means that it can act as a do-over tool for fixing whatever huge problem you have. Under Update & Security is a dedicated Recovery menu.

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Surface Pro 4 Problems: Windows 7 on a Surface Pro 4

It’s not an unknown thing for someone to like a piece of hardware and not care for the software it’s running. Every major update to Windows is divisive in some way. There’s a small but vocal number of people looking to install Windows 7 on a Surface Pro 4. Here’s the thing, you absolutely shouldn’t do this.

Microsoft designed the Surface Pro 4 to work with Windows 10 from the ground-up. What that means is that it is technically possible to get Windows 7 working, but you’ll have a troubled user experience that Microsoft won’t support. That’s because the Surface Pro 4’s drivers are designed only for Windows 10. Windows Hello will absolutely not work. The Surface Pen and web browsing experience won’t be great either.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Wake From Sleep

For whatever reason, sometimes the Surface Pro 4 just won’t wake up. This sometimes happens when you first open the Surface Pro 4’s cover or wake it from sleep manually with the power button.

First, make sure that your device is charged. Connect it to power with the Surface Power Supply. Second, hold your finger on the power button for 20 to 30 seconds. The screen should flicker, then you should see the Surface logo.


Surface Pro 4 Problems: Weak Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Connectivity

Some Surface Pro 4 users report not being able to connect to Wi-Fi networks or the Surface Pro 4 completely dropping wireless connectivity without explanation. Microsoft hasn’t said what’s causing the issue, but has persistently released new drivers for wireless connectivity. If this is happening to your device, take it in to your local Microsoft Store or contact device support. The company should offer a replacement, providing you’re still within the first year warranty.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Slow Bluetooth Input

Following Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update, some users report not being able to stay connected to their Bluetooth accessories reliable. Sometimes their Bluetooth mouse won’t allow them to navigate after waking from some sleep. Other times, keystrokes are registered way too long.

Microsoft shipped Surface Pro 4 software upgrades to address any issues with the Anniversary Update, but these Bluetooth problems still linger. If you’re having this issue, try turning Bluetooth on your device off by sliding your finger left from the right edge of your display. Look for the Expand button.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Microsoft Edge Freezes

Microsoft’s Edge web browser frequently locks up with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update installed. Some recommend uninstalling any Edge Extensions installed from the Windows Store. Gotta Be Mobile recommends installing Google Chrome or Firefox until the issues are fixed in an update from Microsoft.

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Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Stay in Tablet Mode

If you’re having issues with your Surface Type Cover, try removing it from the cover port, then attaching it again. If the problem sticks around, you may want to talk to the Microsoft Store about having the cover replaced.

Chances are that you have configured your Surface Pro 4 to automatically switch to Tablet Mode when it detects the keyboard in your cover is ready to use. There may be an issue with the mechanism inside the keyboard that Windows uses to switch into Tablet Mode.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Low Storage After Upgrading

If you’re routinely getting low storage warnings after your PC performed an upgrade, it’s time to use the built-in storage tool to start clearing away space. Go to the Settings app. Tap or click on System. Tap or click on Storage. Now tap or click on the C drive at the top of the window.

Windows 10 will analyze what’s taking up all the space on your device. You can choose to move apps and programs by tapping or clicking on each one and selecting Uninstall. If you have an SD card in your device, you can move some apps to that drive.


Surface Pro 4 Problems: Device Takes to Long to Login

Windows Hello allows you to quickly log into your Surface Pro 4, but sometimes your log in might take a bit more time than it should, leaving you staring at the lock screen.

It turns out that this sometimes happens when the Surface Pro 4 — or any Windows 10 device — is reaching out to servers to check for permissions and other material. Some users have specifically called out errors with Group Policy, a system that gets turned on when Work accounts are connected to Windows. Unfortunately, we’re waiting on Microsoft to release a fix for this problem.

Sometimes the issue happens when you there’s a pending firmware or software update on your Surface Pro 4. In these cases, your system should return to normal on restart.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: Device Won’t Charge

More expensive Surface Pro 4s come with a power adapter that has a USB plug built into it for charging smartphones and tablets. Though convenient, smartphones that demand a lot of power sometimes interfere with the adapter’s ability to charge your Surface. If your power adapter isn’t working correctly, try unplugging any other devices you have attached. If that still doesn’t solve your problem, contact Microsoft for a replacement as soon as possible.

Surface Pro 4 Problems: After Joining Windows Insider, Surface Pro 4 Won’t Turn On

Windows 10 Insider (2)

Microsoft recently began work in earnest on what’s being called Windows 10 Redstone, two massive updates coming to Windows 10 users for free sometime next year. Just like it did with previous updates, users can test out the builds for themselves through the Windows Insider Program. Just don’t do it on a Surface Pro 4.

Recent versions sent out to Windows Insider users cause the Surface Pro 4 to hang during startup. Sometimes the Touch Cover won’t respond at all. The only way to fix the starting issue is to force a restart entirely by holding down the power button. Sometimes a hard restart also helps with the keyboard issue too. You can go to the Update area in the Settings app to leave the Insider Program for more stable builds.

Surface Pro 4 Problems & Fixes: Surface Pen Eraser Won’t Work (New)

In rare cases, Surface Pro users have managed to damage the metal attachment that allows the Surface Pen to act as an eraser in apps like OneNote. Reportedly, this happens when users are replacing the tiny battery inside the pen’s barrel and turn the top the wrong way when trying to lock it.

If this is happening to you, try pairing the Surface Pen with your Surface again. Hold down the eraser into a light on your pen blinks. Then look for and connect to the pen from the Bluetooth area under Devices in Settings. If it is still happening, it might be best to simply replace then pen outright at a Microsoft Store or other retailer that sells them.

Surface Pro 4 Problems & Fixes: Green Screens (New)

If you’re getting a green screen with an error codes it’s because your PC is running into issues with the Windows Insider Preview. Try restoring your PC back to the last build from the Preview Program that worked correctly on your PC. You can do this from the Update and Security area in the Settings app. Look for the Recovery area in the menu.

If this doesn’t work, it’s time to go back to the version of Windows 10 that everyone else is using. You’ll need to make s restore drive using the software on the Surface Support website.

Read:  Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Tips & Tricks

We hope these fixes can help you cope with any Surface Pro 4 problems that you run into. Gotta Be Mobile will continue to keep this list updated with fixes and advice as more about these issues are revealed.