Surface Pro 4 problems haven’t kept the device from selling millions and establishing Windows 2-in-1s as an alternative to the iPad Pro and MacBook. However, dealing with them can be frustrating and intimidating.
The Surface Pro 4 looks like a tablet and has the heart of a notebook PC. This makes them just as difficult to troubleshoot as a laptop or desktop. You need to know where to find the right setting to stop the tablet from doing things that you don’t want it to, for example. The Surface Type Cover and Surface Pen add another layer of complexity. Sometimes they don’t work for reasons that aren’t clear.
Thankfully, the Surface Pro 4 is mature enough that the wider community has come up with workarounds and fixes for some issues. Microsoft has released driver updates to fix problems too. Here’s what you need to know about the Surface Pro 4 problems you might right into. Whenever possible, we’ve also included fixes for those issues
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Touchscreen Lock/Device Lock Up
By far, one of the most annoying Surface Pro 4 problems is freezing. Some users report that their device completely locks without warning.
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. Driver updates fixed this problem shortly after the Surface Pro 4 launched. You should go to the Updates & Recovery area in the Settings app to check for updates.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Screen Won’t Rotate/Missing Rotation Lock
Some users report that their Surface Pro 4 won’t let them rotate their screen out of landscape mode and into portrait mode. In fact, the screen rotation lock button disappears from the Action Center. Try attaching your Type Cover to your Surface Pro 4. The Rotation Lock button should reappear in the Action Center. Your ability to switch orientation should return too.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Windows Hello Won’t Work
Windows Hello lets Surface Pro 4 owners unlock their device without a password or passcode. Unfortunately, it can fail to work properly. It’ll say that it can’t identify you in a room – even though the camera is pointing right at you.
Go into the Settings app from the Start Menu. Open Accounts. Select Sign In Options. In the Sign In Options area, look for the Improve Recognition for Windows Hello button. Try to get the angle that your face is usually at when you’re using your Surface Pro 4. If you have glasses, get a scan with your eyewear on and off.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Type Cover Mouse and Keyboard Won’t Work
The Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover keyboard can stop responding sometimes. If this happens to you, detach the keyboard. Use your finger to restart your Pro 4 from the Start Menu. Attach the Type Cover again and it should work properly.
Pair your Surface Pen to your Surface Pro 4 to fix connectivity issues that won’t allow you to write or draw in apps and programs.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Apps Can’t Use Camera Correctly
Windows 10 will not let you use the Camera app to capture photos when you already have an app open that is using your camera sensors. Shut any apps you’ve used the camera in before. Try opening the Camera app again.
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 issued a firmware update to fix this problem. Check for more updates inside the Settings app under Updates & Recovery.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Boot/Stuck on Boot Screen
There was a firmware issue that kept the Surface Pro 4 from booting or starting up correctly when the Type Cover was attached and folded backward. Detach your Type Cover. Turn your device on. Your Surface Pro 4 should start immediately.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Apps Won’t Open
Apps on the Start Menu won’t open with the touchscreen, some users report. Windows 10 registers a touch, but nothing happens afterward. In some cases, apps will do this repeatedly before finally opening correctly.
Restart your Surface Pro 4.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Blue Screen
Surface Pro 4 gets a blue screen just after users try to wake it from sleep, occasionally.
Update: A driver update fixed this issue. Check for more updates inside the Settings app under Updates & Recovery to make sure your device is up-to-date.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: One Column of Tiles on the Start Screen
Bugs have caused some Surface Pro 4 Start Screens to only show a single column in the past. You can fix this by adjusting the scaling on your device. Go to the Settings app. Select System. In Display, look for the slider labeled “Change the size of text, apps and other items.” Surface Pro 4 uses 200% by default. 175% or less lets you see multiple columns of Live Tiles with Tablet Mode on and portrait mode enabled.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Speaker Pop
All Surface Pro 4 devices had a driver issue that caused their speakers to make a popping sound when users logged in. Don’t worry, this is not a hardware issue. Your device’s speakers aren’t bad.
Update: Microsoft released a Surface Pro 4 firmware update that solves this problem. Check for more updates inside the Settings app under Updates & Recovery.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: How to Factory Rest
At some point, you may find that your Surface Pro 4 needs a factory reset. Under Update & Security is a dedicated Recovery menu. Use it to go back to factory settings and get a fresh install of Windows 10.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Windows 7 on a Surface Pro 4
Microsoft designed the Surface Pro 4 to work with Windows 10 from the ground-up. It is technically possible to get Windows 7 working. However, you’ll have a troubled user experience that Microsoft won’t support. The Surface Pen and Windows Hello camera won’t work with Windows 7.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Wake From Sleep
Surface Pro 4 can have a hard time waking from sleep. Make sure that your Surface Pro 4 has a charge. Connect it to power with the Surface Power Supply. Hold your finger on the power button for 20 to 30 seconds. The screen should flicker. Now you should see the Surface logo.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Weak Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Connectivity
Some Surface Pro 4 users report drops wireless connectivity without explanation. If this is happening to your device, take it to your local Microsoft Store or contact device support. The company should offer a replacement if your device is still under 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 reliably. Sometimes their Bluetooth mouse won’t allow them to navigate after waking from some sleep. Other times, keystrokes take too long to register.
Try turning Bluetooth on your device off by sliding your finger from the right edge of your screen to the left. Look for the Expand button. Tap the Bluetooth icon to turn the feature off. Tap again to turn it back on.
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 you added from the Windows Store. Gotta Be Mobile recommends installing Google Chrome or Firefox for browsing on Windows 10.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Stay in Tablet Mode
Your Surface Pro 4 may automatically switch itself in and out of Tablet Mode when you attach its cover. If this is happening and you haven’t changed any settings, disconnect your Type Cover. Check the connector on the bottom of your Surface Pro 4 for bits of dirt preventing the cover from connecting reliably.
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 extra files from Windows. 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 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 a MicroSD card in your device, move some apps to it.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Device Won’t Charge
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 interfere with the adapter’s ability to charge your Surface Pro. Unplug the smartphone or tablet to fix the issue.
If you don’t have anything plugged into the adapter’s USB port, try unplugging the adapter from your power outlet and connecting it again.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Windows Insider Program Issues
Members of the Windows Insider Program get new features earlier than anyone else. That doesn’t mean you should go try them on your Surface Pro 4. They’re often buggy and not feature complete.
Open the Settings app. Then tap or click on Updates & Security. At the bottom of the menu on the left is an entry for the Windows Insider Program. Open that area and select Stop Insider Preview Builds.
Surface Pro 4 Problems & Fixes: Surface Pen Eraser Won’t Work
A small number of users report that their Surface Pen’s cap has stopped working.
Try pairing the Surface Pen with your Surface again. Hold down the eraser until a light on your pen begins to blink. Then look for and connect to the pen from the Bluetooth area under Devices in Settings. If the battery is fresh and this is still happening, you’ll need to buy a new Surface Pen. It’s easy to break the contacts that the cap uses to get power when replacing the battery.
We hope these fixes can help you cope with any Surface Pro 4 problems that you have. Gotta Be Mobile will continue to keep this list updated with fixes and advice. Microsoft Stores will help you sort out any issues with your Surface Pro 4 that you can’t fix on your own.