How to Fix a Surface Go That Won't Turn On

Microsoft Surface Go is the most portable Surface with the same premium design and features as its big brother, the Surface Pro. It uses a proprietary UEFI firmware developed by the company to enhance device protection, security, and functionality for supporting its hardware features and diagnostics. It will show an error message or an icon on the screen when it finds something wrong during the boot process. So you will know what is wrong and what you should do to fix the issue. That includes when your tablet is overheating or has a low battery.

However, there are so many other causes that can also prevent your tablet from turning on. And some won’t show any messages or any sign on the screen. To help you resolve those problems, we will walk you through all possible issues and how to fix them with a step-by-step guide.

Why Surface Go Won’t Turn On?

To help you determine the issue that stops your Surface Go from turning on, here are the typical causes, starting with the most familiar and straightforward to fix.

  • Overheating – Your Surface Go can be overheated after playing games or intense usage in a hot environment or under sunlight. When the temperature reaches an extreme temperature, your tablet will turn off and temporarily refuse to turn on until the tablet recovers to an optimal temperature. In this case, you will see a thermometer icon on the screen when you try to turn it on.
    Surface Go is overheating startup screen
  • The battery is too low – It occurs when you leave your tablet for an extended period. Or there is a battery draining issue on your Microsoft Go. Unlike traditional laptops, the Surface has its new modern standby feature to keep your tablet life updated even if it’s in sleep mode. When in normal condition, it barely drains the battery. However, some traditional software processes may prevent your Surface from going to standby mode. In this case, you see a low battery icon on the screen when you attempt to turn it on.
    Surface Go low on battery startup screen
    NoteWhen it is empty, there is nothing that will appear on the screen (black screen) when you try to turn it on.
  • Surface charging issue – If you’ve tried to charge your Surface Go and it still won’t turn on, it might be an issue with the charger and cable. The original Surface charger has an LED on the connector at the end of the cable. The LED will glow up when it’s charging. Conversely, a flashing or no light at all means it’s not charging.
    Surface Go Charging Issue
  • Defective connected accessories – There is a case where some faulty accessories can stop your Surface Go from turning on. Your tablet might detect a shorted circuit inside those accessories and reject turning on. Another potential is a connected USB drive or SD card holding bootable files that your tablet might use to boot.
    Surface Go Stuck on Microsoft Logo Startup Screen
  • Stuck in standby or sleep mode – Some un-optimized background processes might prevent your Surface Go from waking up when you press the power button or keyboard.
  • Dead battery could happen when you regularly use your Surface for years. Your battery might wear and stop charging enough to turn on your tablet.
  • Hardware issue – Most defective hardware components will likely interrupt the booting process. Among those, the motherboard is the most integral part of a system. If there is a loose cable, connector, or faulty components on the mainboard, you’ll require an expert or contact Microsoft for repair.

Solutions for Surface Go That Won’t Turn on

Now it’s time to fix your Surface Go problem that won’t wake up or turn on. When you press the power button and see nothing on your tablet screen, one of the following solutions will help your Surface turn on again.

Recharge Your Surface Go

One of the most common reasons your Microsoft Surface Go won’t turn on is when your tablet has a low or empty battery. To protect the battery from wear or death, Microsoft has developed multi-level safeguard features from Windows to the device’s firmware to stop your tablet from turning on.

To resolve this issue, recharge your Surface Go using the original charger with your tablet or any compatible power adapters. To do so:

Recharge your Surface Go for 15 minutes

  1. Plug your Surface charger into an outlet.
  2. Plug the Surface charging cable into the tablet (Surface Connect) port. The port is on the right side of the tablet.
  3. Charge it for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how powerful the charger is. Try to turn it on again by pressing the power button on the keyboard.

If your Surface Go fails to boot, leave it on charge for an hour and try again. If it fails again, follow the next step to check the Surface power supply and cable.

Check Your Surface Go Charger

If your Surface Go still resists turning on after you tried plugging in the charger in the previous solution, it could be an issue with your Surface charger adapter, connector, or cable.

To verify that, you can check the LED light on the end of the connector. When you plug in an original charging cable, the LED will let you know if your tablet is correctly charging. Otherwise, check the following solutions.

Checking Surface Go Charging Issues

  • Solution 1 – Reverse the charging connector: The Surface charging connector is magnetic and reversible. If there are some loose or don’t firmly connect on one side, you can try to turn it upside down and connect it again. Check the LED to see if it lights up or not.
  • Solution 2 – Check your power cord: Verify that the Surface charger power cord is connected firmly to the power socket. The power outlet is connected to a power source and turned on.
  • Solution 3 – Check your Surface charger: The power Surface charger has a detachable AC plug. Make sure the connector is firmly attached.
  • Solution 4 – Clean your Surface charging connector: Unplug your charger from the outlet and your Surface. Use a dry tissue to rub around the connector pins. Make sure there are no rusts and dirt.
  • Solution 5 – Try another charger: The original Surface charger is cross-compatible among all Surface devices except the original Surface RT/2/3 and Surface Pro/Pro 2. If you have a charger from a Surface Laptop, Pro, or Book with the same connector, it will be 100% compatible with your Surface Go.
Note All Surface Go models have a single USB-C port that supports charging with a Power Delivery compatible charger or power bank.

Remove Surface Go Accessories

To make sure none of the connected accessories interrupt the booting process, try to remove each accessory one by one and turn it on:

  1. Remove all storage devices, including USB drives and SD cards.
  2. If you use Surface Dock, disconnect it from your tablet and charge with a charger instead.
  3. Disconnect peripherals from all ports, including the charger.

If your Surface Go turns on successfully, the last accessory you remove may be the trouble.

Waking up a Surface Go with Shortcut Keys

If you have an outdated OS build, drivers, or firmware, you might face issues that Microsoft hasn’t addressed lately. Your Surface Go can get stuck while it’s in sleep mode. Microsoft recommends waking up your Surface Go using a keyboard shortcut or pressing the tablet buttons.

  1. Waking up Surface Go with a keyboard shortcut. Connect your Surface Go to a Type Cover, Touch Cover, or an external keyboard, and press the following keys: Win + Ctrl + Shift + B
    Shortcut Keys to Force Wake Up a Surface Go
  2. Waking up Surface Go in tablet mode – If you don’t have a Type Cover or a keyboard nearby, quickly press both the Volume-up and Volume-down buttons on the tablet three times.
    Force Wake Up a Surface Go by Quickly Pressing Volume Up + Down 3 times

If it works, don’t forget to update your Surface Go to the latest updates available through Windows Updates.

Soft Reset or Force Restart a Surface Go

If your Surface Go refuses to wake up or start after following the steps above, there is a way to force the shutdown of your tablet.

ImportantThis process might result in data loss if you have unsaved documents that don’t have the automatic saving feature turned on.

To perform a force shutdown on the Surface Go (1st Gen), Surface Go 2, Surface Go 3, and Surface Go 4:

Force Shutdown and Restart a Surface Go by Press Power button for 20 seconds

  • Press and hold the power button on the top of the tablet until your Surface Go turns off and restarts to the Windows logo. It takes about 20 seconds, then releases the power button.

Contact Microsoft Technical Support

If you’ve tried all the steps above and have had no luck, your Surface Go might have a hardware issue. You should contact the store you purchased your tablet from or contact your local Microsoft Store for technical support. Alternatively, Microsoft also provides an online device service and repair portal where you can request a repair order for your Surface. To do so:

  • Go to
  • Sign in with your Microsoft Account.
  • Expand a registered Surface model you want to make a repair order.
  • Select Info and support.
    Select a Surface device you want check info and support information
  • Select Start order.
    Start an order for your select Surface device
  • Choose “Device” from the “Category” options.
  • Choose “Will not turn on” from the “Issue type” options.
  • Describe your issue in the textbox and click Next.
    Complete service and repair order information
  • Follow the instructions to fill out your shipping address and other information.