How to Pair or Connect Microsoft Surface Pen

Surface Pen is an essential tool you should get for your Surface PCs since all Surface except Surface RT, Surface 2, and Surface Laptop Go models are compatible with Surface Pen. It works best on Surface Go, Surface Pro, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Studio.

In fact, you don’t have to pair or connect your Surface Pen to start sketching or drawing on your Surface device. However, pairing the Surface Pen with your laptop or tablet lets you access the full suite of Surface Pen functionalities and information.

Table of contents

  1. How to Pair Microsoft Surface Pen
  2. How to Check Your Surface Pen Pairing and Connection Status

How to Pair Microsoft Surface Pen

There are a few approaches to pairing or connecting Surface Pen to your PC and here is the most straightforward way to do that.

  1. Put Surface Pen in Pairing Mode
    To put a Surface Pen in Bluetooth pairing mode (enable Bluetooth discoverable mode)

    1. Press and hold the tail eraser button for 5-7 seconds.
      Steps to pair Surface Pen
    2. The white LED light will flash while in pairing mode. Now you can continue the pairing process on your computer.
  2. Select Start and open the Settings app
    First, you need to access Windows Settings by going to the Start button and clicking the Gear icon (or by using Win + I shortcut key).
    Start > Settings
  3. Go to Devices
    In Windows Settings, select “Devices“.
    Windows Settings > Devices
  4. Select “Add Bluetooth or other devices”
    Inside the “Bluetooth & other devices” page, click on the “+ Add Bluetooth or other devices”.
    Settings App > Devices > Add a Bluetooth or other device
    Important Make sure the Bluetooth is turned on your Surface by switching the Bluetooth toggle to on as in the picture above.
  5. Select “Bluetooth”
    Choose the first option with “Bluetooth” to connect to any Bluetooth device including the Microsoft Surface Pen.
    Settings App > Add a Bluetooth device
  6. Select “Surface Pen”
    It will take several seconds to discover the Surface Pen Bluetooth signal. Select the Surface Pen when it appears on the list of Bluetooth devices.
    Settings App > Select Surface Pen to Add
  7. Click “Done”
    After the pairing process is done, click Done to close the window.
    Settings App > Surface Pen is Added

How to Check Your Surface Pen Pairing and Connection Status

If you’re not sure whether you have previously connected the Surface Pen to your PC or not, here is how to verify that:

  1. Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices
  2. The Surface Pen information should be listed under the “Mouse, keyboard, & pen” section. In this case, my Surface Pen is already connected with 85% battery left.
    Surface Pen Listed with Battery Information

Now you know how to connect or pair a Surface Pen to your Surface or any Windows 10 with Bluetooth-enabled PCs.

Question 1

Do I need to pair my Surface Pen?


While it’s an optional step, pairing the Surface Pen to your Surface or PC is required to access the following features:

  1. Windows Ink Workspace or Pen menu – a shortcut via a pen icon on the system tray that allows you to quickly open OneNote, Microsoft Whiteboard, Screen Sketch, Snipping Tool, Microsoft Journal, and more.
  2. Change pen settings – you will be able to change the pen’s pressure sensitivity via the Surface app and quick actions for the pen’s button. With that, you can launch an app or take a screenshot when you interact with the pen’s shortcut or top button with a single click, double-click, or click-and-hold.
  3. Check pen information – you can learn more about the battery level of your pen, serial number, and firmware version. Here is how you check Surface Pen’s information.
Question 2

Why is my Surface Pen connected but not writing?


It usually happens on Surface 3 or Surface Pro 3 Pen, which has two separate batteries for the stylus and Bluetooth pairing module. Here is how to troubleshoot the Surface 3 Pen or Surface Pro 3 Pen.

Question 3

Can I use or pair the original Surface Pro Pen to my Surface device?


Unfortunately, the original Surface Pro Pen uses old Wacom technology and also doesn’t have a Bluetooth pairing module. So you can’t use or pair the pen on newer Surface devices starting from Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 onward. The old pen doesn’t have a battery and will only work on the original Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Wacom-supported PCs.

Newer Surface devices adopted a new N-trig technology, later on, was called Microsoft Pen Protocol or MPP. This new pen technology requires a battery to power its pen functionality and Bluetooth module.

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