Troubleshooting Guide When Your Surface Pro Won’t Turn On

Follow our in-depth, step-by-step troubleshooting guide on how to fix your Surface Pro that won't turn on, start, or wake up from sleep.

How to Fix When Your Surface Pro Won't Turn On

Surface Pro uses an in-house UEFI firmware developed by Microsoft to improve device protection, security, and its exclusive features to support hardware functionality. When it finds something wrong during the booting process, it will show you a message or an icon on the screen. So you will know what is wrong and what you should do to fix the issue. That includes when your Surface Pro is overheating or has a low battery.

However, there are so many other causes that can also prevent your Surface Pro from turning on. And some won’t show any messages or any sign on the screen. In this troubleshooting guide, we walk you through all possible issues and how to fix them with a step-by-step guide.

  1. Why My Surface Pro Won’t Turn On
  2. How to Fix Surface Pro That Won’t Turn on
    1. Recharge Your Surface Pro
    2. Check Surface Pro Charger
    3. Remove Surface Accessories
    4. Waking up a Surface Pro with Hotkeys or Buttons
    5. Soft Reset or Force Restart a Surface Pro
    6. Contact Microsoft Technical Support

Why My Surface Pro Won’t Turn On

To help you identify the issue that blocks your Microsoft Surface Pro from turning on, here are the common causes starting with the most common and easy to fix.

  • Overheating – Your Surface Pro can be overheating after playing games or excessive use in a hot environment or under direct sunlight. When the temperature reaches a peak temperature, your Surface Pro will shut down and temporarily refuses to turn on until the device temperature return to an optimal temperature. In this situation, you see a thermometer icon when you try to turn it on.
    Surface Pro Overheating

    Surface Pro is overheating and won’t turn on temporarily.

  • The battery is too low – It happens when you leave your tablet for an extended period. Or there is a battery draining issue on your Surface Pro. Unlike traditional laptops, 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 Pro from going to standby mode. In this situation, you see a low battery icon when you try to turn it on.
    Surface Pro Critically Low Battery

    Surface Pro has a low battery, and recharge is required.

    NoteIf the battery is empty, you can expect nothing to appear on the screen when you try to turn it on.
  • Surface charging issue – If you’ve tried to charge your Surface Pro and it still won’t turn on, it could be an issue with the charger and cable. The original Surface power supply has an LED on the connector at the end of the cable. The LED will light up when it’s charging. Inversely, a flashing light or no light at all means it’s not charging.
    Surface Pro Charging Issue

    Surface Pro won’t charge.

  • Faulty connected accessories – There is a possibility that some faulty accessories can prevent your Surface Pro from turning on. Your Surface Pro might detect a shorted circuit inside those accessories and refuses to turn on. Another possibility is a connected USB drive or SD card containing bootable files that your Surface Pro might attempt to boot.
    Surface Pro Stuck on Microsoft or Surface Logo

    Surface Pro is stuck on Microsoft or Surface Logo.

  • Stuck in standby or sleep mode – Some un-optimized background processes might prevent your Surface Pro from waking up when you press the power button or keyboard.
  • Dead battery – It tends to happen if you use your Surface Pro over a long period. Your battery might wear and stop holding enough charge to turn on your device.
  • Hardware issue – Most faulty hardware components will likely interrupt the booting process. Among those, the motherboard is the most crucial part of a system. If there is a loose cable, connector, or faulty components on the mainboard, you’ll need an expert or contact Microsoft for repair.

How to Fix Surface Pro That Won’t Turn on

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

1 Recharge Your Surface Pro

One of the most common reasons your Surface Pro can’t turn on is the battery running out of its juices. To protect your Surface battery from wear or dead, Microsoft has designed multi-level protection features from Windows to the device’s firmware to prevent your Surface Pro from turning on.

To solve this issue, you need to recharge your Surface Pro using the original charger which came with your Surface or any compatible power adapters. To do so:

Recharge Surface Pro for 15 minutes

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

If your Surface Pro keeps failing to turn on, 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.

2 Check Surface Pro Charger

If your Surface Pro doesn’t turn 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 light up to let you know if your Surface Pro is properly charging. Otherwise, check the following solutions.

Verifying Surface Pro Charging

Verifying Surface Pro Charging

  • 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 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. And the power outlet is connected to a power source and turned on.
  • Solution 3 – Check your Surface charger: High 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 is no rusty and dirt.
  • Solution 5 – Try another charger: Original Surface charger is cross-compatible among all Surface devices except the original Surface RT/2 and Surface Pro/Pro 2. If you have a charger from Surface Go, Book, or Laptop with the same connector, it will be 100% compatible with your Surface Pro.
Note Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Pro X have USB-C ports that support charging with a Power Delivery compatible charger or power bank.

3 Remove Surface Accessories

To make sure none of the connected accessories interrupts 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 (located under the kickstand).
  2. If you use Surface Dock, disconnect it from your Surface Pro and charge with a charger instead.
  3. Remove Surface Type Cover.
  4. Disconnect peripherals from all ports, including the charger.

If your Surface Pro turns on successfully, the last accessory you remove may be the problem.

4 Waking up a Surface Pro with Hotkeys or Buttons

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

  1. Waking up Surface Pro with a keyboard shortcut. Connect your Surface Pro to a Type Cover, Touch Cover, or an external keyboard, and press the following keys: Win + Ctrl + Shift + B
    Wake Up Surface Pro with keyboard shortcuts
  2. Waking up Surface Pro 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.
    Wake Up Surface Pro with tablet buttons

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

5 Soft Reset or Force Restart a Surface Pro

If your Surface Pro refuses to wake up or turn on after following the steps above, there is a way to force shutdown your Surface Pro.

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 newer Surface Pro devices, including Surface Pro(5th Gen), Surface Pro 6, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Pro X:

Force Shutdown Surface Pro 5-8/X

  • Press and hold the power button until your Surface Pro shutdown and restarts to the Windows logo. It takes about 20 seconds, then releases the power button.

To perform a force shutdown on older Surface Pro devices, including the original Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, and Surface Pro 4:

Force Shutdown Surface Pro 1-4

  1. Press and hold the power button for about 30 seconds, then release it.
  2. Press and hold both volume-up and power buttons for about 15 seconds until the screen turns off. Then release the buttons.
    ImportantYou might see the Surface logo flashing while holding down the buttons. Keep holding for at least 15 seconds.
  3. Wait ten seconds after releasing the buttons. Now it’s completely turned off.
  4. Press and release the power button to turn on your Surface Pro.

6 Contact Microsoft Technical Support

If you’ve tried all the steps above and have no luck with it, your Surface Pro might have a dead battery or hardware issue. You should contact the store you purchased the Surface Pro 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 Pro. To do so:

  • Go to https://account.microsoft.com/devices
  • 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 instruction to fill out your shipping address and other information.