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How to troubleshoot Surface 3 Pen or Surface Pro 3 Pen
Do you have any issues with your Surface Pen shipped with Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3? Here we have collected all issues and solutions you can use to troubleshoot your Surface Pen yourself.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a big innovation with three years in the making of the Surface history. It has new designs and technologies including lighter, thinner, faster, and larger than previous generations. Moreover, it also introduces the new Surface Pen that using a new technology called “N-trig”. The Surface Pen shipped with Surface Pro 3 has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The new Surface Pen is better than the previous generation developed with Wacom technology. It now allows you have a better writing experience including ability to erase with a dedicated eraser button. In addition, it also has a dedicated right-click button too. On top of that, by pressing its top button, you can instantly take a quick note even your Surface Pro 3 is locked or asleep.
However, all functionalities made by this new Surface Pen required an active power supply. It is now required batteries to do it jobs. As a result, it becomes more complicated and more likely to has more issues as well. So, here we have collected all possible issues and solutions for you, in case you want to troubleshoot it by yourself.
Microsoft said the Surface Pen will last for 1 year, however, real battery life is dependent on the amount of real usage. There are two sets of batteries used within a Surface Pen. The Surface Pro pen need those batteries in order to offer its full functions properly including:
- 1 x AAAA battery – it supports stylus operations such as writing, the right-click button, and the eraser button.
- 2 x lithium 319 coin batteries – it supports the Bluetooth connection and top button actions.
When to replace the Surface Pen AAAA battery?
As this battery supply power to the Surface Pen to operate its stylus functions, you can notice its problems when you experience following symptoms:
- Surface Pro 3 top purple button working but pen won’t write.
- Surface Pro pen writes, but it lags, inaccurate, or unresponsive.
- Surface Pen frequently won’t write.
- Surface Pen doesn’t write, right-click button and eraser button don’t’ work.
How to replace the Surface Pen AAAA battery?
If you experienced problems as listed above, you need to reinstall or replace the AAAA battery. Here is how (described in Microsoft support page):
- Step 1: Unscrew the top of the pen from the bottom and remove the AAAA battery (if there is one).
If the battery was installed with the negative (–) end pointing toward the writing tip, put it back in with the positive (+) end pointing toward the writing tip and skip to Step 3.
- Step 2: Insert the AAAA battery, wrapped in the paper label from the top of the pen, with the positive (+) end of the battery pointing toward the writing tip.
- Step 3: Screw the top back on.
When to replace the Surface Pen coin cell batteries?
As this battery supply power to the Surface Pen to support its Bluetooth connectivity and top button actions, if it has problems you will notice the following symptoms:
- There is no pen light come on when you hold the top button down for seven seconds.
- You can’t pair your Surface Pro 3 pen to your Surface.
- Surface Pen’s top button doesn’t work.
- Surface Pen’s top button frequently doesn’t work.
How to replace the Surface Pen coin cell batteries?
If you experienced problems as listed above, you need to reinstall or replace the coin cell batteries. Here is how (described in Microsoft support page):
To change the coin cell batteries, you’ll need two new size 319 coin cell batteries and a jewelers’ Phillips screwdriver. Here’s how to change the coin cell batteries:
Step 1: Unscrew the top of the pen from the bottom, leaving the paper label in the top in place.
Step 2: Do one of the following to remove the battery case:
- Recommended method: Insert a jeweler’s Phillips screwdriver into the battery case, through the middle of the spring, and unscrew the battery case.
- Alternative method: Insert a flathead screwdriver into one of the notches on the side of the battery case and twist the battery case to unscrew it. You’ll need to press on the spring to fit the blade of the screwdriver into the larger notches on the battery case.
Step 3: Remove the battery case and remove the old batteries. Insert the new batteries into the battery case with the negative (–) side facing the pen tip.
Step 4: Slide the top of the pen down over the battery case. Tighten the case just until you feel resistance. Don’t overtighten it.
Note If you hold the pen top sideways and slide the battery case in, the coin cell batteries may flip over before they’re secure and in their proper position.
Step 5: Screw the bottom and top of the pen back together.
You may need to pair the pen with your Surface again after you change the batteries.
Those two buttons are powered by the AAAA battery, if there is a problem with the AAAA battery, you should also have problems with the pen writes as well. If so, you need to reinstall or replace the AAAA battery.
Otherwise, if you have no problems with the pen write, you might get a defective Surface Pen. Contact Microsoft for service or replacement.
Note Some apps might not support the right-click and eraser buttons, make sure you have tested with the Microsoft OneNote app.
The Surface Pen’s top button is primarily used by default for quick access to OneNote app in Windows 8.1. However, since the release of Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you now have options to choose which actions you want to take including the new Windows Ink Workspace. There are some root causes that the top button doesn’t take it actions:
1. You didn’t pair your Surface Pen to your Surface
You can quick access to OneNote or Windows Ink Workspace by just pressing the Top button in a range 10 meters from your Surface. As it uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE, you need to pair your Surface Pen to your Surface first before you can use it. Here is how (described in Microsoft support page):
Note If the pen already appears in the list of Bluetooth devices, you might need to remove the Surface Pen from the device list and pair it with your Surface again.
First, make the Surface Pen discoverable. Press and hold the top button for about 7 seconds, until the light in the middle of the pen clip starts to flash.
On your PC, select the Start Windows logo button, then select Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
Make sure Bluetooth is on, then select Add Bluetooth or other device > Bluetooth. Choose Surface Pen in the list of devices. Follow any other instructions if they appear, then select Done.
2. You Can’t pair your Surface Pen to your Surface
If you can’t pair your Surface Pen to your Surface, make sure that there is flashing light appear when you press and hold the top button for 7 seconds to go to pairing mode. If there is no flashing light appear, you need to reinstall or replace the coin cell batteries.