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Surface Pen not working: Quick Fix

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  • 6 min read

The Surface Pen is a popular accessory for Microsoft’s Surface devices allowing users to draw, take notes, and interact with their devices. However, sometimes the Surface Pen may stop working, leading to work disruption. If you’re experiencing this issue, don’t worry as there are a few things that you can try to fix the issue.

In this article, we explain the most common causes and the fixes to resolve the Surface Pen not working issue.

Surface Pen not working: Possible causes

There are several common causes why the Surface Pen may not work properly. Here are some of them:

Battery issues with the Surface Pen

If the Surface Pen has a low battery, it might not work properly. Also, if you haven’t charged the Surface Pen in a while, then there are chances that the battery is dead.

In some cases, the batteries are damaged due to mishandling by the users. If you have any of the issues that we have mentioned, it would lead to the Surface Pen not working issue.

Compatibility issues

Not all Surface Pens are compatible with Surface devices. You can check the Microsoft page here to check your Surface Pen’s compatibility.

Outdated drivers

If the drivers for the Surface Pen are outdated or missing, the pen may not work properly. Drivers are necessary for any hardware to optimally work with the software and any damage to the driver files might cause the device to stop working.

Connectivity issues

To use the Surface Pen, you have to connect it to the Surface device. If there are issues with the connection, then you will not be able to use the Surface Pen properly.

Hardware issues

There might be issues with the Surface Pen or with the Surface device. If any of the two pieces of hardware have any damage, it will affect the pairing and ultimately the Surface Pen will not work.

Calibration issues

If the Surface Pen is not properly calibrated, it may not work accurately. You will need to calibrate the Surface Pen if necessary.

Pen tip issues

If the Surface Pen tip is worn out or damaged, you will notice a significant lag when using the device. If this is the case, then you should replace the pen tip asap.

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Surface Pen not working: Possible fixes

Now, let us dive into the possible fixes to the Surface Pen not working issue. Most of the fixes are easy and should take less than a minute to process.

Restart your Surface device and pen

Restarting should be your first option. It has worked for many users all across the globe and is a time-tested practice. When you restart the device, it clears up the RAM and boots the system afresh. This means that all the corrupt cache files that were causing the issues are now gone and you can resume the work.

If restarting the Surface device doesn’t work, then move on to the next steps.

Check the battery

Surface Pens are powered by AAAA batteries and here are the steps to check the battery level of your Surface Pen:

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Check the battery level on the pen itself

  • Press and hold the eraser button on your Surface Pen for about five to ten seconds.
  • Look for the LED lights on your Surface Pen. If the LED blinks red, then this means that the battery is low.

Check the battery level via the Settings app

In Windows 10, you can also check the Surface Pen battery level by connecting it to the Surface device. Open Windows Settings and then go to Devices and then look for Surface Pen in the Mouse, keyboard and pen option.

If you are a Windows 11 user, go to Settings > Bluetooth and devices and then locate Surface Pen.

Check the battery level via the Surface app

You can also check the Surface Pen’s battery via the Surface app. Open the app and go to the Pen section to see the battery.

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Check Bluetooth connection

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The Surface Pen connects to your Surface device via Bluetooth. If the Bluetooth isn’t working properly due to hardware or software issues, then the Surface Pen won’t work either.

To resolve this, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices. Make sure that the Surface Pen is connected. If not, disconnect and then reconnect again and see if it works this time.

Install updates

If you haven’t updated your Surface device or the Surface Pen firmware in a long time, you should check and update them to fix Surface Pen not working issue.

To check for updates, go to Settings > Windows Update and then press the Download and install button.

Check out this Microsoft article to update the firmware for Surface Pen.

Tweak the Surface Pen settings

Sometimes it happens that you have manually selected incorrect settings on your Surface Pen that might cause it to not work. Access the Surface Pen’s settings by heading to Settings > Devices > Pen and Windows Ink.

Once you are here, adjust the pen’s pressure sensitivity, button functionality and other settings to fix Surface Pen not working issue.

Troubleshooting the hardware issues

Perform a hardware diagnostic test to address the hardware issues on your Surface Pen device. Windows 10 users should head to Settings > Update and Security > Troubleshoot > Hardware and Devices to run a hardware check.

For Windows 11, go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Diagnostics and feedback > View Diagnostic Data.

Troubleshooting the Surface Pen calibration issues

As we have mentioned earlier, the Surface Pen should be properly calibrated to work properly and issues might arise if it isn’t calibrated rightly.

Press the Start button and search Calibrate. Click on Setup and then follow the on-screen instructions.

Reinstall drivers

If none of the above solutions works, you may need to reinstall the drivers for your Surface Pen 2. Go to Device Manager > Surface Pen. Right-click on it and then select Uninstall. After that, restart your device and the drivers will be automatically updated.

Also read: What is Optimized Battery Charging? How does it work?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: