Microsoft offers innovation and excellence in its Windows hardware with Surface-branded devices. These touch screen devices offer users different options when using a Windows computer. Several innovative models are available to meet the different needs of an ever-growing group of demanding users.
However, there have been reports of bugs with the Surface Pen. Some users have reported that their Surface Pen won’t write, won’t open apps, and won’t connect to Bluetooth. There are several solutions to fix these errors. Check out the methods below and see which one is best for you.
What causes Surface Pen to be ineffective?
Lots of problems can occur with the Surface Pen, and speaking of problems, here are some common problems reported by users:
Surface Pro 3, 4 pens not working: Sometimes your Surface Pro pen doesn’t work at all. This is usually related to your battery, so make sure it’s not dead.
Surface Pro Pen 4 is connected but not writing: This problem may be due to some Bluetooth issues. To fix the problem, simply unplug and fix the pen.
Surface Pen doesn’t write on the screen, in Word, OneNote: Sometimes your pen doesn’t write on the screen or in other applications such as Word and OneNote. To solve the problem, you need to disable and re-enable Intel devices in Device Manager.
Surface Pen is paired but not writing: This is a fairly common problem with Surface Pen, and you should be able to solve it with one of our solutions.
What can I do if the Surface Pen is not working?
General Surface Pen Troubleshooting
Here are a few things to try first, in no particular order, if your Surface Pen is not working or not connecting to Bluetooth.
- Test your pen by typing, writing, or erasing in OneNote, Sticky Notes, or Fresh Paint. If your pen works in any of these apps, the app you want to use may not work with your pen.
- Open the apps and use your Surface by a touch interface. If you can’t use your finger on the Surface, read this guide – touch doesn’t work. Once you touch it, try using the pen again.
- Check your pen’s battery level. If you have a paired pen, you can check it in the settings. Go to Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth and other devices, then look for the pen to check the battery level. If the battery is low or has no power, you may need to replace or charge it.
- Check the pen settings. To check the cursor, writing, and top button settings, go to Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Windows Pen and Ink. To check the pen pressure settings, open the Surface app and select the Pen tab to adjust them.
- Manually adjust the Surface to match the pen. Check the indicator light on the pen.
- Update the firmware and surface drivers.
- Run the surface diagnostic tool.
If you are having some problems with your Surface Pen listed below, you can try the appropriate recommended fixes.
Your Surface Pen does not contain ink
If your pen is not inked, proceed as follows:
- Check the LED indicator function. If the LED indicator does not turn on, it is a power supply fault.
- Run Windows Update or Surface Diagnostic Toolbox.
- Restart the Surface, even if it has already been restarted during a Windows update.
- Replace the battery.
Your Surface Pen will not match your Surface Pen device
Do the following:
- On the pen, press and hold the top button until the LED blinks to activate Bluetooth pairing mode.
- On the computer, select Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth and Other Devices.
- Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on, then select Add Bluetooth or Other Device -> Bluetooth. Select Surface Pen from the list of devices. Follow the other instructions if they appear, then select Done.
The Microsoft Classroom Pen does not support Bluetooth and the pen cap.
If you don’t see your pen in the device list, the LED light can help you identify the problem (see table below). Press and hold the top button on the pen for 5-7 seconds.
The indicator light on your Surface Pen tablet is blinking red or not turning on
That’s what you need to know:
- If the indicator light on your pen is flashing red, you may need to replace the battery.
- If the penlight does not turn on and you can still write on your Surface, the LED light may be defective.
- If the pen LED does not turn on and you have replaced the battery, you may need to replace it.
Follow the steps below to request a replacement flat pen :
- Go to the Device Service and Repair page on Microsoft.com. Log in with your Microsoft account and select the surface or register a new device.
- Once you select a registered device, you will see replacement suggestions based on your warranty status and eligibility.
If you press the Surface Pentop button, the assigned shortcut does not open
If the assigned Surface Pen shortcut does not open when you press the top button, the Pen may not be paired with the Surface Pen or the battery level may be low.
To determine if the pen is paired and to see the battery level, go to Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Bluetooth and other devices. If the pen is paired, go to Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Windows Pen and Ink to confirm the top key combination assignment.
If the battery level is low or not listed, you may need to replace the battery. After replacing the battery, you may need to resurface the pen. If the assigned hotkey does not open when the top key is pressed or the LED does not light, contact Microsoft support.
Clicking or double-clicking the Surface Pen’s top button does not do what I want it to do
Make sure the Bluetooth feature is turned on and the pen is connected to the surface. You can change keyboard shortcuts to make the keys do what you want. Do the following:
- Go to Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Windows Pen and Ink.
- Under Keyboard Shortcuts, select the applications that you want to open with shortcuts.
The Surface Pen buttons do not work, or the writing is irregular and inaccurate
Try pairing the Pen with the Surface Pen device again.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's usually related to your battery. So make sure your battery is not dead. Surface Pro 4 Pen connected but not writing - This problem may be due to some Bluetooth interference. To fix the problem, simply unplug and fix the pen.
Go to Settings on your Surface device, open Devices, and select Pen. From there you can choose between right and left-handed writing. You can take simple manual notes on web pages in Microsoft Edge or, with the November Windows 10 update, you can write handwritten reminders directly in Cortana.
- Go to Start -> Settings -> Devices -> Add Bluetooth or other device -> Bluetooth .
- Press and hold the top button on the pen for 5-7 seconds until the light flashes white to activate Bluetooth pairing mode.
- Select the handle to pair with the surface.
With the surface turned off, press and hold the volume up button, then press and hold the power button until the Microsoft or Surface logo appears on the screen. If the touchscreen does not work on your surface, there is likely a hardware failure. Go to Device Service and Repair to submit a service request for your Surface.