Troubleshoot your Surface Type Cover or Keyboard

Applies to: Surface DevicesSurface Pro 4 Type Cover

This guided walkthrough will take you through troubleshooting steps if you're having an issue with your Surface Type Cover or Keyboard.

Notes

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard is connected to the Surface (including Surface Laptop), and you are experiencing any of the following:

  • The Keyboard or Type Cover appears to disconnect or stop responding randomly.
  • The Keyboard or Type Cover goes back and forth between working, and not working.

This can be either the Keyboard keys, touchpad, or the entire Keyboard or Type Cover. USB, Bluetooth, or on-screen keyboards may still work.

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard is connected to the Surface (including Surface Laptop), and you are experiencing any of the following:

  • While typing, there are specific keys that don't respond when pressed.
  • There are one or more “dead” keys that don't do anything when pressed.

The key functionality can be intermittent or consistent.

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard is connected to the Surface (including Surface Laptop), and you are experiencing any of the following

  • The keyboard seems to be responding slower than you are typing.
  • Key entries in apps come well after you press the key on the physical keyboard or Type Cover.
  • Touchpad clicks or cursor movements are slow, or lag behind your physical movement

The behavior might also be seen with the on-screen keyboard, or Bluetooth or USB keyboards and mice.

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard is connected to the Surface (including Surface Laptop), and you are experiencing any of the following

  • The key that you press physically does not match what is shown in the app you are using. 
  • Pressing a number or letter results in an unexpected letter, number, or symbol being displayed on the screen. 
  • Shift and number key combinations yield different results than you expected. 

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard is connected to the Surface (including Surface Laptop), and you are experiencing any of the following

  • The function keys don't work, or don't respond as expected when pressed.
  • The media keys (i.e. Volume Up, Volume Down, etc.) don't respond as expected or at all when pressed.
  • The specialty keys (i.e. Brightness, PrtScn, Home, PgUp, etc.) don't work or respond as expected.

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover with Fingerprint ID is connected to a Surface Pro device, and: 

  • Pressing the fingerprint reader at the Windows sign-in screen results in an error or other message such as “Fingerprint not recognized”.
  • Pressing the fingerprint reader at the Windows sign-in screen has no response and appears to not be recognized.
  • The fingerprint reader is not recognized during Windows Hello setup.

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Not seeing your issue in our list of symptoms?

We recommend trying Standard Type Cover troubleshooting to start with. Choose Start troubleshooting below.

Otherwise, choose the symptom above that is closest to to your issue.  

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard is connected to the Surface (including Surface Laptop), and you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Pressing a key on the keyboard doesn't get a response on the device, or the touchpad doesn't move the mouse cursor or click on items.
  • The touchpad physically clicks, but clicks aren't recognized.
  • The keyboard and / or touchpad aren't working.

USB or Bluetooth keyboards and mice may still work.

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Start troubleshooting below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Download and install the latest updates for Windows and your Surface. 

Go to Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update .

If updates are available, they may ready for installation. Otherwise, select Check for updates to see if any updates are available for your Surface. You may need to restart your device to install Surface and Windows updates. For more info, you can visit Install Surface and Windows 10 updates.

Having issues installing updates? Try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Restart (don't shut down) your Surface. Select the Start  button, then select Power  > Restart .

A restart refreshes the drivers and software on your Surface device. Even if you just restarted after an update, we recommended performing another restart to make sure that drivers and software are installed and recognized by your device. 

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Still having the issue? The next troubleshooting steps differ whether you're using a Surface Laptop, Surface Book, or Surface Type Cover. If your issue is not resolved, please choose the appropriate option below for the type of device you're using.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

If restarting and re-attaching doesn't fix the problem, try reinstalling the driver for your Surface Cover.

For Surface Type Cover

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and select Device Manager in the results.
  2. Expand Keyboards.
  3. Right-click Surface Type Cover Filter Device.
  4. Select Uninstall > OK.
  5. Restart your Surface. It'll automatically download and install the Surface Cover driver the next time you connect to the Internet.

For Surface Book

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and select Device Manager in the results
  2. Expand Keyboards.
  3. Right-click *NEED DRIVER NAME*
  4. Select Uninstall > OK.
    Note: There are two drivers listed. One for the Clipboard battery, and one for the keyboard battery. Perform steps 3 and 4 on both drivers listed.
  5. Restart your Surface. It'll automatically download and install the Surface Keyboard drivers the next time you connect to the Internet.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes , or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

 

See Force a shut down and restart your Surface to find out how.

Why? The procedure of forcing a shut down of your Surface also resets your device’s hardware. It allows your Surface to accept hardware connections as new. Since this step does not reset Windows, or any software, there is no risk of data loss.  

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Reset Surface by performing a Reset from within Windows, or by using a USB recovery drive.

At this point we need to verify that the Surface itself is not the issue. To do this, we need to reinstall Windows, and repair any issues with Windows that may be influencing the keyboard’s behavior.

Use the below table to see which solution may be right for you.

 

Recovery Type

What it does

How it impacts you

Reset from within Windows

A reset puts the device back to its factory settings; exactly like it was when you first took it out of the box. It uses a version of Windows that’s stored on your hard drive.

 

This is good to do if there are no issues with the version of Windows stored on your hard drive.

  • Data loss will occur
  • Settings will go back to factory defaults
  • Will need to reinstall both desktop and Windows Store apps.
  • Will likely need to install updates after the reset completes.

Restore with a USB recovery drive

Using a USB recovery drive performs a completely new installation of Windows on your Surface, including the version of Windows stored on your hard drive when you want to reset Surface from within Windows.

 

This is the most complete, and thorough recovery available.

  • Data loss will occur
  • Settings will go back to factory defaults
  • Will need to reinstall both desktop and Windows Store apps.
  • Will likely need to install updates after the reset completes.
  • Requires an available USB drive.

 

Important Make sure you install any available updates for your Surface after performing a reset. For information on how, see Install Surface and Windows Updates.

Did this work? After the reset completes, test your keyboard and mouse during Windows setup.

If a reset resolved the issue, this means that something changed in your Surface’s software that caused the Type Cover or Keyboard to not work. As you add programs and apps back onto your device, check your Type Cover or Keyboard for functionality.

Did this resolve your issue?

Still having the issue? Your Type Cover or Keyboard is mostly likely experiencing a hardware failure. Go to Device service and repair to initiate a service order for your device. If you’d like to work with a Surface Support Advocate, contact us

We’re glad this resolved your issue.

Keep your device up to date by installing Windows and Surface updates. To learn more, see Install Surface and Windows 10 updates.

Try the Surface Diagnostic Tool! You can test and diagnose issues with your Surface using the Surface Diagnostic Tool.

Leave Feedback about your Surface and Windows experience. You can use Feedback Hub to tell us about any problems you run into using Windows 10 on Surface, or any suggestions on how to help us improve your experience.

Download and install the latest updates for Windows and your Surface. 

Go to Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update .

If updates are available, they may ready for installation. Otherwise, select Check for updates to see if any updates are available for your Surface. You may need to restart your device to install Surface and Windows updates. For more info, you can visit Install Surface and Windows 10 updates.

Having issues installing updates? Try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Restart (don't shut down) your Surface. Select the Start  button, then select Power  > Restart .

A restart refreshes the drivers and software on your Surface device. Even if you just restarted after an update, we recommended performing another restart to make sure that drivers and software are installed and recognized by your device. 

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Still having the issue? The next troubleshooting steps differ whether you're using a Surface Laptop, Surface Book, or Surface Type Cover. If your issue is not resolved, please choose the appropriate option below for the type of device you're using.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

If restarting and re-attaching doesn't fix the problem, try reinstalling the driver for your Surface Cover.

For Surface Type Cover

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and select Device Manager in the results.
  2. Expand Keyboards.
  3. Right-click Surface Type Cover Filter Device.
  4. Select Uninstall > OK.
  5. Restart your Surface. It'll automatically download and install the Surface Cover driver the next time you connect to the Internet.

For Surface Book

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, enter device manager, and select Device Manager in the results
  2. Expand Keyboards.
  3. Right-click *NEED DRIVER NAME*
  4. Select Uninstall > OK.
    Note: There are two drivers listed. One for the Clipboard battery, and one for the keyboard battery. Perform steps 3 and 4 on both drivers listed.
  5. Restart your Surface. It'll automatically download and install the Surface Keyboard drivers the next time you connect to the Internet.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes , or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

 

Download and install the latest updates for Windows and your Surface. 

Go to Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update .

If updates are available, they may ready for installation. Otherwise, select Check for updates to see if any updates are available for your Surface. You may need to restart your device to install Surface and Windows updates. For more info, you can visit Install Surface and Windows 10 updates.

Having issues installing updates? Try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Restart (don't shut down) your Surface. Select the Start  button, then select Power  > Restart .

A restart refreshes the drivers and software on your Surface device. Even if you just restarted after an update, we recommended performing another restart to make sure that drivers and software are installed and recognized by your device. 

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Still having the issue? The next troubleshooting steps differ whether you're using a Surface Laptop, Surface Book, or Surface Type Cover. If your issue is not resolved, please choose the appropriate option below for the type of device you're using.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Use What to do if Surface is running slower to see how.

If your keyboard or touchpad is slow to respond, this is most likely because your Surface is having issues processing the applications and services on your device. Make sure your Surface has enough resources to perform the function of typing or moving the cursor. 

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Reset Surface by performing a Reset from within Windows, or by using a USB recovery drive.

At this point we need to verify that the Surface itself is not the issue. To do this, we need to reinstall Windows, and repair any issues with Windows that may be influencing the keyboard’s behavior.

Use the below table to see which solution may be right for you.

 

Recovery Type

What it does

How it impacts you

Reset from within Windows

A reset puts the device back to its factory settings; exactly like it was when you first took it out of the box. It uses a version of Windows that’s stored on your hard drive.

 

This is good to do if there are no issues with the version of Windows stored on your hard drive.

  • Data loss will occur
  • Settings will go back to factory defaults
  • Will need to reinstall both desktop and Windows Store apps.
  • Will likely need to install updates after the reset completes.

Restore with a USB recovery drive

Using a USB recovery drive performs a completely new installation of Windows on your Surface, including the version of Windows stored on your hard drive when you want to reset Surface from within Windows.

 

This is the most complete, and thorough recovery available.

  • Data loss will occur
  • Settings will go back to factory defaults
  • Will need to reinstall both desktop and Windows Store apps.
  • Will likely need to install updates after the reset completes.
  • Requires an available USB drive.

 

Important Make sure you install any available updates for your Surface after performing a reset. For information on how, see Install Surface and Windows Updates.

Did this work? After the reset completes, test your keyboard and mouse during Windows setup.

If a reset resolved the issue, this means that something changed in your Surface’s software that caused the Type Cover or Keyboard to not work. As you add programs and apps back onto your device, check your Type Cover or Keyboard for functionality.

Did this resolve your issue?

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Time & language  > Language .

  2. Make sure the language you're using on your keyboard (the keyboard’s layout language) matches the one you're using on your PC (the display language). For best typing results, the keyboard and display language should match.

    Example: If you are using an English US keyboard, the Display Language should be English (United States)

  3. Once that's confirmed, select the language, select Options and ensure the correct keyboard layout is added. To make sure your language is available for Windows, check the list of language packs.

    Here's how to add an input language and switch between languages.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Go to Settings  > Ease of Access  > Keyboard . (Keyboard is located under the Interaction section.) To learn more, see Make your PC easier to use.

If Sticky Keys, Filter Keys or other keyboard settings are altered, they may change how your keyboard works. If it’s an unintentional change, it can seem like your keyboard is not working correctly.

To adjust the settings, simply toggle the setting to either on or off.

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Download and install the latest updates for Windows and your Surface. 

Go to Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update .

If updates are available, they may ready for installation. Otherwise, select Check for updates to see if any updates are available for your Surface. You may need to restart your device to install Surface and Windows updates. For more info, you can visit Install Surface and Windows 10 updates.

Having issues installing updates? Try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Did this work? Test your keyboard in an available app like Microsoft Sticky Notes, or Notepad. Use the same program throughout your troubleshooting.

Did this resolve your issue?

Reset Surface by performing a Reset from within Windows, or by using a USB recovery drive.

At this point we need to verify that the Surface itself is not the issue. To do this, we need to reinstall Windows, and repair any issues with Windows that may be influencing the keyboard’s behavior.

Use the below table to see which solution may be right for you.

 

Recovery Type

What it does

How it impacts you

Reset from within Windows

A reset puts the device back to its factory settings; exactly like it was when you first took it out of the box. It uses a version of Windows that’s stored on your hard drive.

 

This is good to do if there are no issues with the version of Windows stored on your hard drive.

  • Data loss will occur
  • Settings will go back to factory defaults
  • Will need to reinstall both desktop and Windows Store apps.
  • Will likely need to install updates after the reset completes.

Restore with a USB recovery drive

Using a USB recovery drive performs a completely new installation of Windows on your Surface, including the version of Windows stored on your hard drive when you want to reset Surface from within Windows.

 

This is the most complete, and thorough recovery available.

  • Data loss will occur
  • Settings will go back to factory defaults
  • Will need to reinstall both desktop and Windows Store apps.
  • Will likely need to install updates after the reset completes.
  • Requires an available USB drive.

 

Important Make sure you install any available updates for your Surface after performing a reset. For information on how, see Install Surface and Windows Updates.

Did this work? After the reset completes, test your keyboard and mouse during Windows setup.

If a reset resolved the issue, this means that something changed in your Surface’s software that caused the Type Cover or Keyboard to not work. As you add programs and apps back onto your device, check your Type Cover or Keyboard for functionality.

Did this resolve your issue?

If you're having problems with the fingerprint reader on your Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID, see Troubleshoot problems with Windows Hello on Surface.

Tip! The Surface Pro Type Cover with Fingerprint ID works with all Surface Pro Devices running Windows 10, except for Surface Pro (First Generation), and Surface Pro 2.

Did this work? Log out of Windows by going to Start  > Profile Image > Sign out. Then attempt to log back in using Windows Hello via fingerprint.

Did this resolve your issue?

Choose this symptom when the Type Cover or Keyboard has keys that are damaged, cracked or fallen off the keyboard. (This can be one key or several keys.)

If this sounds like the issue you're experiencing, choose Device replacement below.

If this is not the issue you are experiencing, go back to the selections above and select one that more closely describes your issue.

Type Covers have shortcut keys for common tasks like searching, playing media (audio or video), and more. The keys that appear on your Type Cover vary depending on the model.

The keys on the top row of the Type Cover double as function keys when you hold down the Fn key while pressing a top-row key. The Fn key also works in combination with other keys to do certain things. For a full list of the specialty keys and what they do, see Surface Type Cover.

To unlock or disable the Fn key, do one of the following:

  • For Type Cover (First Generation), Type Cover 2, and Type Cover for Surface Pro 3: Hold down the Fn key and press the Caps key to lock the function keys. Hold down the Fn key and press the Caps key again to unlock them.
  • For Surface 3 Type Cover, Type Cover for Surface Pro 4, Surface Go Signature Type Cover, Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book: Press the Fn key to lock the function keys. Press the Fn key again to unlock them. A light appears on the Fn keys when the keys are locked into function mode.
    Function Key

Did this work? With the Fn key disabled, try the specialty key again. Make sure you are using an app that supports the functionality. For example, if you are trying to increase the volume of music, make sure music is playing. It’s also a good idea to try other specialty keys such as screen brightness.

Did this resolve your issue?