Before you begin troubleshooting
In many cases, downloading and installing the latest updates for Windows and your Surface will fix many issues. To find out how, see Install Surface and Windows updates.
For another possible quick solution, unplug your monitor from the power outlet and then plug it back in.
For more information about which video connections your Surface supports, see Surface features.
Setting up your multiple-monitor desktop
Find your device in this table to help you find what you need to set up a second monitor with your Surface device.
|My Surface device||Daisy chain support||External display/audio output port|
|Surface Pro||Yes||Mini DisplayPort|
|Surface Book 2||Yes||USB-C|
|Surface Studio 2|
|Surface Laptop 3|
|Surface Pro 7|
|Surface Pro X|
|Surface Studio 2|
|Surface 3||No||Mini DisplayPort|
For the USB-C to HDMI adapter, we recommend using the HDMI adapter with a HDMI 2.0 cable or higher.
HDMI connections can also transmit audio signals. We also recommend you use Microsoft’s USB-C adapters on the devices equipped with the USB-C port. For more info, see Surface sound, volume, and audio accessories.
If you have problems connecting your Surface to a TV, monitor, or projector, try these solutions to pinpoint or fix the issue.
- Solution 1: Check the video input settings on the external screen
- Solution 2: Duplicate or extend your display onto your external screen
- Solution 3: Check the video cables
- Solution 4: Check the display adapter
- Solution 5: Clear your display cache
- Solution 6: Change the supported resolution and refresh rates
- Solution 7: Check your monitor’s compatibility
- Solution 8: Try the adapter on a different external display
- Solution 9: Consider these possibilities if your display is wireless
If you’ve connected your Surface to a second screen and you don’t see video output from your Surface, the problem might be with the source selection or video input settings on the second screen. For example, if you’re using an HDMI connection to a second screen, that screen must be set to recognize HDMI as the video input signal.
To check and, if necessary, change the video input setting on your second screen, follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for the screen or check the manufacturer’s website.
Common video input settings include VGA, DVI, AUX, DisplayPort, HDMI, Line in, Input, and Source.
If you’ve checked the input settings on the second screen and it’s still not working, try Solution 2.
Press the Windows key +P on your keyboard, or select the action center
|If you want to:||Choose:|
|See things only on your Surface display.||PC screen only|
|See the same things on both your Surface display and on the TV, monitor, or projector. To learn more about screen resolutions, go to Solution 6.||Duplicate|
|Move what's on the screen across your Surface display and onto the TV or monitor screen. When you have displays extended, you can drag and move items between the two screens and select a different resolution for your second screen. To learn more about screen resolutions, go to Solution 6.||Extend|
|See everything on the second screen. The display on your Surface will be blank.||Second screen only|
|All models of Surface Studio, Surface Book, Surface Go, Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface 3 can wirelessly connect to compatible displays by using Miracast.||Connect to a wireless display|
If you still don’t see what you expect to see on your second screen, try Solution 3.
Use a video cable that’s no more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. Longer cables can affect video quality. Make sure all the video connections are secure. Check the connection from the USB-C port, Mini DisplayPort on your Surface, or docking station, any video adapter you are using, and the connection on the video port on your TV, monitor, or projector.
- Use the cable that came with your monitor or verify that the cable supports video. Always do this with Surface devices with USB-C ports.
- If the cable that came with your monitor isn’t responding, use a different video cable to connect your Surface.
- If you're using a video extension cable or video converter, remove it from your set up to see if it’s causing the problem.
- If you're using a video adapter from another company and you're having trouble, contact the adapter's manufacturer for help.
If your monitor supports DisplayPort, we recommend that you use a Mini DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable that’s no more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. DisplayPort will allow you to use the highest supported resolution and refresh rate with your Surface. These mini Display Port to DisplayPort cables work with a DisplayPort monitor:
- StarTech® 6 ft Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort 1.2 Adapter Cable (model MDP2DPMM6)
- StarTech® 6 ft DisplayPort to DisplayPort 1.2 Cable with Latches (for daisy-chain) (model DISPLPORT6L)
If you are trying to daisy chain multiple monitors, here’s what you’ll need:
- Two monitors with DisplayPort 1.2 input ports and at least one DisplayPort output port
- Standard DisplayPort cables with at least one Mini DisplayPort end
For Surface devices that do support daisy chaining, here’s how:
- Using a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, connect the Mini DisplayPort on your Surface to the DisplayPort input on the first monitor. If only one of your monitors has an output port, connect your Surface to that monitor first.
- Connect the output port of the first monitor to the DisplayPort input port of the other monitor.
- Follow the monitor manufacturer’s instructions to set both monitors to use DisplayPort 1.2 as an input source. For example, this might be called Multi-Stream Transport (MST), which allows the first monitor to pass the signal along to the second monitor.
If you've ruled out cables as the problem, go to Solution 4.
If you’re using an adapter (including the Surface video adapter, USB-C to HDMI Adapter, USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter, or USB-C to VGA Adapter), check your connection. Remove the adapter and reinsert it firmly to make sure it’s connected to your Surface.
Avoid using a “Y” or “dual-link” adapter that splits the signal between two or more monitors.
If you’re using a Mini DisplayPort adapter, make sure the adapter is plugged in correctly. The adapter will only work when the connector is plugged in with the flat side of the connector aligned with the flat side of the Mini DisplayPort.
Here’s what a Mini DisplayPort looks like. It might be located in a different place on your Surface or docking station.
If your monitor doesn’t support DisplayPort, we recommend using HDMI. Otherwise, use DVI or VGA . The adapters listed below have been tested for compatibility and can help solve video issues.
|USB-C||Surface USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter for Business|
|Surface USB-C to HDMI Adapter|
|Surface USB-C to VGA Adapter|
|HDMI||Club3D Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Active Adapter (Model CAC-1170) - Active|
|Surface Mini DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 Adapter (Model 1819) - Active|
|DVI||Gofanco mDP to DVI Active Converter (Model mDPDVIA) - Active|
|Cable Matters mDP-to-DVI (model 101022) - Active|
Note: For best results, use a DVI Dual Link Cable.
|VGA||Microsoft Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA (model 1820) - Active|
If you still don't see what you expect to see on your second screen, try Solution 5.
Do not use these steps if you are running Windows 10 in S mode.
Here's how to clear your cache:
- Undock your Surface from the Surface Dock or disconnect the monitor from your Surface.
- Download the Surface Dock registry file. Choose to Open the file. This file will clear your cache, whether you have a dock or not.
- Select and run surface dock registry.reg.
- Select Yes to allow changes to your Surface, select Yes to confirm, and then select OK to close.
- Restart your Surface, reconnect the Dock and/or monitors, and try your external display again.
If you still don't see what you expect on your second screen, try Solution 6.
When you connect your Surface to a TV or monitor, your Surface tries to set the best resolution based on the connector and the resolution of your TV or monitor. Sometimes you can change settings to improve video quality:
The resolution and refresh rate supported for the external display depends on how many displays are connected and whether the display on your Surface is on or off. It also depends on which processor you have.
For one external display, here’s the supported resolution and refresh rate:
|Surface||Max refresh rate||Max screen resolution|
|Surface 3||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface 3||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Book||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Book with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Book 2 13” or 15”||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Go||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Go with LTE Advanced||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Laptop with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Laptop 2 with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Laptop 3 with Intel processor||30 Hz||5120 x 3200|
|Surface Laptop 3 with Intel processor||60 Hz||5120 x 2880|
|Surface Laptop 3 with AMD processor||30 Hz||7680 x 4320|
|Surface Laptop 3 with AMD processor||60 Hz||5120 x 2880|
|Surface Pro 1796 with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro 1796 with m3 processor||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 2||24 Hz||4096 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 2||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 3||24 Hz||4096 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 3||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 4 with Core M processor||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 4 with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro 6 with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro 7||30 Hz||5120 x 3200|
|Surface Pro 7||60 Hz||5120 x 2880|
|Surface Pro X (USB-C)||30 Hz||4096 x 2160|
|Surface Pro X (USB-C)||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Studio with i5 or i7 processor*||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
*See Displays that work with Surface Studio for more information on connecting external displays to your Surface Studio.
For two external displays, here’s the supported resolution and refresh rate:
|Surface||Max refresh rate||Max screen resolution|
|Surface Book||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Book with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Book 2 13” or 15”||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Book 2 13” or 15”||60 Hz||2560 X 1600|
|Surface Go||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Go with LTE Advanced||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Laptop with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Laptop with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Laptop 2 with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Laptop 2 with i5 or i7||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Laptop 3 with Intel processor||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Laptop 3 with AMD processor||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 1796||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Pro 1796 with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro 1796 with m3 processor||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 2||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 2||60 Hz||2560 x 1440|
|Surface Pro 3 with i3 processor||60 Hz||1920 x 1200|
|Surface Pro 3 with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 3 with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||2560 x 1440|
|Surface Pro 4||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Pro 4 with Core M processor||30 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro 4 with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro 6 with i5 or i7 processor||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro 6 with i5 or i7 processor||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Pro 7||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Pro X (USB-C Dual port)||60 Hz||4096 x 2304|
|Surface Pro X (mDP Surface Dock)||60 Hz||3840 x 2160|
|Surface Studio with i5 or i7 processor*||60 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|Surface Studio with i5 or i7 processor*||30 Hz||4096 x 2304|
*See Displays that work with Surface Studio and Studio 2 for more information on connecting external displays to your Surface Studio.
When connecting through Surface Dock, the maximum refresh or screen resolution will be 4096 x 2160 @30Hz or 2960 x 1440 @60Hz, even if the device capabilities exceed this.
If changing the resolution of your display and adjusting desktop sizes don’t help, try Solution 7.
You will find a wide variety of compatible monitors for your Surface.
These monitors aren’t supported with Surface and Surface Dock
These monitors have connection issues with Surface and Surface Dock. We’re working with the manufacturers to resolve these issues and will update this page when we have more information. If you’re using a monitor that isn’t listed here but you are having a problem, try the solutions that follow this table.
These monitors are compatible with Surface and Surface Dock
We’re always working to add to the list of monitors that we know are compatible with Surface and Surface Dock. The following DisplayPort-capable monitors have been tested for compatibility with Surface and Surface Dock.
If your monitor isn't connecting to your Surface, check the firmware version installed on your monitor. Go to your monitor manufacturer’s website to learn how to find your monitor’s firmware version.
You can fix some DisplayPort video issues by disabling “MST mode” or “DP1.2 mode” on your monitor. Refer to the owner’s manual that came with your monitor to learn how. Disabling “MST mode” or “DP1.2 mode” on your monitor will cause display daisy-chaining to stop working. If you’re using more than one monitor, we recommend that you connect both monitors directly to your Surface Dock, one to each Mini DisplayPort on your dock.
This list was based on our internal use of the monitors and adapters with Surface Pro and the Surface Dock on August 28, 2018. Any firmware changes made by monitor and adapter manufacturers at a later date might cause new issues unknown today.
This list is provided to you for reference and informational purposes only, and in no way is Microsoft providing any guarantees or warranty that any of the mentioned monitors or adapters will function properly with your Surface device, nor is Microsoft advocating the use of any of the mentioned monitors or adapters in any manner.
This list should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided. Microsoft makes no warranties, express, implied or statutory, as to the information on this page. You agree to use this list at your own risk and agree that this list does not override, add to, or change the warranty terms that come with your Surface device. If you cannot agree to these terms, do not use this list.
If you find that your monitor is compatible, but still need help, try Solution 8.
To see if your video adapter is working, connect your Surface to a different TV, monitor, or projector. If you can’t get what’s on your Surface display to show on a different external screen, you might need to replace the adapter.
All models of Surface Studio, Surface Book, Surface Go, Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface 3 can wirelessly connect to compatible displays using Miracast by pressing Win+P and selecting Connect to a wireless display. You can also wirelessly connect your Surface to an HDMI-compatible display by using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
If you're having problems wirelessly connecting your Surface to a display, try the following solutions in order. For info about how to fix problems with your Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, see Troubleshoot using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface.