Troubleshoot using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface

Applies to: Surface DevicesSurface

If you're having trouble connecting your Surface to the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, or you're having playback issues or problems with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app, try these solutions.

Before you begin

  • In many cases, downloading and installing the latest updates for Windows and your Surface will fix the issue. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.
  • Plug the adapter into an HDMI port on your HDTV, monitor, or projector and into a USB charging port. The adapter gets its power through this port. For the most stable connection, use a USB charging port that's directly connected to a wall outlet.
  • For best performance, keep your Surface within 23 feet of the HDTV, monitor, or projector. To learn how to connect the adapter to your HDTV, monitor, or projector, see Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface.
  • Before you pair your Surface with the adapter, we recommend that you connect your Surface to Wi-Fi. To learn how, see Connect Surface to a wireless network.
  • The adapter can connect to only one HDTV, monitor, or projector at a time.

Having trouble connecting Surface to the adapter?

If you're having trouble connecting your Surface to the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, try these solutions in the following order.

Solution 1: Check your HDMI and USB connections

Make sure both the HDMI end and USB end of the adapter are connected correctly.

  • Check that the HDMI end of the adapter is connected to the HDMI port on your HDTV, monitor, or projector. Use the included HDMI extension cable if needed.
  • Check that the USB end of the adapter is plugged into a USB power source. For the most stable connection, use a USB charging port that's directly connected to a wall outlet.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 2: Update the adapters firmware

If the images on your Surface aren't visible on your second screen, the adapter's firmware may be out of date.

The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app provides settings and firmware updates for the adapter. If you haven't already done so, install the app from Microsoft Store. For info on how to install the app, see Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface.

To use the app to update the adapters firmware:

  1. Open the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app.
  2. If a firmware update is available, select Install and follow the on-screen instructions.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 3: Restart the adapter

Try restarting the adapter. Disconnect it from your TV, monitor, or projector, then restart your Surface, and reconnect the adapter.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 4: Reset the adapter

Try resetting the adapter. This is also helpful if you've forgotten your password. Here's how:

  1. On the adapter next to the wired connection, press and hold the reset button for 10 seconds.
    The LED light on the adapter will blink.
  2. When the message Ready to connect appears on your second screen, swipe in from the right edge of your Surface screen or select action center  
    Notification icon in taskbar
    in the taskbar.
  3. Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 5: Remove the adapter and reconnect

There might be a problem with the connection between your Surface and the adapter. To fix the issue, try disconnecting the adapter from your Surface and reconnecting it. Here's how:

  1. Select Start  > Settings  > Devices  > Bluetooth & other devices.
  2. Under Wireless displays & docks, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, and then select Remove device.
  3. Select Add Bluetooth or other devices.
  4.  Click Wireless display or dock to reconnect your Surface and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 6: Allow the adapter to communicate through Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall might be preventing the adapter from connecting to your Surface. To allow the adapter to communicate through the firewall:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter allow firewall, and then select Allow an app through Windows Firewall from the list of results.
  2. Under Name, find Wireless Display and make sure Private and Public are selected. Then, select OK.

     

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 7: Change the wireless frequency band on your Surface

The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter can communicate with Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro (5th Gen), Surface Pro 6, Surface Go, Surface Book, and Surface Book 2 on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless frequency bands, but you must have the 2.4GHz band enabled on your Surface when you're pairing it with the adapter.

If you're still having trouble connecting your Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro (5th Gen), Surface Pro 6, Surface Go, Surface Book, or Surface Book 2 to the adapter, the 2.4GHz band might be disabled.

Here's how to enable the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter device manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. Expand Network adapters, right-click either Marvell AVASTAR adapter or Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A Wireless Network Adapter, and then select Properties > Advanced.

     

  3. Under Property, select Band.
  4. Under Value, select the arrow and select Auto > OK.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 8: Reinstall the Intel HD Graphics driver

An issue with the Intel HD Graphics driver on your Surface might be preventing it from communicating with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. Try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver. Here's how:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter device manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. Expand Display adapters, right-click Intel HD Graphics driver, and then select Uninstall.
  3. Select the Start  button, and then select Power  > Restart.
  4. After your Surface restarts, select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Devices  > Bluetooth & other devices.
  5. Select Add Bluetooth or other devices.
  6. Click Wireless display or dock to reconnect your Surface and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If this solution doesn't work, try the next solution.

Solution 9: Uninstall and reinstall the Surface Wi-Fi driver

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter device manager, and then select Device Manager from the list of results.
  2. Expand Network adapters, right-click either Marvell AVASTAR adapter or Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A Wireless Network Adapter, and then select Uninstall.
  3. Select the Start  button, and then select Power  > Restart.
  4. After your Surface restarts, select the Start  button, then select Settings > Devices  > Connected devices.
  5. Select Add a device to connect your Surface and the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

If you still can't connect your Surface to your Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, contact us.

Having trouble with video or audio playback?

If you have any of these issues with video or audio playback, here are some solutions to try.

Nothing displays on the second screen

If you can connect your Surface to the adapter but nothing displays on your second screen, try performing the steps in the solutions above. If the issue persists, try these solutions:

  • Make sure your Surface is set to duplicate or extend the screen. For more info, see the "Set up your screens" section in Connect Surface to a TV, monitor, or projector.
  • Unplug the USB end of the adapter to turn it off and plug it back in to turn it on again.
  • Make sure your HDTV, monitor, or projector is set to the HDMI channel.
    To check and, if necessary, change the video input settings on your display, check the info that came with your device or go to the manufacturers website.
  • Make sure your HDTV, monitor, or projector supports HDCP.
    If you aren't sure if your display supports HDCP, check the info that came with your device or go to the manufacturer's website.

Video is pixilated or audio stutters

If you notice pixilation in the video, or if the audio stutters, try the following:

  • Move your Surface closer to the adapter. For best performance, your Surface should be within 23 feet of your HDTV, monitor, or projector.
  • Move the adapter away from microwave ovens, cordless phones, baby monitors, and other common household electronics. These can cause radio frequency interference that may disrupt the connection between your Surface and the adapter.
  • If you don't have enough room to plug the adapter into the HDMI port on your second screen, use the HDMI extension cable that was included with your adapter. Plugging the adapter into the HDMI port at an angle can cause issues with the video quality.

App-based videos (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video) can't play while your Surface is connected to the adapter

Try the following:

  1. Refresh the app, or close and relaunch it.
  2. Disconnect your Surface from the adapter.
  3. Restart your Surface.
  4. Reconnect your Surface to the adapter and try playing the video again.

Video plays on your Surface but is frozen on your second screen

If video plays correctly on your Surface but is frozen on your second screen, disconnect the adapter from your Surface and the display, and reconnect it. Here's how:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select action center 
    Notification icon in taskbar
    in the taskbar.
  2. Select Connect, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, and select Disconnect.
  3. Unplug both ends of the adapter from your HDTV, monitor, or projector and plug them in again.
  4. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select action center 
    Notification icon in taskbar
    .
  5. Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to reconnect your Surface to the adapter.

Poor video quality

If the quality of the streaming video is poor, try these tips to improve it:

  • Make sure you're not using an HDMI to VGA converter. Converting from HDMI to VGA reduces the signal strength of the video output and can distort the images.
  • Reduce radio frequency interference by moving the adapter away from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and other common household electronics.
  • Move your Surface closer to the adapter. The adapter works best when its within 23 feet of your Surface.
  • Download higher-quality video.

Video plays on the connected display, but audio comes from your Surface

If sound plays on your Surface when you're streaming video to a connected display, you can configure the sound source manually. Here's how:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter sound, and then select Sound from the list of results.
  2. Select Playback > Speakers/Intel WiDi > Set Default > OK.

Can't change the resolution on your Surface

If the resolution on your HDTV, monitor, or projector is less than 1080p, your Surface will default to the resolution of your second screen while it's connected to the display.

You need an HDTV, monitor, or projector that supports up to 1080p resolution to stream content from your Surface in that resolution. After you disconnect your Surface from the adapter, your Surface will revert to its default resolution.

Display is not to scale, or some parts of the display are missing

If part of the screen on your Surface doesn't appear on your second screen, the display might not be to scale. Try these solutions:

Adjust the resolution on your Surface

If you've set the resolution on your Surface to a lower resolution than its default setting, you can increase the resolution so it will fit correctly on your second screen. Here's how:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, enter screen resolution, and then select Change the screen resolution from the list of results.
  2. Under Resolution, select the arrow, and select the resolution that says Recommended. (The highest resolution is the recommended resolution on Surface.)
  3. Select Apply.

Use the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app to adjust display settings

You can use the adapter app to change how the screen on your Surface scales to the screen on your HDTV, monitor, or projector. Here's how:

  1. Open the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app.
  2. Under Adjust display, drag the slider to the right until you can see everything that's on your Surface on the HDTV, monitor, or projector.

Having trouble with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app?

If you're having issues with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter app, try the following solutions.

The app shows You're not connected

  1. Make sure both the HDMI end and the USB end of the adapter are connected to your HDTV, monitor, or projector.
  2. In the app, select Refresh.

App always shows Waiting for connection

Make sure your Surface is connected to the adapter, and then disconnect the adapter and reconnect it. Here's how:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select action center 
    Notification icon in taskbar
    in the taskbar.
  2. Select Connect. The adapter will appear at the top of the menu.
  3. (If the adapter doesn't appear at the top, your Surface isn't connected to the adapter. See Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface to learn how to connect your Surface to the adapter.)
  4. Select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and select Disconnect.
  5. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select action center 
    Notification icon in taskbar
    .
  6. Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to reconnect your Surface to the adapter.