Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.

Applies to:  Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7+ with LTE Advanced, Surface Pro 8 with LTE Advanced, Surface Pro 9 with 5G, Surface Go 2 with LTE Advanced, Surface Go 3 with LTE Advanced

To learn how to set up cellular data on your Surface, see Set up the LTE connection on your Surface.

Talk to your mobile operator about the right data plan for you. One size doesn’t fit all. It really depends on how you use your device, how often, and where. Here are some things to consider:

  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you have a limited cellular data plan, connect to a Wi-Fi network that you trust when possible. Wi-Fi is typically less expensive than a cellular data connection. To learn how, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network in Windows.

  • Ensure that your cellular data connection is set as a metered connection. This can help you reduce the amount of data you use by limiting the scope of updates, pausing downloads, not updating Start menu tiles, and restricting other things that send and receive data. To find out if your cellular data connection is set as metered, select Start  > Settings  > Network & internet  > Cellular. Under Connection settings for your cellular data connection, look at the Metered connection setting.

  • Keep track of your estimated data usage. Do this by using an app from your mobile operator or through Windows network settings by selecting Start  > Settings  > Network & internet , then select Data usage at the top for your cellular connection. If you bought a prepaid plan from a mobile operator through the Mobile Plans app, select the Network icon on the taskbar, select Manage cellular connections (>), then look at the amount of data remaining that’s listed under the cellular network name.

  • Limit the amount of syncing you do over a metered connection. For example, in your settings for OneDrive, turn off syncing over metered connections. Enable syncing only when you need to upload or download to OneDrive. To determine which apps can use cellular data, select Start  > Settings  > Network & internet  > Cellular > Cellular data and apps. On the Cellular data screen, under Choose apps that can use your cellular data, turn the toggles on or off.

  • Change your email download settings to manual instead of automatic.

  • Limit data-intensive activities. These include using apps that stream data to your Surface and sharing your connection—for example, playing videos, games, or music, or using your Surface as a mobile hotspot.

  • Use an app from your mobile operator. Many mobile operators provide an app you can use to view your account information, data usage, and more.
    Your mobile operator’s app may be installed automatically during setup. Or, you can look for an app on your mobile operator’s website or in Microsoft Store.
    To see whether you have an app from your mobile operator installed:

    1. Select Start  > Settings  > Network & internet  > Cellular.
      Open Cellular settings

    2. Select the cellular network you want to use. If you see View my account, you have an app from your mobile operator installed.

If you’re concerned about costs, and have a plan with a mobile operator, contact them to learn about international data plan options. You may also be able to buy a prepaid SIM card or utilize an eSIM cellular data plan from a mobile operator in the country you’re visiting.

When you arrive in another country, you can also open the Mobile Plans app and buy a plan from a mobile operator if they offer any in that area. For more info, see Add your Windows PC to your mobile account to get online.

Either way, you may want to change some settings on your Surface to avoid possible data charges using the steps from the What are the best ways to manage my data usage? section.

Tip: Before you travel, check your data plan with your mobile operator to help avoid unexpected additional charges. Remember, you can still connect to a Wi-Fi network you trust instead of using cellular data.

Surface Pro 7+, Surface Pro 8, Surface Pro X, or Surface Pro 9 with 5G
If this is your first time using an eSIM and you don't have an existing data plan or SIM, you need to connect to Wi-Fi to download an eSIM profile from a mobile operator. For more info, see Add your Windows PC to your mobile account to get online.

Note: You must select and activate your mobile account, or you must have bought a plan from a mobile operator through the Mobile Plans app for your eSIM to connect to a cellular network.

Contact your mobile operator about replacing your SIM card.

If the SIM card tray on your Surface is lost, damaged, or stuck, contact us.

Yes. Connecting to a cellular data network uses the antennas in Surface models with LTE Advanced. This uses battery power. For tips on making your battery charge last longer, see Maximize your Surface battery life.

Related topics

Applies to:  Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7+ with LTE Advanced, Surface Pro 8 with LTE Advanced, Surface Go 2 with LTE Advanced, Surface Go 3 with LTE Advanced

To learn how to set up cellular data on your Surface, see Set up the LTE connection on your Surface.

Talk to your mobile operator about the right data plan for you. One size doesn’t fit all. It really depends on how you use your device, how often, and where. Here are some things to consider:

  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you have a limited cellular data plan, connect to a Wi-Fi network that you trust when possible. Wi-Fi is typically less expensive than a cellular data connection.

  • Ensure that your cellular data connection is set as a metered connection. This can help you reduce the amount of data you use by limiting the scope of updates, pausing downloads, not updating Start menu tiles, and restricting other things that send and receive data. To find out if your cellular data connection is set as metered, select Start  > Settings  > Network & Internet  > Cellular   > Advanced options. On the Advanced options screen for your cellular data connection, look at the Set as a metered connection setting under Metered connection.

  • Keep track of your estimated data usage. Do this by using an app from your mobile operator or through Windows network settings by selecting Start  > Settings  > Network & Internet  > Data usage . If you bought a prepaid plan from a mobile operator through the Mobile Plans app, select the Network  icon on the taskbar, then look at the amount of data remaining that’s listed under the cellular network name.

  • Limit the amount of syncing you do over a metered connection. For example, in your settings for OneDrive, turn off syncing over metered connections. Enable syncing only when you need to upload or download to OneDrive. To determine which apps can use cellular data, select Start  > Settings  > Network & Internet  > Cellular  > Choose apps that can use your cellular data.

  • Change your email download settings to manual instead of automatic.

  • Limit data-intensive activities. These include using apps that stream data to your Surface and sharing your connection—for example, playing videos, games, or music, or using your Surface as a mobile hotspot.

  • Use an app from your mobile operator. Many mobile operators provide an app you can use to view your account information, data usage, and more.
    Your mobile operator’s app may be installed automatically during setup. Or, you can look for an app on your mobile operator’s website or in Microsoft Store.
    To see whether you have an app from your mobile operator installed:

    1. Select Start  > Settings  > Network & Internet  > Cellular .
      Open Cellular settings

    2. Under Cellular, select the network you want to use. If you see View my account, you have an app from your mobile operator installed.

If you’re concerned about costs, and have a plan with a mobile operator, contact them to learn about international data plan options. You may also be able to buy a prepaid SIM card or utilize an eSIM cellular data plan from a mobile operator in the country you’re visiting.

When you arrive in another country, you can also open the Mobile Plans app and buy a plan from a mobile operator if they offer any in that area. For more info, see Add your Windows PC to your mobile account to get online.

Either way, you may want to change some settings on your Surface to avoid possible data charges using the steps from the What are the best ways to manage my data usage? section.

Tip: Before you travel, check your data plan with your mobile operator to help avoid unexpected additional charges. Remember, you can still connect to a Wi-Fi network you trust instead of using cellular data.

Surface Pro 7+, Surface Pro 8, Surface Pro X
If this is your first time using an eSIM and you don't have an existing data plan or SIM, you need to connect to Wi-Fi to download an eSIM profile from a mobile operator. For more info, see Add your Windows 10 PC to your mobile account to get online.

Note: You must select and activate your mobile account, or you must have bought a plan from a mobile operator through the Mobile Plans app for your eSIM to connect to a cellular network.

Contact your mobile operator about replacing your SIM card.

If the SIM card tray on your Surface is lost, damaged, or stuck, contact us.

Yes. Connecting to a cellular data network uses the antennas in Surface models with LTE Advanced. This uses battery power. For tips on making your battery charge last longer, see Maximize your Surface battery life.

Related topics

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!

×