Learn more about the data wiping capabilities and practices Microsoft uses during the service process for Surface. Select any of the following sections or select Show all. Any section you choose will open to show you more info.
If I need to send my Surface in for service, what should I do to ensure the privacy of my data before sending in my Surface device?
You are the best person to look after your data. If you can turn on your Surface, Microsoft recommends that you back up the data valuable to you before sending your Surface device to a Microsoft Service Center. Then, take steps to erase all data from the Surface. For more info, see How to prepare your Surface for service.
If you can turn on your Surface Duo, reset it to factory settings before you send it to us for service. This turns off phone protection and erases all the data on your Surface Duo. For more info, see Prepare your Surface Duo for service.
If you need to ensure the security of your sensitive data by destroying all information from your Surface devices safely and permanently, use the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool.
Even though the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool is compatible with Windows 10 S, you won’t be able to create the USB stick on Windows 10 S.
The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool is a custom tool for Surface devices running Windows 10. It doesn't work on Surface Duo.
Does my Surface use removable media to store data? Can I remove it, or can I have Microsoft remove it and send it to me to ensure I always maintain ownership of the data?
Most Surface models don't have removable storage media. In some models, the solid-state drive (SSD) is only removable by skilled professional technicians following Microsoft instructions. These models include:
Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 4
Surface Laptop Go
Surface Pro X
Surface Pro 7+
Internal components can't be serviced individually. All original components exclusive of the bundled accessories such as the power supply unit, mouse, or pen, must be included when returning your device for service.
SSDs aren't available for purchase at this time. If you need to back up your data before service, you can connect with one of our Surface advocates to learn about other options for backing up your data.
Does Microsoft have an option to physically destroy the hard drive/storage media to ensure it can’t be reused?
Microsoft doesn’t have physical destruction capabilities.
When a Surface device is returned to a Microsoft Service Center it goes through a data wipe process to ensure that the device’s data is erased.
A service center technician inspects your Surface and attempts to remove data using the appropriate tools. If your Surface continues to fail during this process, it is passed to the repair line to remove any faults. Then your Surface is sent back to the service center technician to have the data removed.
Data like Exchange Online Mailbox content and SharePoint Online Site content is stored in a Microsoft Data Center and is not affected by the Surface service process. Data that is stored on the Surface device's internal storage is erased at the Microsoft Service Center when the Surface device is repaired.
Microsoft doesn’t have notification capabilities at this time.
Please refer to the Surface warranty terms and conditions for details on how your device will be serviced or replaced.