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Here are some things to know before you send us your Surface. 

Note: These instructions aren't applicable to Surface Headphones or Surface Earbuds. For more info, go to Packing and shipping instructions for Surface devices.

What happens to the data on my Surface? If you send your Surface to our service center, everything on it is erased. For details, see FAQ: Protecting your data if you send your Surface in for service.

Microsoft is not responsible for the loss of data during servicing.

Note: When you get your device back, it will have the Operating System that was installed when you purchased the device.

What if my Surface won't turn on? If your Surface won't turn on, you won't be able to back up the files stored on it. If you've been using OneDrive, or another backup option, you'll be able to restore your files when you get your Surface back from the service center.

If you need to send your Surface in for service, there are a few things you'll need to do first.

Step 1: Back up your Surface with Windows Backup

Note: As an alternative to this app, you may consider using an external USB drive to manually back up your files.

  1. To open Windows Backup, select Start, type windows backup, and select it from the results.

  2. Select Back up and, if prompted, sign in with your Microsoft account (the same account you'll use when you get the device back from the service center).

  3. Follow any on-screen prompts from the app about what to back up, then wait for the backup to complete.

For detailed steps and more information, see Back up your Windows PC.

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Step 2: Manually back up your Outlook Data Files

If you use Outlook, depending on the version used, you may want to back up your Outlook data files. For more information, see Find and transfer Outlook data files from one computer to another.

Step 3: Erase your data and remove your accessories

Erase your personal data

The data on your Surface is erased as part of the service process. However, if you prefer, you can erase your data yourself before sending us your Surface. Here's how to erase your data. 

Windows 11

  1. Select Start  Settings  System > Recovery Reset this PC.

  2. Select Reset PC > Erase everything, then follow the instructions to erase your drive.

Windows 10

  1. Select Start Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.

  2. Under Reset this PC, select Get started > Erase everything, and follow the instructions to erase your drive.

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser

If you are unable to start Windows, you can use the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser. This is a tool that boots from a USB drive and allows you to perform a secure wipe of all data from a compatible Surface device. To learn more and get started, please view Microsoft Surface Data Eraser.

Remove your accessories

If you're sending in your Surface Book for service, include both the Clipboard and the keyboard.

Before you send us your Surface, make sure you remove all of the following unless our support team has specifically told you to include them with your Surface return:

  • Surface Typing Cover (for example, Touch Cover or Type Cover)

  • USB devices like a keyboard, mouse, or flash drive

  • Memory card from the SD card slot

  • Power supply

  • Surface Dock

  • Headphones, audio adapter, and other audio cables

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