How to use your Surface Type Cover

The Surface Type Cover is a slim keyboard that has moving keys. Use it to get the speed and feel of a classic keyboard and to go from tablet to laptop.

Type Covers click magnetically into place and provide protection for your Surface touchscreen. All Surface Type Covers have a standard keyboard layout, shortcut keys, and a two-button touchpad that supports touch gestures.

For more info about touchpad taps and gestures, see Touchpad gestures for Windows 10.

Get started with your Type Cover

Select an action and learn how to use your Type Cover with your Surface. 

Connect the Type Cover

The Type Cover attaches magnetically to your Surface. Bring the two closer together until the Type Cover aligns and clicks into place.

Once the Type Cover is connected, it stays put. When you want to remove it, just pull it away.

With some Type Covers, you can pleat the back edge up against your Surface. This provides extra stability when you’re working on your lap.

Covers for Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 support an angled typing position

Fold the Type Cover back

Close the Type Cover

The Type Cover protects the screen when you aren’t using it. The screen turns off automatically when you close the Type Cover. When you open it again, press the power button on your Surface to wake it.

Note: Closing the Type Cover turns off your Surface screen only if your Type Cover and Surface are the same size. If your Type Cover and Surface are different sizes, press the power button on your Surface when you close it to save power.

Use Type Cover features

Use the touchpad

The Type Cover touchpad has right-click and left-click buttons, and it supports gestures. For more info about using gestures and how to change the touchpad settings, see Touchpad use and settings.

Use the keyboard

Special keys and function keys

Type Covers have shortcut keys for common tasks like searching, playing audio or video, and more. The keys that appear on your Type Cover vary and depend on what model you have.

The keys on the top row of the Type Cover double as function keys when you hold down the Fn key while pressing a top-row key. The Fn keys also works in combination with other keys to do certain things.

Here are special keyboard shortcuts that use Fn keys:

Key icon

What it does

Decreases/increases keyboard backlighting.

Toggles audio muting on/off.

Decreases the volume.

Increases the volume.

Plays or pauses audio or video.

Dims the screen.

Brightens the screen.

Opens Search or Cortana.

Share charm key

Opens the Share panel.

Opens Start.

Opens a contextual menu.

Fn+Del

Increases screen brightness.

Fn+Backspace

Decreases screen brightness.

Fn+Spacebar

Places a screenshot of the entire screen or screens onto your Windows clipboard.

Fn+Alt+Spacebar

Places a screenshot of your active window onto your Windows clipboard.

Function keys

The function keys are used to perform specific tasks. They’re labeled as F1, F2, F3, and so on, up to F12. The functionality of these keys differs from app to app.

Fn

Enables the function keys. A light appears on the Fn key when you’ve locked the keys into function mode. See below for more info about bow to lock Fn keys into function mode.

Lock keys into function mode

If you’re using an app that uses function keys a lot, you can lock the top row of keys temporarily so the function keys are locked.

Here's how to lock and unlock the function keys:

  • For Type Cover, Type Cover 2, and Type Cover for Surface Pro 3
    Hold down the Fn key and press the Caps key to lock the function keys. Hold down the Fn key and press the Caps key again to unlock them.

  • For Surface 3 Type Cover, Type Cover for Surface Pro 4, Surface Go Signature Type Cover, Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard, and Surface Pro X Keyboard 
    Press the Fn key to lock the function keys. Press the Fn key again to unlock them. A light appears on the Fn keys when the keys are locked into function mode.

Use the fingerprint reader

The Surface Pro Type Cover with Fingerprint ID includes a fingerprint reader that lets you sign in to your device with Windows Hello.

Fingerprint reader on Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID

To learn how to set up your Surface to recognize your fingerprints, see What is Windows Hello?

Having issues with the fingerprint reader? See Troubleshoot your Surface Type Cover or keyboard. This article also includes links to additional articles about troubleshooting Windows Hello and your Type Cover’s fingerprint reader.

Add an input language to your Surface

Type Covers are available for different languages and alphabets. To see what Type Covers are available in your preferred language or alphabet, visit the Microsoft Store for that region or language.

You can set up your Surface to use additional languages and keyboard layouts. For more info, see Add and switch input and display language preferences in Windows 10 and Change your keyboard layout. These settings are saved to your Surface and apply to any Type Cover that you attach.

If you're going to use your Type Cover on a different Surface, the input language settings for that Surface will apply. The language settings are associated with the Surface device itself, not the Type Cover.

Have an issue with your Type Cover?

If you’re having trouble with your Type Cover, see Troubleshoot your Surface Type Coveror keyboard.

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