Note: Having problems with your Surface? Try fixing it with the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit.

Here are some things to try first if your Surface Pen won’t write, open apps, or connect to Bluetooth. 

Check for updates
Select Start > Settings > Windows Update then select Check for updates. For info on other ways to update your Surface, go to Download drivers and firmware for Surface.

Check if your Surface Pen is compatible with your Surface. For more info, go to Identify your Surface Pen and features.

Check the battery level of your pen.

  • If the light on your pen is blinking red, you may need to change or charge the battery.

  • If you've paired your pen, you can check this in your settings. Select Start  > Settings  > Bluetooth & devices, then find your pen to see the battery level. If the battery is low or doesn't have power, you may need to change or charge your battery. For more info, go to Change Surface Pen batteries.

If your pen still doesn't ink after trying the steps in the previous section, here's what you can do:

Test your pen by inking, writing, or erasing in OneNote, Sticky Notes, or Fresh Paint. If your pen works in one of these apps, then the app you want to use may not work with pen.

Open apps and use your Surface with touch. If you can't use your finger on your Surface, go to Surface touchscreen: Problems with touch. After touch is working, try your pen again.

Note: Surface Pen isn't compatible with Surface Laptop Go.  

  1. On your pen, press and hold the top button until the LED light blinks to turn on Bluetooth pairing mode.

  2. On your PC, select Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Make sure Bluetooth is on, then select Add device. Choose Surface Pen in the list of devices. Follow any other instructions if they appear, then select Done.

If you don't see your pen in the list of devices, the LED light can help you find the issue. Press and hold the top button of your pen for 5-7 seconds.

When you press and hold the top button

What does it mean?

The LED light blinks continuously.

Your pen is receiving power and trying to pair with a device. Restart your Surface and try pairing it again.

The LED light blinks for 2-3 seconds.

Your pen is already paired to another nearby Surface.

To fix this, find the other Surface and remove this pen from its Bluetooth devices list. To remove it, select Start Settings Bluetooth & devices. In the list of Bluetooth devices, select your pen and remove it. 

Note: Microsoft Classroom Pen 1 and Microsoft Classroom Pen 2 don't support Bluetooth or pen cap functionality.

If the light on your pen is blinking red, you may need to change the battery. For info on how to replace the batteries in your pen, go to Change Surface Pen batteries

If the light on your pen doesn't turn on and you can still write on your Surface, the LED light may be broken. 

If light on your pen doesn't turn on and you've replaced the battery, your pen may need to be replaced. For instructions on how to replace your pen, go to the section, Request a replacement pen

If the assigned pen shortcut doesn’t open when you click the top button, the pen might not be paired with your Surface or might be low on battery.

To see if the pen is paired and to see the battery level, select Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices.​ If your pen is paired, go to Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Pen & Windows Ink, then to confirm the top button shortcut assignment. 

If the battery level is low or is not listed, you may need to replace the battery. For more info, go to Change the battery in Surface Pen. ​

You may need to pair the pen with your Surface again after you change the batteries. 

Note: Microsoft Classroom Pen 1 and Microsoft Classroom Pen 2 don't support Bluetooth or pen cap functionality.

Make sure Bluetooth is on and your pen is connected to your Surface. See the section My pen won't pair with my Surface for details. You can change your pen shortcuts so the buttons do what you want them to.

  1. Select Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Pen & Windows Ink.

  2. Under Pen shortcuts, select the apps you want your shortcuts to open.

Try pairing your pen with your Surface again. 

For more info, see Replace Surface Pen tips.

If these steps didn't resolve the problem, you can request a replacement Surface Pen, go to Device service and repair. Sign in with your Microsoft account and select a Surface or register a new device. 

Once you select a registered device, you'll see replacement offers based on your warranty status and eligibility for exchange. To learn more about the Surface Warranty you can visit Surface Warranty Information.

Related topics

Here are some things to try first if your Surface Pen won’t write, open apps, or connect to Bluetooth.

Check for updates
Select Start > Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update, then select check for updates. For info on other ways to update your Surface, go to Download drivers and firmware for Surface.

Check if your Surface Pen is compatible with your Surface. For more info, go to Identify your Surface Pen and features.

Check the battery level of your pen.

  • If the light on your pen is blinking red, you may need to change or charge the battery.

  • If you've paired your pen, you can check this in your settings. Select Start  > Settings  > Devices  > Bluetooth & other devices, then find your pen to see the battery level. If the battery is low or doesn't have power, you may need to change or charge your battery. For more info, go to Change Surface Pen batteries.

Check if your Surface Pen is compatible with your Surface. For more info, go to Identify your Surface Pen and features.

If your pen still doesn't ink after trying the steps in the previous section, here's what you can do:

Test your pen by inking, writing, or erasing in OneNote, Sticky Notes, or Fresh Paint. If your pen works in one of these apps, then the app you want to use may not work with pen.

Open apps and use your Surface with touch. If you can't use your finger on your Surface, go to Surface touchscreen: Problems with touch. After touch is working, try your pen again.

Note: Surface Pen isn't compatible with Surface Laptop Go.  

  1. On your pen, press and hold the top button until the LED light blinks to turn on Bluetooth pairing mode.

  2. On your PC, select Start  > Settings  > Devices  > Bluetooth & other devices .

  3. Make sure Bluetooth is on, then select Add Bluetooth or other device > Bluetooth. Choose Surface Pen in the list of devices. Follow any other instructions if they appear, then select Done.

If you don't see your pen in the list of devices, the LED light can help you find the issue. Press and hold the top button of your pen for 5-7 seconds.

When you press and hold the top button

What does it mean?

The LED light blinks continuously.

Your pen is receiving power and trying to pair with a device. Restart your Surface and try pairing it again.

The LED light blinks for 2-3 seconds.

Your pen is already paired to another nearby Surface.

To fix this, find the other Surface and remove this pen from its Bluetooth devices list. To remove it, select Start  Settings  Devices  > Bluetooth & other devices . In the list of Bluetooth devices, select your pen and remove it. 

Note: Microsoft Classroom Pen 1 and Microsoft Classroom Pen 2 don't support Bluetooth or pen cap functionality.

If the light on your pen is blinking red, you may need to change the battery. For info on how to replace the batteries in your pen, go to Change Surface Pen batteries

If the light on your pen doesn't turn on and you can still write on your Surface, the LED light may be broken. 

If light on your pen doesn't turn on and you've replaced the battery, your pen may need to be replaced. For instructions on how to replace your pen, go to the section, Request a replacement pen

If the assigned pen shortcut doesn’t open when you click the top button, the pen might not be paired with your Surface or might be low on battery.

To see if the pen is paired and to see the battery level, select Start  > Settings  > Devices  > Bluetooth & other devices .​ If your pen is paired, go to Start  > Settings  > Devices  > Pen & Windows Ink  to confirm the top button shortcut assignment. 

If the battery level is low or is not listed, you may need to replace the battery. For more info, go to Change the battery in Surface Pen. ​

You may need to pair the pen with your Surface again after you change the batteries. 

Note: Microsoft Classroom Pen 1 and Microsoft Classroom Pen 2 don't support Bluetooth or pen cap functionality.

Make sure Bluetooth is on and your pen is connected to your Surface. See the section My pen won't pair with my Surface for details. You can change your pen shortcuts so the buttons do what you want them to.

  1. Go to Start  > Settings  > Devices  > Pen & Windows Ink .

  2. Under Pen shortcuts, select the apps you want your shortcuts to open.

Try pairing your pen with your Surface again. 

For more info, see Replace Surface Pen tips.

If these steps didn't resolve the problem, you can request a replacement Surface Pen, go to Device service and repair. Sign in with your Microsoft account and select a Surface or register a new device. 

Once you select a registered device, you'll see replacement offers based on your warranty status and eligibility for exchange. To learn more about the Surface Warranty you can visit Surface Warranty Information.

Related topics

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