How to fix a not responding Surface Type Cover 2 keyboard problem

Type Cover 2 for Surface

Here is how to fix a Microsoft Surface Touch or Type Keyboard that is not working

I got my kids Surface RTs for Christmas which they really love, so much so they bought new Type Cover 2 with their own money. All was working fine until yesterday morning when one of the Surface RT devices would not work with the Type Cover 2. The keyboard lit up and the trackpad worked, so did the brightness buttons on the keyboard but none of the keys would work. We tried a Touch Cover on it which worked fine and the Type Cover 2 worked on my Surface so I knew it was software related and not a hardware fault. I started to look at Device Manager and couldn’t see any issues and then I remembered the PC Refresh feature of Windows 8.1.

Surface keyboard not working

You can find PC Refresh by swiping in from the right to bring up the Charms, tap on settings and then Change PC settings. Tap on Update and recovery and then on Recovery. Tap on Get Started with a Refresh and then the device will go away and refresh Windows without losing any apps or settings. After about 30 minutes the Surface was back up and running with the Type Cover 2 fully working. There was no need to re-install anything and everything was working ok.

It’s a handy feature and I suspect the problem was caused by a corrupted driver and the refresh feature fixed it without having to get into recovery images or messing with drivers.

If your keyboard is not working at all try this fix here.

UPDATE: Before doing a refresh you could try this fix from Sol in the comments:

1.  Go into device manager.
2. Under other devices, you will find two unknown devices.
3. Double tap one, click on driver tab, click on update driver
4. Click on browse my computer for driver software
5. Click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers
6. Select keyboard, then click Next
7. Select HID Keyboard device and click finish
8. Repeat for the second unknown device.


About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.

70 thoughts on “How to fix a not responding Surface Type Cover 2 keyboard problem”

  1. mdj says:


    1. isdixon says:

      Glad it helped

      1. Bill says:

        I’m having the same problem. We brought the Surface home and things worked. The next day, only the mouse and volume keys work. When I tried to do a Recovery, it says files are missing and the recover can’t continue. Any ideas how to proceed?

  2. Marge says:

    Tank you so much! My type 2 came in just today and I was so disappointed… But now I’m typing these words on it 🙂

  3. malkiemalc says:

    Thank you very very much! My Type 2 arrived today also and I was so disappointed when just the mouse pad worked (… oh and it lit up!) Thank you very very much!

    1. Ian Dixon says:

      Glad it worked out.

  4. Tom says:

    Identical problem, perfect solution – typing this thank you on my new Type cover – cheers mate!!!

  5. Trung Nguyen says:

    Thank you for your solution, it works perfectly!

  6. Dalia says:

    Oh my fucking God this works! I’m about to leave on a 2 month trip tomorrow and I was freaking out that I would have to replace the tablet or the keyboard somehow which I wouldn’t have time for. Anyways thank you so much you have no idea the stress you’ve taken off my shoulders!

  7. Ssergeo says:

    Awesome, thanks for a quick fix!

  8. Darren says:

    Fantastic solution Ian and it works perfectly. Thank you so much and keep up the great work! Why can’t Microsoft Support provide the same solution… they are hopeless!
    Ian: 10/10 Microsoft Support: 0/10

    1. Ian Dixon says:

      glad to be able to help.

  9. J says:

    Worked perfectly, thank you.

    1. J says:

      Was doubtful at first, then saw that all 11 reviews said it worked, and it does.

  10. jae says:

    wow this really worked. I tried multiple of Microsoft suggestions for hours. This solution took about 5 minutes.

  11. Julia Birchall-Mann says:

    My son only had the RT for 2 weeks (a replacement for the previous one that broke) and couldn’t work out why the pad suddenly stopped working, although the mouse was ok.

    Your solution worked perfectly (after struggling with Microsoft solutions).

    Brill, thanks

    1. Caylenclouds_12 says:

      My is the same and is restarting now but I got a new one because it was not working and then that happend hope it works

  12. travmantoo says:

    Yep! Worked first try! THANKS!

  13. R says:

    I have a Surface 2 that would not recognize the keyboard and finally gave me a driver error and this fix worked a treat. Thank you.

  14. Sora says:

    OMG Mine is still not working!!!!! I tried refreshing it, updating it, and removing everything and reinstalling Windows. What should I do? :'(

    1. Ian Dixon says:

      If you have done all you have said you have it sounds like a hardware fault and not a software issue. You should try the keyboard on another Surface to see if its the Surface or the keyboard

  15. Sunil Vishwakarma says:

    Bravo!! It worked like a charm. Just today morning I received my Surface Type 2 Cover for my Surface RT and I got freaked out when mouse worked but not the keyboard. I was able to backlit the keyboard though.

    Great tip !!

  16. Asher Misfit Jones says:

    Omg thank you so much I was just about to return it thanks so much I appreciate this 🙂 cant thank u enough

  17. Wendy Roehr Martin says:

    Ian, thank you so much. My husband got me my Surface for my birthday and after an update, the keyboard just stopped working, exactly as you have described. None of the Microsoft help actually helped and I ran across this post tonight, as a last ditch effort before taking it back tomorrow.

    It took the dang thing nearly an hour to refresh but your solution worked. I was so disappointed that my gift was “broken” and now it works again! I’m very grateful to you for sharing this!

  18. StarFlyrr says:

    I have the same problem, keyboard doesn’t work after one day of operation. I’m in the process of “refreshing” to see if this will fix the problem. If it does AND it is a ONE time solution, I’m fine with it. However, if I have to do this numerous times, IMHO, this is not acceptable and just another example of MS GARBAGE.

    I dumped MS about 5 years ago for Apple products because of crap like this. I’ve got all the Apple gear (MacBook Air, iPad Air and iPhone). I bought this Surface 2 only to take on trips.

    To spend several minutes doing this “refresh” on a new piece of equipment is total BS. By the way, it appears to have fixed my BRAND NEW keyboard that worked yesterday. If this happens one more time in the next 30 days, the whole thing is going back to MS for a full refund.

  19. SD says:

    This is lame, but figured I’d post just in case there’s another human being as dumb as me. While using my Pro 2, the type-cover started to lag/fritz for a few min and then completely stopped working. I tried EVERYTHING (hence how I found this site), but still, nothing. I ditched the cover and just used a wireless keyboard/mouse for a couple days… and then noticed that a tiny, thin black pin was stuck to the bottom (within the groove that the cover attaches to… although, to my defense, this thing was TINY and lodged in the bottom corner of my Pro). I snapped the cover back on, half hoping it wouldn’t work (because seriously, how dumb is that), and within a few seconds we were back in biz. So… if you’ve tried everything, take another gander at the bottom of your Pro and check for tiny, parasitic, magnetic objects. Good luck.

      1. LDEAN says:

        That was my problem too. A little metal filing stuck to the bottom of my surface was preventing a good connection. Picked it off (it was tiny) and it works fine now.

      2. Faris says:

        i dont have the other devices tab please help

    1. cams says:

      my god, we are sooo stupid, one of my ballet Bobby pins was stucked there, thanks lord for you. I was just about to waste 30 minutes refreshin this thing

    2. Vanessa says:

      I looked and had somehow picked up a bar magnet which had attached itself there >.>

  20. Joe says:

    This worked great for me! Thanks so much!

  21. AF says:

    Muchísimas Gracias desde Monterrey, Mexico. You save my day, thanks a lot!!!

  22. Maki says:

    Thank you, it works now! great info Ian. I tried many options before.

  23. Sol says:

    I work for MS and am sorry you had issues. I had the same one and found the solution.

    1. Go into device manager.
    2. Under other devices, you will find two unknown devices.
    3. Double tap one, click on driver tab, click on update driver
    4. Click on browse my computer for driver software
    5. Click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers
    6. Select keyboard, then click Next
    7. Select HID Keyboard device and click finish
    8. Repeat for the second unknown device.

    Keyboard should now work.

    1. joeq says:

      Thanks Sol….worked great!!!!

    2. Antonio says:

      Thanks a ton for this posting. My issue is resolved. You are a savior.

    3. Carolyn Laframboise says:

      It worked!! Thank you Sol!

    4. Amir Bakovic says:

      I don’t have an “other” to select in device manager

      1. Dana says:

        I found the same things under Keyboard, but it still didn’t work

        1. OrionComplex says:

          Yeah I see no ‘other devices” either.

          1. Janet says:

            In Device Manager click on View at top and select “Show hidden devices”, you will now see “Other”.

          2. Nikki u says:

            I did but I still don’t see. Its for a pro 2 right?

    5. Dominic says:

      THANK YOU!!!! That did it. I have been trouble shooting for 2 days and on MS Tech Support for a couple hours now. That was the fix!.

    6. flyingcasual says:

      BOOM! This works.

    7. Grateful says:

      Legend! Sol – you fixed my issue too 🙂

    8. Happy says:

      This works perfectly!! Thank you!

    9. Ralph says:

      Work like a charm!!

    10. Flash says:

      God bless you, Sol – this did the trick for me, too!

  24. A.L. says:

    Refresh Did Wonder!
    I should have found this post before I returned the 1st KB. I have RT and after refresh the 2nd KB is working. Should the LED be on top of the KB be on?

  25. Ken Holberger says:

    My cover was wigging in and out frequently with the “Surface Type Cover Filter Device” driver in the Device Manager was disappearing and reappearing with it. Very annoying!

    The problem was solved by cleaning the contacts on the Type Cover by gently rubbing them with a pencil eraser (even thought they looked just fine). What a relief.

  26. Stephanie Cabe says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This was much more helpful than the information that I got from the Microsoft website!

  27. dinny says:

    This was very helpful and worked great, and I was really getting upset with the keyboards because they weren’t working. This was the second keyboard that I purchased for my Surface that didn’t work, so I decided to Google and clicked on this website and now my keyboard works great. Thank you for all your help. People this really works.

  28. DFW_WTF says:

    Thank you for this.
    I just got a Type to replace my Touch keyboard and it wasn’t responsive until I followed you directions.
    A 1/2 hour refresh and alll is good.
    Merci !

  29. Euan Foster says:

    Thank you SO much! It worked first time!

  30. Laura Kay says:

    THANK YOU so much for this!!! I have read I don’t know how many forums and had tried everything… I was about to just buy a new keyboard. This was a last resort try and it worked perfectly.

  31. ealy says:

    Thanks man, i updated my driver from device manager and it works

  32. silenemak says:

    Thank you. This worked perfectly. I wished I tried it first,not 6th.

  33. Yemee says:

    I tried this and it did not solve my problem. I have restarted my Surface 2 several times. I refreshed it twice. I have installed three sets of updates and the keyboard still remains inoperable. The only thing ha works o it is the light. I need help. Is my keyboard defective?

  34. E says:

    Only solution that worked for me. Thank you. was recieving error code 1 for pro3 type cover.

  35. Chelynne Myrtue-Lefrancois says:

    I have tried all of these…
    No ‘other devices’ in device manager
    In settings under recovery it only gives me options to refresh and get rid of ALL apps, no option to just refresh.
    Cleaned it with rubbing alcohol and qtip, restarted it over and over… even did update for window and still NOTHING please help

  36. Μεσότης says:

    refresh is now “reset” and you do lose your apps. Daemnt

  37. Kacie Jones says:

    Thank you for a full solution! I have been looking for a working solution for weeks now and this is the only one that even mentioned not just updating the drivers from offline but directing them with the correct file path to type ‘Keyboard’. You Rock!

  38. beachgirl25 says:

    Help!!!! I have a Surface Pro 2 w cover. It was working fine then about 2-3 months ago the keyboard stopped being acknowledged. ANY keyboard. I have a wireless (dongle) keyboard w trackball that was working with it and at the same time it stopped seeing ANY keyboard. Trackball and mouse work fine. I’ve tried everything you’ve suggested in both article​s including full refresh. My son who’s IT also checked it and can’t figure it out. Using the on screen keyboard sucks! Please help.

    1. Ian Dixon says:

      The only thing left to try is the PC Reset option but this will wipe your installed application

    2. Jatata (Jatata) says:

      1. Go into device manager.
      2. Under other devices, you will find two unknown devices.
      3. Double tap one, click on driver tab, click on update driver
      4. Click on browse my computer for driver software
      5. Click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers
      6. Select keyboard, then click Next
      7. Select HID Keyboard device and click finish
      8. Repeat for the second unknown device

  39. Andrew Woods says:

    HI. anyone have any ideas why a type cover key would stop working, and another (my spacebar) adds a space and a “t”. i’m in the middle of nowhere thailand…and need a fix

    1. Jatata (Jatata) says:

      Thiland is a country respct it ffs

  40. Mike says:

    You sir, are a life saver!

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