How to fix a Type Cover not working on a Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4 (with video)


A couple of years ago I wrote about how to fix keyboard problems with the original Surface RT and it remains a popular post on the site. I have come across another problem with the Surface Pro keyboard that causes it to not work at all looking like a major hardware issue but there is a surprisingly easy fix.

[Update – This fixes Surface 3 keyboard problems as well]

When you come to your Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4 and the keyboard and trackpad do not work at all here is a quick fix.

  1. Shutdown the Surface
  2. Hold down the Volume UP and Power Button at the same time for 10 seconds
  3. Power on the Surface (if it goes into the BIOS screen tap on Exit setup)
  4. The Surface will boot up and hopefully the keyboard will now work.

This worked for me and hopefully it will work for you. If parts of your keyboard are working then you should checkout my other solution.
Here is a video of how to fix it and if youΒ like this tip please checkout my new Windows 10 book.

My new Windows 10 book, find out more here.

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.

  • Jet

    I love you!!!

    • Glad you got it working

      • Peter

        Yes it certainly fixed the keyboard problem; in addition, it fixed the screen auto-rotate problem which occurred at the same time the keyboard stopped working. The screen had reverted to being upside down and would not auto-rotate, My interim fix for the screen was to rotate it using the rotate screen function and then fix it in that position. Auto-rotate It is now working perfectly. Thank you

  • Lynn B.

    I second that emotion! Thank you, thank you!

  • Wee

    Woke up and found the keyboard of my sp3 dead. I could not find the volume up key on my kb. Only see a mute key. Help!

    • Its the volume up button on the Surface not on the keyboard

  • Bart

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! …. that worked for me. I was ready to give up on it.

  • Micayla Edler


  • Michael

    You rock, after a a couple of hours of no key board I was about to factory restore it.. The power up, volume trick worked great..

  • Mark Stephenson

    This works for me too but I have to do it around once a week. Any idea how to stop the problem reoccurring so often?

  • Hannu

    WOW! It works again!!! Thank you very, very much! Why don’t Microsoft write about this solution on their help-page!? Now I first followed their suggestion to clean the SurfacePro3 and therefore lost alot of programs and settings without any solution of the problem πŸ™

  • Spring

    Does this method reset the surface pro to factory settings? I don’t want anything to happen to my programs that are already installed or anything else on my surface pro

    • It leaves everything as it is. It will not wipe anything.

    • Daniel Bergholm

      No it wont, it will work fine. Nothing will be deleted!! πŸ™‚

      it might start updating, but dont be worried!! πŸ™‚

      Have great day!


  • Daniel Bergholm

    Thank you it worked, i was scared it was broken since i got it from my school for free usage under 3 years :S

  • Hayley Leah

    Thanks so much for this info! Worked for me πŸ™‚

  • Vicky Ann

    This worked, thanks !!!

  • Philipp Kupferschmied

    You’re a genius, thank you so much! I got my type cover exchanged because it didn’t work anymore, but the new one didn’t work either. I was really afraid the tablet itself might have some damage, but this little trick made it work again πŸ™‚

  • Daniel Asensio

    Worked for me too , Thank you

  • qyx

    Omg it worked thanks! <3

  • Eduard Tiberius Ferenczi

    didn’t worked for me…i gues my type cover is dead! ;(

  • Pepe

    It worked for me, thank you very much for the tip

  • Worked for me as well…

  • Eddie

    It worked, Thank you! The Microsoft support site was USELESS.

  • Daniel

    Ian you made my day, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  • grace

    Wow it works!! Thank you SO MUCH!

    • Dick Rees

      I agree with Grace. Thank you so much!

    • Violet

      Tried using multiple methods but this worked a charm. Can confirm that the two button start-up also works for the original Surface Pro (1).

  • diego

    Thanks!!! It was perfect!

  • Jonathan Douglas

    I have to add my kudos to you, Ian. This fixed my keyboard functionality problem as well as the simultaneous problem of having the display stuck in portrait mode. I’m shocked (but yet not) that Microsoft hasn’t found a solution, or at least recommended this fix.

  • Stephen Billotte

    Thanks! Why does this keep happening?

  • James

    Thank you very much. Worked like a charm. Keep up the great work!!

  • Elie

    That was great, thanks!

  • Philip

    Been searching for a solution for a week, and this worked perfectly! Thanks!

  • taniafromnelson

    Thank you! Just worked for me. Yay I can get on with my work. NEED the keyboard!

  • Andrew

    What does pressing the volume up and power button do specifically? Does it reset the bios/uefi ?

    • it seems to just reset the system without wiping anything

      • Andrew

        Would be nice if the Microsoft troubleshooting guide had this tip. I followed their guide, cleaning the connectors, shutting down, resetting etc all to no avail. Was on a Europe trip at the time and had to purchase a Bluetooth keyboard as I was unaware of this fix. Thanks Ian for posting this guide.

  • Fred

    Incredible! Worked!!!

  • ajl

    I love you Ian Dixon!!!! 1 hour of trying everything and this was what worked! Thank you!

  • Gunnar Giil

    Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Debbie Franco

    I have been searching for a solution to this problem for months and I’ve purchased a new surface keyboard and a new bluetooth keyboard when I couldn’t get anything else to work. This is the first thing to actually work and it fixed problems I’d been having with docking station functions too. The hdmi output and sound were not working. After I followed your advice those problems are fixed too. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Nancy Dudley

    Thank you so much for this tip! I was on the phone 2+ hours with Microsoft troubleshooting who finally sent me a new keyboard cover. When that one arrived and did not work, I decided to google the issue and specifically choose yours because you were NOT Microsoft. I’m so thankful I did.

  • WIll

    I had tried everything and this was fixed in 5 seconds! legend. thank you

  • william truemper

    That suggestion worked PERFECTLY! Thanks much. . .such an easy fix for those who are “technologically challenged” to begin with!!!

  • Jay Parikh

    wow !! This worked.. So happy !!

  • Mark

    Epic!!! Wish I had seen your advice yesterday evening…. would have not lost an evening to frustration. Thank you.

  • Josh

    Nice. Worked perfectly. Thanks!

  • Amitha Hewavitharana

    Thank you Ian for saving me a lot of trouble! Wish you success with all you do. Keep up the good work!

  • Lori

    Thank you soooo much! That worked!

  • Stuart Lawton

    It works for me on the BIOS screen, but as soon as a Windows boots, it stops working πŸ™

  • sri75

    It worked! After spending an entire day trying all sorts of troubleshooting tips, finally came across this unbelievable fix suggested here. Thanks for saving a hundred bucks!

  • Michael

    It worked for me. Thank you!

  • Bambaclat

    Thanks to you, this worked for my Surface Pro 3! It had gone out before and I would just detach the keyboard from the tablet part and reattach and it would always work. Then that didn’t work at all. This made my week!!!

  • Karri

    Thank you! Saved me so much time and money!

  • Phil Blau

    This did not appear to work for the Surface Pro 2, though I would get the BIOS screen. Any advice?

  • Chad Sosolik

    Awesome! It worked on the first try.

  • Angela

    Thanks, Ian. This solution worked like a charm.

  • kelly

    Works for the Surface Pro4 as well – THANK YOU!!!

  • Anna

    Thank you the power button and volume up worked. I hope I do not have to do this often”:-(

  • miller_14

    Thanks a million! Worked for me

  • Tony Lam

    this actually worked. thanks. i didn’t have too much confidence on these online fixes and was concern about clicking on nefarious links that could compromise my system. glad this tip work and thank you indeed. saved me time and headache:)

  • Richard Loomis

    It worked for my surface pro 3. Nothing I tried off the Microsoft website worked. Thanks again

  • John

    THANK YOU. This is my second time with this problem. 1st time I called Microsoft and spent hours on phone. They made me reset my Surface which was a painful process, and it did not fix the problem. They sent me a keyboard, which did not fix the problem, then out of nowhere, the keyboard just started working again. I was dreading what I was going to have to do to get this fixed again, until I saw this post. Worked like a champ and I have bookmarked this page.

  • Darrin Carver

    Surprised! It worked when nothing else I tried did. Thanks very, very much!

  • Marnee Klein


  • LJ

    Thank you so much! Worked for me πŸ˜€ heart in mouth moment lol.

  • Nils Nygaard

    Works perfect. Thanks! (Pro 3)

  • NawTea

    It Worked!! Thank you!! πŸ™‚

  • jeff

    Wow – thank you so much – really worked —
    secrets of the universe.

  • Fantastic fix!! It totally worked! I thought my keyboard was toast.

  • Amanda Melhus

    AWESOME! Worked for me, I was panicking about going to class tomorrow and taking notes. THANK YOU!

  • Nisswa Doc

    Thank you. Also associated with my Type Cover not working: Auto-rotate stopped working. This maneuver corrected both problems!

  • mark

    Brilliant, worked a treat, thank you

  • Max Roche

    Thanks mate, totally worked. Nice trick!

  • Maverik He

    it worked! magical!

  • Wilman Reyes

    it worked, thank yo my friend.

  • Tony

    You are a genius! Could not find this on any forum o MS site. Thanks.

  • mic

    Thanks a lot…. This has been super helpful

  • Rob C

    Nice! Thanks much.

  • Jammy

    you are so awesome!!

  • KevinThom

    Fantastic! I almost made an emergency trip to the store to buy a new one, but your trick fixed the problem. Thanks!

  • Pete C

    Wow! I don’t understand why but it fixed my Pro 3 – I ‘ve been threatening to chuck it across my office all day. Thank you!!

  • Karah Tate

    Wow! This worked like a charm. Thanks for the help! I didn’t find this solution anywhere on the Microsoft help page! Thanks again!

  • Todd Richardson

    I just disconnected and re-connected the keyboard. Worked for me.

  • Pennie Boyett

    thank you!!!!!

  • Feben Tekle

    Thanks so much. This is super awesome of you

  • Abhigyan Modi

    +1, thank you!

  • Emma

    I tried so many other things before this and it as just so simple! Thank you so much!

  • Rene

    Just made my day. Not a solution Microsoft informs you about. I tried updating and a lot of other adwises from Microsoft. Nothing worked. THANKS πŸ˜‰

  • Chef Rover

    Awesome. Thanks Bruh.

  • Rob

    worked for me with a surface pro 3, windows 10 and surface 4 typecover. thank you!

  • Thanks! You prevented a keyboard from being thrown across the room! πŸ™‚

  • Mickie

    You are the best! It works. Thank you very much!

  • Griffin Wiebel

    I went through all of Microsoft’s “solutions” and none of them worked. I do this once and PRESTO. Why is Microsoft NOT using this solution?

  • William

    Worked!, Great, Thanks!

  • Vince

    Thanks very much, worked !!

  • Per Gassne

    There is another way to fix this without restart. Unplug the type cover and then go to the device manager and uninstall the keyboard. After uninstalling, just reconnect the type cover and it will install it self and then it’s up and running again.

  • Ashwin

    Thank you. I faced the same problem with my 2 month old Surface 3 LTE. The Type cover keyboard wasn’t working and after trying the steps that Ian has said, my gig just returned to normal with the keyboard now functioning as normal.

  • Alf Lenni Erlandsen

    My keyboard stops working multiple times a day! Why? It’s never been a problem before.

  • Clo

    Worked fror me thank you i have been at this for a while . Thank you so much!

  • demetriuschar

    nice worked like a charm

  • Heather

    Thanks – this worked! Was anticipating a trip to my local Microsoft store and a bunch of bureaucracy.

  • Tim

    Worked like a charm for me!!! thanks a lot.

  • Jim E

    Amazingly that does actually work!

  • sceptic

    Sorted – thanks! It saved the Surface Pro from taking a test with gravity… I was at the launch stage… phew, close call!

  • ratacit

    It did work! Many Thanks!

  • Yaara Guetta

    Thank you so much! This worked wonderfully!

  • dina

    Love you love you xoxo <3 thank you for this fix

  • Joe

    It didn’t fix anything. Yes, it started working again, but the problem returns every so often. Where is the actual fix for this issue?

  • Nuni

    thankyou so much! It worked for me

  • Milo

    oh my goodness! Thank you so so much. I am so grateful

  • FC

    Thanks a lot!!!

  • Ryan

    It didn’t work for me at first, I tried a couple times and it still the same. I also tried one of the comment here to delete the keyboard in Device Manager, but you won’t be able to find the keyboard coz from the system perspective it is not connected. HOWEVER, I detached the keyboard and try the volume + power button again and let it restart, after that I connect the keyboard again and IT WORKSSSSSS. It also fixed the auto-rotate issue which caused me a lot of trouble when it failed to rotate to portrait once the keyboard didn’t work. THANK YOU Ian.

    • Geoff Prior

      Thanks Ryan. I had exactly the same issue. I had to detach the keyboard too before it would work!

  • Kyle

    Have an essay to do today and my keyboard packed in. After much panicking i came across this video. Was worried when it asked if i wanted to ‘reset’ after exit setup but i can vouch that this worked perfectly! Thanks a lot mate. Youve saved me huge amounts of stress!!

  • zakaria

    wow… works!!!!

    thanks again from malaysia

  • KettleCorn

    Thanks for this! I used it until the battery died last night and today the keyboard wouldn’t do anything. Stupid.

  • Mike Bolz

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you! I just spent a half a day trying to get this figured out, then I finally found your page. It not only fixed my type cover, but also some things that weren’t working right with the dock. Very frustrating that this simple fix is nowhere to be found in the Microsoft online help. You’re a lifesaver.

  • Joe Ee Chan

    Thank You, it worked perfectly after refreshing my surface pro 2. After wasting so much time on microsoft forums =.=;… the answer is just this simple…

  • Will

    Thanks so much… Was starting to curse at my pro3 πŸ™‚

  • mfin

    thanks a million man you are the MAN!!!!!

  • Lisa

    Thank you so much it worked for me! Wonder why Microsoft does not post this method on their website.

  • Charles Wisser

    Tried this and EVERY OTHER guide on how to fix this issue and none of them worked. i literally worked an entire day with just the touch screen and was furious. Then I tried something not mentioned anywhere else and it worked. it was so simple i didnt beleave it. SO before you go through all of this trouble, i would recommend that you try (and hear me out on this one because i was surprised myself) Simply disconnect the keyboard. screen can be on or off…. doesn’t matter. lick your finger. not sloppy wet… not dry… just right… slide it across the copper keyboard connection on the keyboard. reconnect the keyboard. Voila, works for me EVERY TIME. it appears that the connections arent great on these things so im sure something like electrical conductor grease would be a sound long term investment; however, in a pinch, in the middle of a meeting or, in the middle of a sentence, aint nobody got time for that crap… so try the wet finger trick. It’s worked well for me so far and it doesnt require rebooting your computer. Hopefully that helps.


  • Jeswills Onuoha Eleke

    Worked like a miracle. Thought it has become irreparable. Thanks

  • Maarten

    Thanks a lot! I was ready to have it replaced because it looked like the hardware was malfunctioning. This fixed it.

  • Sven Rowaert

    Damn. That worked! I was afraid I had to replace the keyboard or something. Thanks for the tip. I love my Surface, once again.

  • XepptizZ The First

    Worked for me too, Microsoft should be ashamed of their bullshit “irresponsible comsumer” solutions

  • Sheri Amador

    You are awesome!!! Thank you for this quick and easy fix.

  • Mark

    Worked a treat, thank you! Microsofts solution is a full reset.

  • tareq

    it works!! Thank you SO MUCH!

  • Lee

    OMG, not had a working keypad for over a week. Had been on to the Microsoft website but didn’t want to ‘refresh’ or reload before checking the keypad. Found out today that the keypad is fine so bit the bullet and tried your suggestion. Crazy how easy and effective this was. Wish I’d done it sooner. Thank you soooo much.

  • Dave

    I had an unresponsive mouse and keyboard. Awesome Video!! Quick, thorough instruction got me up and running in seconds. Thanks.

  • ζ’θ‡΄ζœ—

    Thank you, your solution saved my SP3!

  • Inger

    Thank you so much! The keyboard stopped working just hours before several super important meetings I need to do for my master thesis. I was freaking out until you fixed my problem. You have no idea how thankful I am!

  • Jamie

    Thanks you very much.. Works very well.

  • Samuel Joshua Mayer

    Worked a charm, would love to find out what causes the keyboard not to work

  • Melissa Simpson Sutphin

    You made me look like a ROCK STAR to my boss! THANK YOU!!!

  • Grateful


  • Gabor

    I had to do it twice to solve the problem. After the first try did not work.

  • Kevin

    Worked for me too ! thanks a mil

  • Ray Rose

    Fantastic! It works. Days of frustration before trying this easy fix.
    Why don’t Microsoft tell you this?

  • Barry Page

    Thank you! Strange, but that worked.

  • N Chill

    Hey Ian, thanks for sharing this tip. Like many others who commented, searches on MS were not helpful but yours tip worked like a charm.

  • RBean

    Can’t believe after everything I tried this worked

  • Debbie Gagne Horner

    Not working for me

  • kim

    its works….Thank you thank you, my bos is happy now

  • Matthias

    cool!!! it worked πŸ˜€

  • Brian

    After all the indifferent advice given on websites which didn’t work, this was the most simplest of quick fixes, thank you so much

  • ashia

    It hasnt worked for me :(((((

  • Justa Guest

    Worked Like Magic! Thanks, mate!

  • ITNL CIO Office

    worked for me …great thanks!

  • Lanre Ban

    Thanks ever so much!!!!!! Worked like Magic

  • guZzy92fs

    My Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Type Keyboard started to behave strange after the third week of usage, bought it brand new btw. It first started to have the Fn key pressed all the times, I assume this because everytime I pressed the F2,F3 without pressing the fn key the keyboard dimmed. Then all the keyboard keys failed to works and only the touch pad worked.

    After trying all the recommendations in this page without success, I passed my hand very hard all over the keys and it started to work again but a couple of minutes then went back to the same.

    I sprayed contact cleaner over the top pins and all over the keys and dried it with a towel, did this around 4 times soaking the keys in contact cleaner and now it works like a charm.

    So at the end it was some kind of false contact in one of the keys, probably caused by humidity or the oil the fingers release form time to time.

    Hope it helps!

  • MsLisa

    Worked like a charm!!! Thank you for the quick and easy fix!!!!

  • Ib Rene Cario

    Please update this with whats on Microsoft since I thought it was same solution.
    On Microsoft they say
    -Hard shut down and
    -Push power + volume up for a WHOLE cycle, i.e. it will go into bios AND shutdown. while keep holding power + volume up.
    – After that it worked for me.

  • Trilok

    I agree with grace it really working yaar

  • Andrea

    Thank you! This has been so frustrating. You made my day!

  • Nice!

    Keyboard has no functionality whatsoever if I boot to a stand alone OS via usb. It just won’t work. Why????!!!!

  • Joe

    Nope. Didn’t work. It seems there is no driver listed under keyboards in device That’s bad, right? Where can I find one?

  • Michelle Baratta Kammerer

    Ok so this didn’t work for me. What are my options now?

  • Logan Smith

    That’s amazing that worked and wasn’t anywhere else online I saw. Thanks!

  • Alex DeJarnette

    I have tried the double button shutdown as listed, cleaning the cover and surface connectors, everything listed on all the forums I can find. Even went so far as to reset my computer completely and nothing has worked to get my keyboucover to work again. Any advice?? Do I just need to invest in a new keyboard cover? Would a new one even work if I’m having this issue? I don’t know what to do!! πŸ™

  • Louis Chan

    it doesn’t really fix the issue. The problems came back after you shutdown. If need to use keyboard, need to use the two button start-up every time when power on.

  • Ning

    wow!!!! amazing. i was thinking about buying a new keyboard. you save my money. thank you a lot!

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