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

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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 youย like this tip please checkout my new Windows 10 book.

My new Windows 10 book, find out more here.
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About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com 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.

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

  1. Jet says:

    I love you!!!

    1. Ian Dixon says:

      Glad you got it working

      1. Peter says:

        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

  2. Lynn B. says:

    I second that emotion! Thank you, thank you!

  3. Wee says:

    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!

    1. Ian Dixon says:

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

  4. Bart says:

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

  5. Micayla Edler says:

    THANK YOU!

  6. Michael says:

    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..

  7. Mark Stephenson says:

    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?

  8. Hannu says:

    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 ๐Ÿ™

  9. Spring says:

    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

    1. Ian Dixon says:

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

    2. Daniel Bergholm says:

      No it wont, it will work fine. Nothing will be deleted!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      it might start updating, but dont be worried!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have great day!

      Spring.

  10. Daniel Bergholm says:

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

  11. Hayley Leah says:

    Thanks so much for this info! Worked for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Vicky Ann says:

    This worked, thanks !!!

  13. Philipp Kupferschmied says:

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Daniel Asensio says:

    Worked for me too , Thank you

  15. qyx says:

    Omg it worked thanks! <3

  16. Eduard Tiberius Ferenczi says:

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

  17. Pepe says:

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

  18. Worked for me as well…

  19. Eddie says:

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

  20. Daniel says:

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

  21. grace says:

    Wow it works!! Thank you SO MUCH!

    1. Dick Rees says:

      I agree with Grace. Thank you so much!

    2. Violet says:

      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).

  22. diego says:

    Thanks!!! It was perfect!

  23. Jonathan Douglas says:

    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.

  24. Stephen Billotte says:

    Thanks! Why does this keep happening?

  25. James says:

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

  26. Elie says:

    That was great, thanks!

  27. Philip says:

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

  28. taniafromnelson says:

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

  29. Andrew says:

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

    1. Ian Dixon says:

      it seems to just reset the system without wiping anything

      1. Andrew says:

        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.

  30. Fred says:

    Incredible! Worked!!!

  31. ajl says:

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

  32. Gunnar Giil says:

    Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Debbie Franco says:

    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!!

  34. Nancy Dudley says:

    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.

  35. WIll says:

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

  36. william truemper says:

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

  37. Jay Parikh says:

    wow !! This worked.. So happy !!

  38. Mark says:

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

  39. Josh says:

    Nice. Worked perfectly. Thanks!

  40. Amitha Hewavitharana says:

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

  41. Lori says:

    Thank you soooo much! That worked!

  42. Stuart Lawton says:

    It works for me on the BIOS screen, but as soon as a Windows boots, it stops working ๐Ÿ™

  43. sri75 says:

    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!

  44. Michael says:

    It worked for me. Thank you!

  45. Bambaclat says:

    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!!!

  46. Karri says:

    Thank you! Saved me so much time and money!

  47. Phil Blau says:

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

  48. Chad Sosolik says:

    Awesome! It worked on the first try.

  49. Angela says:

    Thanks, Ian. This solution worked like a charm.

  50. kelly says:

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

  51. Anna says:

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

  52. miller_14 says:

    Thanks a million! Worked for me

  53. Tony Lam says:

    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:)

  54. Richard Loomis says:

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

  55. John says:

    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.

  56. Darrin Carver says:

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

  57. Marnee Klein says:

    YES. THANK YOU.

  58. LJ says:

    Thank you so much! Worked for me ๐Ÿ˜€ heart in mouth moment lol.

  59. Nils Nygaard says:

    Works perfect. Thanks! (Pro 3)

  60. NawTea says:

    It Worked!! Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. jeff says:

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

  62. Sandy Shelby says:

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

  63. Amanda Melhus says:

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

  64. Nisswa Doc says:

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

  65. mark says:

    Brilliant, worked a treat, thank you

  66. Max Roche says:

    Thanks mate, totally worked. Nice trick!

  67. Maverik He says:

    it worked! magical!

  68. Wilman Reyes says:

    it worked, thank yo my friend.

  69. Tony says:

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

  70. mic says:

    Thanks a lot…. This has been super helpful

  71. Rob C says:

    Nice! Thanks much.

  72. Jammy says:

    you are so awesome!!

  73. KevinThom says:

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

  74. Pete C says:

    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!!

  75. Karah Tate says:

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

  76. Todd Richardson says:

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

  77. Pennie Boyett says:

    thank you!!!!!

  78. Feben Tekle says:

    Thanks so much. This is super awesome of you

  79. Abhigyan Modi says:

    +1, thank you!

  80. Emma says:

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

  81. Rene says:

    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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  82. Chef Rover says:

    Awesome. Thanks Bruh.

  83. Rob says:

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

  84. Amy Bryan says:

    Thanks! You prevented a keyboard from being thrown across the room! ๐Ÿ™‚

  85. Mickie says:

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

  86. Griffin Wiebel says:

    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?

    1. James2 says:

      Brilliant. Fixed my problem in seconds after I had wasted an hour on Microsoft site. Thank you so much.

    2. Endgadget says:

      They are. It’s even on their web page.

      1. Ian Dixon says:

        do you have a link so I can take a look?

          1. Ian Dixon says:

            Thanks, they should mention the keyboard issue

          2. Nice! says:

            Why does the keyboard not wirk when using a bootable usb like slax?

  87. William says:

    Worked!, Great, Thanks!

  88. Vince says:

    Thanks very much, worked !!

  89. Per Gassne says:

    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.

  90. Ashwin says:

    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.

  91. Alf Lenni Erlandsen says:

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

  92. Clo says:

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

  93. demetriuschar says:

    nice worked like a charm

  94. Heather says:

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

  95. Tim says:

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

  96. Jim E says:

    Amazingly that does actually work!

  97. sceptic says:

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

  98. ratacit says:

    It did work! Many Thanks!

  99. Yaara Guetta says:

    Thank you so much! This worked wonderfully!

  100. dina says:

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

  101. Joe says:

    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?

  102. Nuni says:

    thankyou so much! It worked for me

  103. Milo says:

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

  104. FC says:

    Thanks a lot!!!

  105. Ryan says:

    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.

    1. Geoff Prior says:

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

  106. Kyle says:

    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!!

  107. zakaria says:

    wow….thanks..it works!!!!

    thanks again from malaysia

  108. KettleCorn says:

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

  109. Mike Bolz says:

    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.

  110. Joe Ee Chan says:

    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…

  111. Will says:

    Thanks so much… Was starting to curse at my pro3 ๐Ÿ™‚

  112. mfin says:

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

  113. Lisa says:

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

  114. Charles Wisser says:

    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.

    CS

  115. Jeswills Onuoha Eleke says:

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

  116. Maarten says:

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

  117. Sven Rowaert says:

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

  118. XepptizZ The First says:

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

  119. Sheri Amador says:

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

  120. Mark says:

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

  121. tareq says:

    it works!! Thank you SO MUCH!

  122. Lee says:

    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.

  123. Dave says:

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

  124. ๆข่‡ดๆœ— says:

    Thank you, your solution saved my SP3!

  125. Inger says:

    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!

  126. Jamie says:

    Thanks you very much.. Works very well.

  127. Samuel Joshua Mayer says:

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

  128. Melissa Simpson Sutphin says:

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

  129. Grateful says:

    THANK YOU! IT WORKED!!!

  130. Gabor says:

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

  131. Kevin says:

    Worked for me too ! thanks a mil

  132. Ray Rose says:

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

  133. Barry Page says:

    Thank you! Strange, but that worked.

  134. N Chill says:

    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.

  135. RBean says:

    Can’t believe after everything I tried this worked

  136. Debbie Gagne Horner says:

    Not working for me

  137. kim says:

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

  138. Matthias says:

    cool!!! it worked ๐Ÿ˜€

  139. Brian says:

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

  140. ashia says:

    It hasnt worked for me :(((((

  141. Justa Guest says:

    Worked Like Magic! Thanks, mate!

  142. ITNL CIO Office says:

    worked for me …great thanks!

  143. Lanre Ban says:

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

  144. guZzy92fs says:

    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!

  145. MsLisa says:

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

  146. Ib Rene Cario says:

    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.

  147. Trilok says:

    I agree with grace it really working yaar

  148. Andrea says:

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

  149. Nice! says:

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

  150. Joe says:

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

  151. Michelle Baratta Kammerer says:

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

  152. Logan Smith says:

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

  153. Alex DeJarnette says:

    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!! ๐Ÿ™

  154. Louis Chan says:

    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.

  155. Ning says:

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

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