Surface Pro Keyboard Not Working

The Surface Pro Type Cover is the device’s keyboard, and it makes typing so much easier to type on the device. It functions just like any other keyboard, though it’s only compatible with the Surface Pro, thanks to its unique connectors. Unfortunately, like other keyboards, you might find yourself with a Type Cover that isn’t working.

Suppose your Surface Pro Type Cover isn’t working. Start by resetting the Surface Pro and running Windows Update. Next, detach the keyboard and clean its contacts with isopropyl alcohol before putting it back. Next, initiating the Surface Pro’s BIOS has been known to help, though a full reset might be necessary. Finally, if the issue is a hardware failure, then the keyboard will need to be replaced.

Let’s dive deeper into the issue of your Surface Pro keyboard not working. First, we’ll look at the troubleshooting steps that you’ll find helpful and walk you through each step of the way.

Restart Your Surface

How this helps: When it comes to computers and other electronic devices, there’s a lot of truth that turning the device off and on again can resolve a wide range of problems. Since it’s also the easiest possible solution to try out, you should start your troubleshooting process this way.

As the term suggests, performing this task will allow your Surface Pro to start over from scratch. That means the computer’s processes, some of which might have failed and caused the keyboard not to work, can have a chance to start over again free of any issues.

Once the Surface Pro has restarted, try and see if all of the keys on your keyword will function normally again.

How to do This: If you find that your Surface Pro keyboard is not responding at all to your keypresses, then the first troubleshooting step to take is to restart the device. Since the Surface Pro uses a Windows-based operating system, these are the steps to perform a restart:

  1. Firstly, save any work that you might be doing at that time. Restarting your device will cause you to lose any unsaved work.
  2. Then, go to the Start menu.
  3. Next, select Power on that menu.
  4. Lastly, click on Restart.

Once you do that, the Surface Pro will close down all open applications and shut itself down. Then, it will turn itself back on a moment or two after that.

Update Surface Operating System and Drivers

How this helps: The operating system is responsible for every task you perform using the Surface Pro. Besides that, drivers are the software that allows the computer to communicate with your devices, including your keyboard.

From time to time, Microsoft releases the latest updates for the operating system and device drivers. These updates include fixes for any bugs or glitches that might be causing your keyboard to fail when you try to use it.

Running Windows update will ensure that you have the latest versions for your operating system and device drivers, including fixes for any known issues involving the Surface Pro keyboard. 

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How to do this: If restarting your Surface Pro did not help, then you will need to try updating the device’s operating system and device drivers. You can do so following these steps:

  1. First, go to the Start menu.
  2. Next, go to Settings.
  3. Within the Settings menu, you’ll see a section called Update ; Security.
  4. Lastly, click on Windows Update and follow the instructions on the screen.

When you run Windows Update, it will search for and download the latest operating system and device driver updates, including the one for your Surface Pro keyboard.

Detach and Reattach Keyboard

How this helps: The keyboard on your Surface Pro is detachable. So, the connection between both parts happens through the keyboard’s contacts which slide into the main unit. So, if the keyboard stops working correctly, the problem might be with that connection.

So, one way of refreshing that connection is simply to detach the keyboard for a few seconds and then reconnect it again. This procedure will renew the connection and likely get the keyboard working again.

How to do this: Detaching the type cover or keyboard on your Surface Pro is incredibly straightforward. The connection is held in place with a magnet, so all you’ll need to do is gently pull the keyboard away from the Surface Pro.

To reattach the keyboard, simply bring the keyboard close enough until the magnet catches on and it snaps into place.

Clean Keyboard Contacts

How this helps: When you detach the keyboard as described in the previous section, you’ll be able to see the keyboard’s contacts which line up nicely with those of the Surface Pro. After being repeatedly detached and reattached over time, some dust or debris might have gotten trapped around those contacts.

That buildup of dust and debris could cause a weak connection that affects the keyboard’s functionality. So, it would also be an excellent idea to make sure that you clean those contacts thoroughly.

How to do this: To clean the keyboard’s contacts, first detach it from your Surface Pro. Then, apply rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol) to a small piece of cloth or a cotton swab.

Isopropyl alcohol is a common item used to clean electronic devices and their contacts, so you can rest assured that it’s safe to use. One benefit here is that isopropyl alcohol evaporates very quickly, leaving no spots behind. Plus, quick evaporation means you can resume the use of the device without waiting too long.

Next, gently rub that alcohol around the keyboard’s many little contacts to clean off any dust or debris stuck in there.

Once you’re done, let all of the remaining rubbing alcohol evaporate for a minute. Then, you’re ready to reattach the keyboard and continue using it as usual.

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Enter the BIOS

How this helps: Your Surface Pro has a BIOS, which stands for basic input/output system. In simple terms, it’s the hardware settings menu for your Surface Pro that isn’t a part of the Windows operating system.

The Surface Pro has a known issue where the keyboard stops working, and the only way to bring it to life again is to access the BIOS and then log out to restart the device. 

How to do this: To be clear, with this task, you do not need to change any settings in the BIOS. All you have to do is enter and exit it, which will then cause the Surface Pro to restart.

To enter the Surface Pro’s BIOS, follow these steps:

  1. First, make sure that the Surface Pro is turned off completely.
  2. Then, press and hold the Volume Up button and the Power button for at least ten seconds until the Surface Pro turns on, and a text menu appears. If nothing doesn’t happen after ten seconds, hold the buttons down for longer.
  3. Lastly, select the Exit option at the bottom of the list.

Once that’s done, the Surface Pro will restart and initiate the Windows operating system. Your keyboard should then work normally.

Reset To Factory Settings

How this helps: As a last resort, you do have the option of resetting your Surface Pro back to its factory settings. Simply put, there might be an issue with the Surface Pro or its operating system that’s causing it to fail when connecting to your keyboard.

Again, this should only be attempted as a final option if all of the above solutions still do not work. 

By performing this procedure, you will also be removing any customized settings you have put into your device. When the process is complete, you will have to input those settings once more.

How to do this: If you’re sure about resetting your Surface Pro, follow these steps:

  1. First, go to the Start menu.
  2. Then, go to Settings.
  3. Next, select Update ; Security and click on Recovery.
  4. Under the part that says ‘Reset This PC’, click on Get Started.

You will be presented with two options for resetting your Surface Pro: ‘Keep my files’ and ‘Remove everything’. 

In this case, you will only need to select ‘Keep my files’. This option is best for you because you are troubleshooting a keyboard problem, so your personal files do not need to be removed. However, this option will delete all apps, the device drivers and revert all settings.

By starting from scratch this way, your Surface Pro keyboard should work normally again.

Replace The Keyboard

How this helps: When all else fails, it’s time to consider that your keyboard might have suffered a hardware failure. If this is the case, then there is no other option but to replace the keyboard with a new one, either through a warranty exchange or by purchasing a compatible replacement.

How to do this: Before purchasing a new one, check to see whether or not yours is still covered by the warranty. If it is, you can contact the manufacturer’s customer service hotline to arrange for a replacement to be sent to you.

However, if it isn’t, then you will need to purchase a replacement keyboard. So be sure to check that you’re buying the correct keyboard for your Surface Pro model. 

Even though these keyboards are interchangeable between different Surface Pro models, their dimensions can differ slightly and might fit awkwardly on your device. 

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