At times, you may find that your Surface Pen won’t work on your Surface device. In today’s post, we will present general as well as specific troubleshooting steps you can follow, to will help you if your Surface Pen won’t write, open apps, or connect to Bluetooth.
Surface Pen won’t write, open apps, or connect
General troubleshooting for Surface Pen issues
Here are some things to try first, in no particular order, if your Surface Pen won’t work or connect to Bluetooth.
- 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 the pen.
- Open apps and use your Surface with touch. If you can’t use your finger on your Surface, refer to this guide – Touchscreen not working. After the Touch is working, try your pen again.
- Check the battery level of your pen. If you’ve paired your pen you can check this in your settings. Go to 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.
- Check your pen settings. To check your cursor, handwriting, and top button settings, go to Start > Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink. To check your pen pressure settings, open the Surface app and select the Pen tab to adjust it.
- Pair the Surface with the Pen manually. Check the LED light on your pen. If you aren’t sure what the LED light on your pen means, refer to this
- Update your Surface firmware & drivers
- Run the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit.
Specific troubleshooting for Surface Pen issues
In the case you experience specific Surface Pen issues as listed below, you can try the associated, recommended troubleshooting.
1) How do I know which Surface pen I have?
If you’re not sure what Surface Pen you have, refer to this Microsoft guide.
2) Your Surface Pen won’t ink.
If your pen doesn’t ink, do the following:
- Test the LED light functionality. If the LED light doesn’t turn on, this is a power issue.
- Run Windows Updates or the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit.
- Restart your Surface, even if it already restarted during Windows Updates.
- Replace the battery.
3) Your Surface Pen won’t pair with your Surface device.
Do the following:
- On your pen, press and hold the top button until the LED light blinks to turn on Bluetooth pairing mode.
- On your PC, select Start > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
- 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.
Microsoft Classroom Pen doesn’t support Bluetooth or pen cap functionality.
If you don’t see your pen in the list of devices, the LED light can help you identify the issue (see the chart below). Press and hold the top button of your pen for 5-7 seconds.
4) The light on your Surface Pen is blinking red or doesn’t turn on.
Here are the things you need to know:
- If the light on your pen is blinking red, you may need to change the battery.
- 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 the light on your pen doesn’t turn on and you’ve replaced the battery, your pen may need to be replaced.
To request a replacement Surface Pen, do the following:
- Head to Device service and repair page on Microsoft.com. 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.
5) Clicking the Surface Pen top button doesn’t open the assigned shortcut.
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.
You may need to pair the pen with your Surface again after you change the batteries. If the assigned pen shortcut still doesn’t open when you click the top button or the LED doesn’t turn on, contact Microsoft Support.
6) Clicking or double-clicking the Surface Pen top button doesn’t do what I want.
Make sure Bluetooth is on and your pen is connected to your Surface. Refer to section 3) above.
You can change your pen shortcuts so the buttons do what you want them to. Do the following:
- Go to Start > Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.
- Under Pen shortcuts, select the apps you want your shortcuts to open.
7) The Surface Pen buttons don’t work or the writing is jagged and inaccurate.
Try pairing your pen with your Surface device again.
8) The pen tip is broken, lost, or worn out.
Refer to this guide for how to replace Surface Pen tip.
I hope you find this guide helpful!