Microsoft Surface Pro not turning on?

Your Microsoft Surface Pro is not turning on? No idea what to do? Been there, done that… Allow me to share some simple things you can try to fix the problem.

That day has come for me. My Surface Pro 4 running on Windows 10 would not turn on. I immediately blamed it on a broken charger, since I’ve run over the power cord a few times with my chair. This theory was quickly proven wrong after I borrowed a good working charger from my cubicle neighbor – it didn’t make any difference. So I started my quest for answers. I’ll give you a list of things to try starting from the most likely ones to the least likely ones to be effective in solving this issue.

Try This First!

This is what actually worked for me, so try this first.

  1. Press and hold the POWER button for exactly 30 seconds. You may want to set a timer on your phone or tablet to keep track of the time.
  2. At the 30 seconds mark, we are gonna briefly release the POWER button.
  3. Immediately after that press and hold both POWER and “+” buttons for 15 more seconds.
  4. Keep holding down both buttons even if you see the screen turning on and displaying “Surface UEFI” menu.
  5. Release both buttons at the 45 seconds mark on your timer.
  6. Wait for at least 10 seconds.
  7. Try to turn on your tablet now.
    You can also watch how to do this in my YouTube video here:

Try Another Charger

Your charger may be bad. Try to borrow a known working charger from someone and test it. You may want to let it charge for a while, before attempting to power on your Surface. It may take up to 30 minutes before you can turn it back on if the battery was completely drained.

Keep Holding It…

Try to hold down the POWER button for exactly one minute and then release it. Your Surface Pro should reboot and start working again.

Try Different Power Outlet

Your power outlet could be the reason. Try another outlet or test it using another device like a lamp or a hair drier.

Unplug The Charger

I’ve seen this issue happening a few times on Surface tablet that are used as display boards that were plugged in 24/7. Often after installing Windows Updates and rebooting those tablets would not turn back on even when manually pressing the POWER button. I had to take them out of the protective brackets, unplug the charger connector, and only then I would get the screen to turn on. Then almost every time there would be a message on the screen saying “Working on updates, do not turn off your computer”. Seems like some Windows updates either don’t install properly or fail to install, causing your tablet to freeze in this limbo state.

Drain The Battery

This one may not be a quick fix at all. If the previous method didn’t work for you, you can try to unplug your Surface Pro and drain the battery. Depending on the health of the battery, this may take hours or even days, but hey, it’s not like you have much choice anyways… Try to plug in the charger every 12 or 24 hours and check if you can turn on your tablet.

Unplug Everything

Another thing you can try is unplugging everything from your Surface Pro: mouse, keyboard or any other USB device, remove SD card, etc. Try to power on your table now.

Did It Work For You?

Did any of these methods work for you? If yes, which one? Please leave a comment below (no registration required) and let me know. I would really appreciate your feedback! Also, if you found any other ways or tips for fixing this, please share it!


Published: August 3, 2018.