Surface Pen Not Working: 5 Possible Reasons and Fixes

If your Surface Pen isn’t working, there are several potential reasons why. It may not be paired, the battery could be dead, you may not have the latest update, the pen is broken, or the app doesn’t support the pen. Thankfully, there are also plenty of possible fixes.

Using a Surface Pen can provide a unique and exciting experience that allows you to effortlessly draw, click, and navigate on your Surface device. But if yours won’t work for one reason or another, it can be incredibly frustrating.

With that in mind, this guide is going to take a closer look at some of the many reasons why your Surface Pen may not be working, and the ways that you can fix the issue.

Key Takeaways

  • The reason your Surface Pen isn’t working is likely due to a pairing issue, a dead battery, an outdated device, a broken pen, or trying to use it in an app that doesn’t support the pen.
  • The fixes for this issue include properly pairing the pen, charging or changing the battery, updating your Surface, fixing the pen, or making sure you are using the right apps and programs.
  • If none of these fixes work for you, or you are experiencing an issue not covered here, it is a good idea to reach out to Microsoft support or consider getting the pen repaired or looked at.

It May Not be Paired With Your Surface Device

One of the most common reasons your Surface Pro may not be working is that it is not paired with your device. Simply trying to use your pen on your Surface device without pairing will not be effective and you will get none of the functionality.

Thankfully, the process to pair the surface pen is quite simple. However, the exact steps you take will depend on whether you use Windows 10 or Windows 11.

On Windows 10 devices, you should head to Settings > Devices > Add Bluetooth or other device > Bluetooth. After this, press and hold the top button of the pen for 5-7 seconds, until the light flashes white. Now, you should be able to complete the pairing on your device.

If you have a Windows 11 device, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Add device > Bluetooth, and then the process continues the same way, by simply pressing and holding the top button of the pen for a few seconds.

Once the pen is paired, you should be able to use it without an issue on your device. Also, keep in mind that your pen can only be paired with one Surface device at a time.

The Battery Could Be Dead

There is also a chance that the battery within your Surface Pen is dead. The way that this issue gets fixed depends on the type of Surface Pen you have. Some types of Surface Pens have replaceable batteries, while others will need to be recharged when they run out of juice.

If yours calls for replacement batteries, simply twist the pen and pull the eraser end to open up the pen and allow for quick and easy battery replacement. If your Surface Pen needs to be recharged, there are several accessories that can charge it for you.

Once the batteries have been replaced or sufficiently charged, you should be able to use the pen as normal once again.

You Haven’t Installed the Latest Update

In some cases, experiencing Surface Pen issues can be caused by your device not having the latest version of Windows installed. Updates often contain fixes for common device issues, and being out of date can contribute to a wide range of problems with your device and accessories.

To fix this issue, or see if an outdated device is what is behind your problems, consider updating your Surface. To do this, go to Settings > Update & Security, and then click Check for updates. If there are any to be installed, consider doing so and see if that rectifies the issue.

The Pen is Broken

Of course, the pen could also be broken, and that is why it is not working properly. This could come from getting dropped, getting stepped on, or even an internal component of the pen breaking for one reason or another.

If it is broken, you have a few options. You can reach out to an expert about getting it repaired, but if that isn’t an option, you will need to replace it. The Surface Pen does have warranty if you buy it new, but it may not cover physical or accidental damage caused by you.

The App You’re Using Doesn’t Support the Surface Pen

When many people use a Surface Pen, they seem to think that it can be used at any time and with any program, however, this isn’t the case. While there is a lot of support for the pen, there are also plenty of apps that it won’t work with.

If everything seems fine with your pen, and it pairs normally, your issue could simply be that the program you are attempting to use it with doesn’t allow it. The fix for this is to simply use an app or program that allows for the use of the pen.


Here are a few commonly-asked questions about Surface Pen issues, as well as their answers.

Why is my Surface Pen not showing up in Bluetooth?

If your Surface Pen isn’t showing up as a device in Bluetooth, consider turning your Surface off and back on, or performing a force restart. If this is ineffective, the next step would be to reach out to Microsoft support to see if they can help guide you towards a solution that works.

Why is the LED light on my Surface Pen blinking?

If you are experiencing problems with your Surface Pen and the LED light is blinking, it could mean a few things. If the light is blinking for a few seconds, the pen is already paired with another device and needs to be unpaired before connecting to this new device.

If it is continuously blinking, it has power and is trying to connect to a device. If this occurs and no pairing ever happens, try to restart your Surface and attempt the pairing again.

Final Thoughts

The Surface Pen is a helpful and fun accessory, but as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why yours may not be working the way you want it to. We hope that the fixes outlined in this guide have been able to fix your issue and get your pen back in working order.

Have you ever experienced issues with your Surface Pen? If so, which of our methods was the most helpful for you? Let us know in a comment!

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