Fix: Surface Pen Driver Error

Surface Pro is one of Microsoft’s flagship computers which have the functionality of both a traditional laptop and a tablet which runs Windows operating system. It also comes with a stylus pen (Surface Pen) which works just like any other stylus and allows you to control your computer with the touch of a pen.

Surface Pens
Surface Pens

You can even launch OneNote by clicking its top button and use it as a mouse. It allows users to have a truly customizable feel when using their Surface Pro. However, recently there have been many scenarios where users are unable to operate their Surface Pen. It either is totally unresponsive or some of its buttons are not working.

What causes the Surface Pen Driver error?

This problem has been there with Surface Pens for quite some time. Microsoft has even officially acknowledged the issue and launched a series of posts and YouTube videos explaining how to fix it. Some of the reasons why your Surface Pen might act out include:

  • The battery on your Surface Pen is weak and is not able to provide power for the pen to operate.
  • There is a problem with the connection between the Surface Pen and the tablet. This is a very common issue and is resolved fairly easily.
  • The Surface Pro is in an error state with the module responsible for connecting and responding with Surface Pen. It needs to be reset.

Before we start with the solutions, make sure that you have administrator privileges on your account and have an active internet connection.

Solution 1:  Reconnecting Surface Pen via Bluetooth

Surface Pen primarily connects with Surface Pro via Bluetooth. For Surface Pen to operate properly, it needs to pair and connected at all times. We can try disconnecting the pen from your computer and then connect it again using Bluetooth. Make sure that your Bluetooth drivers are updated to the latest build.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “Bluetooth” in the dialogue box and open the Settings application.
  2. Once in Bluetooth settings, unpair the Surface Pen. You can do that by clicking Remove Device.
Unpairing Surface Pen
Unpairing Surface Pen
  1. Once the device is removed, restart your Bluetooth by turning it off and on. When the Bluetooth on your computer is active and searching for devices, press the Surface Pen button for about 7-10 seconds until you see a white flashing light. This means that the Bluetooth is in pair mode.
Surface Pen in connect mode
Surface Pen in pairing mode
  1. Now locate the Surface Pen on your Bluetooth screen and attempt pairing with it. Do note that you might encounter several unsuccessful attempts. This behavior was reported by several users. Keep repeating the pairing process and even if you face failure, it will probably connect at the 5th or 6th

Solution 2: Changing the battery of Surface Pen

Surface Pen runs on AAA batteries which power its operations and the capability to connect to the computer using Bluetooth. Using ‘normal’ batteries gets your Surface Pen to work but it wouldn’t work for longer periods of time. Hence heavy duty batteries are recommended such as Duracell etc. You can try changing your batteries and see if this fixes the problem.

  1. Disconnect your Surface Pen with your Surface computer and unscrew
  2. Once the Pen is open, remove the existing battery and insert a new one. Make sure that you take care of the (+) and (-) sides of the battery which you have to insert according to the design. You can easily figure out the way of inserting by looking at the markings.
Replacing battery of Surface Pen
Replacing battery of Surface Pen
  1. Once the battery is replaced, turn the Pen on again and attempt at connecting as in method 1. Check if this fixes the problem.

Solution 3: Power Cycling Surface Pro

Power cycling is an act for completely resetting your electronic component so all the configurations and temporary data get reset and re-initialized when your turn it on. According to our survey, there were several cases where the computer was in an error state and needed a complete power cycle. Save all your work before proceeding.

  1. Shut your Surface Pro down properly using the power options by clicking the start icon.
  2. Once it is shut down, press and hold power and volume-up button for at least 15 seconds. After the elapsed time, release both buttons.
Power Cycling Surface Pro
Power Cycling Surface Pro
  1. Now, wait 10-15 seconds. After the time, press and released the power button to turn on your Surface pro normally. When the Surface Pro turns on, attempt at using/connecting your Surface Pen again. Hopefully, the problem will be solved.

Solution 4: Reinstalling Surface Pen Pairing Driver

Surface Pen Pairing is the main driver responsible for the pairing mechanism between the Surface Pen and the Surface Pro. If it is outdated, corrupt, or is conflicting, you will not be able to connect your Surface Pen with your computer. We can try uninstalling the driver manually and then try installing it again.

The drivers are automatically installed again when you connect your Surface Pen again with your computer.

  1. Disconnect your Surface Pen with your computer as shown in solution 1. Also, take out the battery of your Surface Pen before proceeding.
  2. Once it is disconnected, press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  3. Once in the device manager, navigate to System Device > Surface Pen Pairing.
Reinstalling Surface Pen Pairing Drivers - Device Manager on Windows 10
Reinstalling Surface Pen Pairing Drivers – Device Manager
  1. Right-click it and select Uninstall. Once it is uninstalled, insert the battery back in again and attempt at connecting as done in Solution 1.

If all these methods don’t work, don’t forget to Update your Windows to the latest version available. Microsoft releases several updates overtime to fix bugs and issues.

If you cannot make your Surface Pen despite trying everything, you can try resetting your Surface Pro to factory defaults. Many users reported that this solved the issue instantly because system files were affected.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.