Microsoft Surface won’t turn on: black screen, totally unresponsive [troubleshooting guide]

Is your #Surface device having a problem turning on? Read on! Today, we provide solutions on how to fix this trouble.

Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.


There are several reasons why your Surface may appear not to turn on:

  • if you’re using a Surface Book, its keyboard may not be attached to the screen causing it it look unresponsive
  • power cord, adapter, power connector, and/or charging port may be damaged
  • something is plugged into the charging port in the power supply unit
  • power supply may be broken
  • it’s in power saving mode
  • Windows won’t run or ¬†is corrupted
  • its screen assembly is broken
  • It has a battery issue
  • it has become unresponsive
  • there’s a general hardware issue

Because a lot of these causes manifest in different ways, your logical first step is to know what symptoms are showing in your own device. If your Surface won’t turn on at all and it has the following symptoms as mentioned below, this is the right troubleshooting topic for you:

  • Surface logo not showing
  • screen remains black
  • no LED light indicators are lit
  • nothing happens when you press the power button

How to troubleshoot a Surface that won’t turn on

Before you proceed with the solutions below, make sure that your Surface is not merely in power-saving mode. By default, a Surface device screen will automatically turn off to save battery power. Also, make sure that you it’s not hibernating. If not used for a few hours, Surface will go into hibernation by saving tasks and shutting down by itself. If any of these states is true though, pressing the power button should bring the device back on. For those using Surface 3, it’s possible that the battery may have simply drained. Be sure to charge it for at least 10 minutes before turning it back on. It can take 10 to 15 minutes for the Windows logo to show depending on how low the battery is.

If nothing happens, proceed with the solutions below.

Make sure that accessories are not damaged.

Your Surface device works best when connected to the power supply provided by Microsoft. If you’re using a third party adapter or cables, be sure to use the original ones that came with the device and see what happens.

Also, make sure that the power accessories are not damaged. Bent or broken power cables can cause power-related problems so be sure to check them one by one.

A good way to know if one of the accessories is to blame is by checking the power connector light. If the light is off, contact Microsoft to have the power supply replaced.

If you’re getting a flashing light on the power connector, there may be a bad connection between the power supply and the Surface device. Again, talk to Microsoft on how to replace the power supply unit.

Try a force restart

Sometimes, all you need to do to revive a non-responsive Surface is a force restart. To do it, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for 30 seconds. Make sure that you don’t let the button go before 30 seconds is up. The screen is expected to flash so just ignore it.
  2. Release the button after 30 seconds.
  3. Then, press and release the Power button to turn it back on.

If you have a Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3 and the phone remains unresponsive after performing a force restart, you need to contact Microsoft to have your device serviced. There must be a hardware-related issue preventing the device from powering back on.

Shut down your Surface using dual buttons

This solution is only recommended for Surface Pro models only. If you have a Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3, don’t attempt this step.

Dual-button shutdown is employed when a Surface Pro device did not turn off completely. This often occurs when Windows becomes unresponsive, or if a program prevents Windows from completing the shutdown procedure. To do a dual-button shutdown, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for 30 seconds. Make sure that you don’t let the button go before 30 seconds is up. The screen is expected to flash so just ignore it.
  2. Release the Power button after 30 seconds.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up button and the Power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and then release both. The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
  4. Wait for 10 seconds after releasing both buttons.
  5. Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

If your Surface Pro will still not respond or turn on at all, that’s an indication that the issue is beyond your level to fix. Contact Microsoft for assistance.


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