Months after its launch this past October, its believed by some that Microsoft may have sold more Surface Pro 4 during the holiday than any other product in its hardware portfolio. Certainly, the Surface Pro 4 is all that people can talk about in Windows circles. Some of that talk is praise for the device’s internals and the way that it marries the notebook and tablet form factors. More often than should be the case, that talk focuses on random issues that the device has.
The Surface Pro 4 certainly isn’t a bad device. Its thin and light body make it a great ultrabook/tablet. The companion Type Cover that users are encouraged to purchase with it is a dream to type on. The Surface Pro 4’s 12.3-inch display is beautiful to look at. In time, it’s safe to say that Microsoft could have millions of Surface Pro 4 buyers on its hands.
Trouble is, Surface Pro 4 problems mar the experience for some. Since the device’s launch date, buyers have flocked to communities and Microsoft’s own Answers website looking for ways to fix the Surface Pro 4 problems they’ve run into. Here’s how to fix the Surface Pro 4 issues that we and Surface Pro 4 users have run into thus far.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Touchscreen Lock/Device Lock Up
By far, one of the most annoying Surface Pro 4 problems seems to be freezing. Some users are reporting that their device completely locks up sometimes, keeping them from interacting with their apps and files with a keyboard and with touch. What is causing this remains unclear. It’s also unclear when Microsoft will have a fix for this in place.
When it happens, reset your Surface Pro 4 by holding down the power button until your Surface Pro 4’s screen goes black. Press the power button to turn the device back on. Microsoft recently released a firmware update to address this issue.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Screen Won’t Rotate/Missing Rotation Lock
Want to use the Surface Pro 4 as a digital notebook? Chances are that if you do, you’re turning the Surface Pro 4 in portrait mode so that it has the same rough dimensions as a legal pad. Tablet users rotate their screen so much for different activities that it’s easy to take it for granted.
Some users report that their Surface Pro 4 won’t let them rotate their screen out of landscape and into portrait mode. In fact, the screen rotation lock button disappears from the Action Center. Why this happens is a bit unclear, but it does seem to be directly related to the way the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t let users rotate their display when a Type Cover is attached. Try attaching your Type Cover back to your Surface Pro 4. Then detach it again. The Rotation Lock button should reappear in the Action Center.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Windows Hello Won’t Work
Windows Hello lets Surface Pro 4 owners login to their device without a password or passcode. It’s terrific when it works. Unfortunately, sometimes it fails to work properly, saying that it can’t identify you in a room – even though camera is pointing right at you.
Go into the Settings app in from the Start Menu. Now look for Accounts and Select Sign In Options. In the Sign In Options area look for a button that lets you Improve Recognition for Windows Hello. Try to get the angle that your face is usually at when you’re using your Surface Pro 4. If you have glasses, be sure to get a scan with your eye wear on and off.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Type Cover Mouse and Keyboard Won’t Work
Sometimes the Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover keyboard simply stops responding. If this happens to you, detach the keyboard then use your finger to restart your device from the Start Menu. Connecting the two together and they should work fine going forward.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pen Won’t Work
Randomly your Surface Pen may stop working with your Surface Pro 4. To fix the problem, pair the pen again with your device.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Apps Can’t use Camera Correctly
Sometimes you’re ready to record some video or capture an image with an app when the camera on your Surface Pro 4 fails to work correctly. This usually happens when you’ve recently used the dedicated Camera app.
Go back to the multitasking menu and drag the Camera app to the bottom of your screen to close it. Now try the original app again. If this doesn’t work you may need to restart.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Display Driver Crashes
Surface Pro 4 has a very, very nasty problem with its display driver crashing. The device will restart the driver itself, looking to you as if you display simply blinked for no reason. In our experience, it’s Microsoft’s Edge web browser causing this issue. Try browsing to the same site in Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome.
Update: Microsoftrecently issued a firmware update that fixed this issue.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Surface Pro 4 Won’t Boot/Stuck on Boot Screen
There seems to be a firmware issue that keeps the Surface Pro 4 from booting or starting up correct when the Type Cover is attached, but folded backward. Detach your Type Cover if this is happening to you. Your Surface Pro 4 should start immediately.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Apps Wont Open
Sometimes apps on the Start Menu won’t open with touch. They’ll register a touch, but nothing happens afterward. In some cases, apps will do this repeatedly before finally opening correctly.
You can repeatedly tap to open the app or restart your device. Sometimes selecting that same app with a mouse pointer works too.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Blue Screen When Watching Video
Update: On more than one occasion our Surface Pro 4 has crashed and restarted itself while watching video specifically. The reason why remains illusive, but we’ve able to track the issue down to a bug related to video playback in Windows 10. Try watching the video with Internet Explorer instead of Microsoft Edge. If the issue happens often with a YouTube app in the Windows Store, try watching that same video through your web browser.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Blue Screen
For some reason, Surface Pro 4 devices are getting a blue screen just after users wake it from sleep. It’s unclear what the cause is yet. The only fix for this issue will have to come from Microsoft itself. For now, let the device gather information about what caused the crash, then restart your device.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: One Column of Tiles on the Start Screen
When the Surface Pro 4’s cover isn’t attached, you can send the device into Tablet Mode, giving a Start Screen with Live Tiles for all of your installed apps. The Surface Pro 4 uses upscaling to render everything that it’s showing you. This scaling makes buttons, text and more appear bigger than if scaling was off. Unfortunately, this also has a side-effect of allowing just a single column of Windows.
You can fix this by adjusting the scaling on your device. Go into the Settings app and select System. In Display, which is the first screen that opens, look for the slider labeled “Change the size of text, apps and other items.” Surface Pro 4 is set to 200% by default. 175% or less lets you see multiple columns of Live Tiles with Tablet Mode on and portrait mode enabled.
Surface Pro 4 Problems: Speaker Pop
All Surface Pro 4 devices seem to have a driver issue that causes their speakers to make a popping sound when users log in. Don’t worry, this is not a hardware issue. Your device’s speakers aren’t bad.
Update: Microsoft has released a Surface Pro 4 firmware update that kills this problem in most apps. However, it sometimes still occurs with Bluetooth headphones and inside the Movies & TV app.
We hope these fixes can help you cope with any Surface Pro 4 problems that you run into. Gotta Be Mobile will continue to keep this list updated with fixes and advice as more about these issues are revealed.