The Surface pen is a digital stylus made by Microsoft for use on devices like the Microsoft Office 365 and the OneNote. It allows you to write, draw, mark-up your documents and take notes.
Like every device out there, it is not perfect and has been reported to have stopped working on occasion. Issues with the surface pen are usually from the connection or with the tip.
Problems with the tip and how to fix
Some users have reported that while their pen’s eraser appeared to work, the pen’s tip didn’t seem to, as they could not draw or write with it. One of the following could fix the issue with your Surface Pen’s tip.
Check that you have the latest windows update and that drivers are not out of date or corrupted –
To check that you have the latest windows update, navigate to your windows settings, click on update and security, and then the grey button with the check for updates label. Your Surface should automatically download any available updates and drivers from Microsoft’s servers.
If the issue is with your pen’s drivers, you can fix this by reinstalling the pen’s driver. To do this, simultaneously hold down the windows-key and the X key or right-click on the start button. From the list, select Device Manager, right-click on Surface Pen from your list of devices and the menu, select Uninstall device. Confirm that this is what you want to do by clicking Uninstall on the confirmation dialogue. Once that is done, click the Scan for hardware icon to reinstall the drivers and then check if the problem still exists.
Check that your pen is compatible with the program or app –
To make sure this is not the issue, open the windows ink workspace by clicking the pen icon at the lower-right of the windows 10 taskbar near the clock. Select screen sketch and then try drawing on the screen with your surface pen.
Run the troubleshooter –
Glitches can be fixed automatically by running the built-in troubleshooter. Simply navigate to Settings, tap on the Update & Security section, choose Troubleshoot from the left-hand side menu, pick Hardware and Devices from the list and click on the Run the troubleshooter button. If the problem persists, you can also run the Bluetooth troubleshooter.
Check that your surface pen’s battery is not flat –
Depending on the model of the pen, the eraser button location and design may differ. Press and hold this button for five to seven seconds. A small LED light should come on. If it doesn’t, your battery is dead and needs replacing. You can replace the battery easily by firmly twisting and then pulling the eraser end of the stylus and then swapping out the old battery for a new one. If the light still does not come on after making the swap, check that the AAAA battery is properly inserted, as some users have found that they could fix this issue by simply flipping the battery. Also, check that it is not a case of dust on the contacts of the battery. If after all this, the issue persists, your pen may need to be replaced.
PS: A green LED light indicates that the battery is charged while a red light means it is almost flat and needs to be replaced.
Check if other devices interfere with your device-
Some users claim that other electronic devices like their lamps interfere with their touchscreens. Although this is unlikely, you can try simply moving away from such devices and if that is the issue, your surface pen should start working again.
Problems with the connection and how to fix it
Sometimes, the issue with your surface pen might just be something wrong with the connection to your device. If that is the case, one of the following should work:
Check that your surface pen is paired –
While pressing and holding the eraser button, if the LED light blinks continuously, this might mean that while the pen has power, it is unpaired. To pair, while still pressing down on the eraser button, navigate to Settings on your device, click on Devices, click Bluetooth & other devices, select Add Bluetooth or other devices (+) and then Surface Pen to pair. If that doesn’t work at first, restart your device and try again, if it still doesn’t work, your pen might need to be replaced.
Check that your surface pen is not paired already-
If the pen blinks 2-3 times and then stops, this might mean that your pen is already paired. Check first that it is paired to your device. To do this, navigate to Settings, click on Devices and then, Bluetooth & other devices, select Surface Pen from the list of connected devices, click Remove to un-pair and then re-pair.
If after all this, your surface pen is still not working, it may be damaged and in need of replacement. You should contact Microsoft Support for a guide towards the next step