Fix: Unable to power on Surface Pro 4

6 minute read

Let’s talk about some more Surface Pro 4 problems. After a massive battery drain issue that was connected to the irregular sleep mode, one user has reported on Microsoft Community forums that he’s not able to even turn on his Surface Pro 4 device.

“I received my Surface Pro 4 today and it worked fine. I put it on “sleep” for awhile, came back and turned it on. Once again it worked fine. I made an error and instead of putting it on “sleep” I hit the power button to turn it off when I finished. Now it won’t come on at all. The screen stays dark. If I push the power button I can see lights under the keyboard keys, then if I hit the power switch again they go off. But nothing happens to the screen no matter what I do. Has anyone else suffered from this?”

Can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, how to fix it?

Certain issues with Surface Pro 4 can occur sooner or later, and users reported the following problems:

  • Surface Pro 4 black screen of death – The most common problem that can occur with Surface Pro 4 is the black screen of death. You can recognize this problem by the black screen and the inability to turn on your tablet.
  • Unable to turn Surface Pro 4 on after update, charging, shutdown – Users reported this problem in several instances. Sometimes this problem can occur after a firmware update, but many users reported this issue after charging or shutting down their device.
  • Surface Pro 4 not charging, holding charge – According to users, sometimes your device won’t be able to charge at all. This isn’t a common problem, but several users reported that their Surface Pro 4 isn’t holding charge. This issue is usually related to your battery, so you might want to replace it.
  • Surface Pro 4 not starting, not waking up, not turning on – Many users reported that their tablet isn’t starting at all. According to users, the tablet is unable to wake up or to turn on.
  • Surface Pro 4 not working, not booting – If you’re having this problem, you sometimes won’t be able to boot your Surface Pro 4. In worst case scenario, your tablet might not work at all.

Solution 1 – Perform a two button reset

Unlike for some previous cases, Microsoft staff had an immediate solution for this problem. Reportedly, if your Surface Pro 4 doesn’t wake up, just perform a two button reset, and everything should work fine.

To perform a two button reset on your Surface Pro 4, do the following:

  1. Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.
  2. After Surface turns off, press and hold volume-up button and the power button at the same time, for at least 15 seconds (The screen may flash the Surface logo before 15 seconds, but don’t release the buttons).
  3. After you release the buttons, wait for 10 seconds.
  4. Press and release the power button again, and your Surface will be turned on again.

Although it’s not confirmed, but the sleep mode error on Surface Pro 4 maybe caused this issue, because as you can see above, the user said that the problem occurred after he accidentally put his device into sleep mode.

We can only wait for Microsoft to release the fixing update for the sleep mode problem on Surface Pro 4, and if the issue stops to occur, it was definitely caused by this error.

Also, it won’t hurt to check if everything’s alright with your battery, just in case, because if the battery is damaged, or empty, your device logically won’t turn on.


Solution 2 – Disconnect the power cable and let the battery drain

Surface Pro 4 black screen of death

If you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, you might be able to fix the problem simply by draining its battery. Several users reported that they fixed the problem by disconnecting the Surface Pro 4 from the power adapter and letting the battery drain. This process can take a couple of hours, so it might be best to leave your Surface Pro 4 for 24 hours or more in order to drain the battery completely.

Once the battery is completely drained, you can connect your tablet to the power adapter and check if the issue is resolved.


Solution 3 – Hold the Power button for a minute

According to users, if you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, you might want to try holding the Power button. To do that, simply press and hold the Power button for a minute. If you perform this solution correctly, your Surface Pro 4 will reboot and everything will start working again.


Solution 4 – Use Windows Key + P shortcut

If you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, you might want to try using Windows Key + P shortcut. According to users, your Surface Pro 4 might be running, but with a different Project mode.

Users reported that this issue occurs with keyboard attached, and in order to fix the problem, you need to press Windows Key + P shortcut. After pressing the shortcut a couple of times, your Surface Pro device will start working.


Solution 5 – Disconnect all peripherals

Unable to turn Surface Pro 4 on after update

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by disconnecting all peripherals from your tablet. If you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, you need to disconnect your power adapter, keyboard and other devices that you have connected to Surface Pro.

After doing that, press and hold the Power button for a minute or two. Release it for 30 seconds and press and hold it again for 5-10 seconds. After doing that, your tablet will turn on and everything will start working.


Solution 6 – Connect your Surface Pro to a different power outlet

Few users reported that you can fix this problem simply by connecting your Surface Pro 4 to a different power outlet. If you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, be sure to connect it to a different power outlet in your home and try again.

Users reported that they were unable to turn Surface Pro 4 on because their device was connected to a power outlet with other devices. After connecting Surface Pro 4 to a different outlet that doesn’t have other devices attached to it, the issue was resolved and Surface Pro 4 started working again. This isn’t a guarantied solution, but you’re free to try it out.


Solution 7 – Wake up your Surface with hotkeys

Surface Pro 4 not charging

Sometimes this problem can occur after putting your Surface Pro to sleep. If you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, you can try waking it up by pressing certain hotkeys.

To do that, press Windows Key + Ctrl + Shift + B button on your keyboard. If you’re using Surface Pro 4 in tablet mode, simultaneously press both Volume up and Volume down buttons three times quickly. This should wake up your tablet and everything will start working again.


Solution 8 – Charge your battery

If you can’t turn Surface Pro 4 on, it’s possible that your battery is drained. Charge your Surface Pro 4 for 30 minutes or more and then try to turn it on again. This isn’t a universal solution, but it might be helpful, so feel free to try it.


Solution 9 – Put your laptop in a cold room

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by putting your tablet in a cold room for 30 minutes or more. After cooling off your tablet, put it back in your room and wait for 30 minutes or so. Now try to turn your tablet back on again.

This is a crude workaround, but many users reported that it works, so you might want to try it out. Keep in mind that putting your tablet in cold environment can damage it, so use this workaround at your own risk. If your device is still under warranty, you might want to take it to the official repair center.


Do you have some other issue on your Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book device, that we still didn’t cover? If so, tell us in the comments, and we’ll try to find the solution for you.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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