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Troubleshoot Surface Pen Not Working in OneNote

I recently encountered an issue with my Surface Pen not working properly in OneNote, causing frustration and delays in my note-taking.

Update Your Drivers and Device

Surface Pen and laptop with update icon

If updating the drivers does not solve the issue, try resetting the Surface Pen by removing the battery and reinserting it. Make sure the pen is paired correctly with your device and that the firmware is up to date.

If the problem persists, try using the pen on another device to see if it works there. This can help determine if the issue is with the pen or the device itself. You can also try using the pen in a different app to see if it works there.

Check Pen and Surface Compatibility

  • Make sure that the Surface Pen is compatible with your specific Surface device.
  • Check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility information.

Verify Battery Level

To verify the battery level of your Surface Pen, follow these steps:

1. Open the Microsoft Store on your personal computer.
2. Search for the Surface app and download it if you don’t already have it installed.
3. Launch the Surface app and locate the Surface Pen settings.
4. Look for the battery level indicator in the settings menu to see how much charge is remaining.

If the battery level is low, replace the battery with a fresh one to ensure your Surface Pen functions properly in OneNote.

Re-Pair Pen with Surface

Surface Pen paired with a Microsoft Surface device

If your Surface Pen is not working in OneNote, the first thing you should try is to re-pair it with your Surface device.

To re-pair your Surface Pen, first make sure it has a fresh battery. Then, go to your device’s settings and navigate to the Bluetooth section.

Forget the Surface Pen from the list of paired devices and then re-pair it by pressing and holding the top button of the pen until a light blinks.

Once the pen is successfully paired, try using it in OneNote again to see if the issue has been resolved. If not, you may need to update the firmware of your Surface device or contact Microsoft support for further troubleshooting.

Restart Your Device

If your Surface Pen is not working in OneNote, a simple solution to try is restarting your device. This can often resolve connectivity issues with the pen and get it working again.

To restart your device, press and hold the power button until the options to power off or restart appear on the screen. Then, select restart and wait for your device to power back on.

Once your device has restarted, try using the Surface Pen in OneNote again to see if the issue has been resolved. If the problem persists, you may need to try other troubleshooting steps to fix the issue.

Restarting your device is a quick and easy way to potentially resolve issues with the Surface Pen not working in OneNote. If this method does not work, you may need to explore other troubleshooting options to get your pen working properly again.

Run Troubleshooter and Adjust Settings

Run Troubleshooter:
If your Surface Pen is not working in OneNote, the first step is to run the troubleshooter to diagnose and fix any issues. To do this, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. Look for the option related to pen or touch input and run the troubleshooter to see if it can identify and resolve the problem.

Adjust Settings:
If running the troubleshooter does not solve the issue, you may need to adjust some settings on your device. Go to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink. Make sure the settings for your Surface Pen are configured correctly and try adjusting them as needed. You can also try updating the drivers for your Surface Pen by going to Device Manager and selecting the pen device to update the driver.

Check Bluetooth Connection:
If you are using a Bluetooth-enabled Surface Pen, make sure it is properly connected to your device. Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and check if the Surface Pen is listed and connected. If not, try pairing it again by following the on-screen instructions.

Request a Replacement Pen

Replacement pen

Reach out to Microsoft Store customer support via phone, email, or live chat to request a replacement pen. Be prepared to provide proof of purchase, such as a receipt or order confirmation, to validate your request. If the pen is still under warranty, you may be eligible for a free replacement.

Once you have submitted your request for a replacement pen, follow any instructions provided by Microsoft Store customer support to complete the process. This may include returning the malfunctioning pen or providing additional information to verify your claim. Keep track of any communication with customer support for reference.

After receiving your replacement pen, test it in OneNote to ensure that it is functioning properly. If you encounter any issues with the new pen, contact Microsoft Store customer support again for further assistance.


Why isn’t my stylus working on OneNote?

Your stylus may not be working on OneNote because the draw feature may not be enabled. Check in the settings under Advanced to make sure that the Enable drawing checkbox is checked. Additionally, ensure that you are using a compatible stylus for OneNote.

Why has my Microsoft pen stopped working?

Your Microsoft pen may have stopped working due to a depleted AAAA battery. Press and hold the eraser button on the end of the stylus for five to seven seconds to check the battery status. If the LED light does not turn on, replacing the battery should fix the issue.

How do I enable pen mode in OneNote?

To enable pen mode in OneNote, simply click on the Draw Tab and select Full Page View or click the Expand icon. If you have a Surface pen that undocks from your device, OneNote will automatically switch to pen mode when the pen is undocked.

Why is my Surface Pen connected but not writing?

Your Surface Pen may be connected but not writing because the pen tip needs to be removed and reseated, the AAAA battery may need to be reseated or changed, or there may be a loose connection inside the pen. Try these troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.

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