How to Connect a Microsoft Surface to Another Computer

Connecting your Surface device to a networked PC

This article provides instructions for connecting a Surface device to another computer wirelessly using Windows 10's native sharing feature, Network Sharing, or a cloud sharing service.

Use Nearby Sharing to Wirelessly Connect Surface to PC

Syncing a Surface with PC and sharing files with other users used to be pretty straightforward with old-school computer networks, but things have become a bit more interesting since the removal of Windows 10’s HomeGroup feature and the introduction of several wireless options to connect Microsoft Surface to PCs and other smart devices.

“Can I connect my Surface to my PC?” Yes, you can. You now have more ways than ever before for making Surface computer connections. This article will break down each connection method and show you how to use them.

The methods for connecting a PC to a Surface in this article apply to all Surface, Surface Pro, Surface Go, and Surface Laptop models with the latest Windows 10 update installed.

By far, the easiest way to connect a Surface device to a PC for sharing content is to use Windows 10’s native Share feature. This built-in feature uses Bluetooth to send files between computers wirelessly and doesn’t require users to be a part of any existing network or use any usernames or passwords.

  1. Locate the file on your Microsoft Surface that you want to share with a nearby PC user.

    Locating an image to share from a Surface to a PC in Windows 10's File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the file’s icon.

    Right-click menu for files in Windows 10.
  3. Click Share.

    Share options for files in Windows 10.

    You may have multiple links in this menu that are also called Share. Make sure you click on the one with the arrow icon to the left of it.

  4. A box should pop up with contacts at the top and apps and services that you can use to share files along the bottom. In the middle of these suggestions will be a list of available nearby devices. Click the target PC once it appears.

    Windows 10 Nearby sharing option.

    If your Windows PC isn’t showing, make sure it has Nearby sharing turned on within its Action Center.

  5. You should receive a notification informing you that your Surface is trying to connect and send a file on your PC. Click Save to save the file or Save & open to save it and immediately open it for inspection.

    Save & Open and Save notification from a Surface Pro.

Use a Cloud Service to Sync Surface With PC

Cloud services such as Dropbox and OneDrive have been game-changers for sharing files between devices, backing up content, and syncing data and folders between computers.

Cloud services let you create an online folder that can be accessed by multiple users and synced between devices. For example, by adding a Dropbox folder to your Surface and then logging in with the same account on your PC, you’ll have two identical folders that continuously sync as files are updated, added, and removed.

Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service comes pre-installed on all Windows PCs and Microsoft Surface devices. Still, you may also want to check out Dropbox, Google Drive, and the growing number of alternative cloud options for sending large files over the internet.

Connect Microsoft Surface to PC With Network Sharing

While the HomeGroup feature was removed entirely in 2018 as part of the Version 1803 Windows 10 update, it is still possible to share files and folders with other devices via a network connection.

There are many solutions to try if you're having trouble connecting your Windows 10 device to a network.

Here’s how to connect a Surface to a PC while on a network.

  1. Right-click on the file you want to share.

    Photos in Windows 10 File Explorer.
  2. Click Give access to.

    Give Access to in Windows 10 file options.
  3. Click Specific people.

    Specific People in Windows 10 network sharing options.
  4. From the dropdown menu, select the user's name or device with which you want to share the content. Choose Everyone if you want it to be available to all users on your network.

    Everyone in Choose People to Share With options in Windows 10 on Surface Pro.
  5. Click Share.

    Share button on Choose People to Share with options in Windows 10 on Surface Pro.
  6. A message will confirm that you've shared the file on the network. If you like, you can click on the email or copy link in the message text to copy the network location for the shared file to your clipboard. You can then send this to others in an email or via a messaging app.

    A file being shared to a Windows PC from a Surface Pro.

Connect Surface to PC Monitor or TV

If you don’t need to send or receive files between your Surface and PC and you’re simply trying to find out how to project or mirror your workspace or content onto a larger screen, you’re in luck. There are many methods for connecting your Surface to your PC monitor wirelessly and using a cabled connection. You can also connect your Surface to a TV screen or projector as well.

Can I Connect a Surface Keyboard to PC?

Surface keyboards (Type Covers and Touch Covers) have a loyal following due to their form factor, variety of colors, and ability to double as a screen protector for the various Microsoft Surface models. Unfortunately, Surface keyboards can’t be used as regular keyboards on traditional laptops and desktop computers due to their Surface-specific design and lack of Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.

On the bright side, most Bluetooth keyboards designed for PCs can connect to all Surface Pro, Surface Go, Surface Laptop, and every other Surface model.

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