How to Fix It When Your Surface Pro Camera Is Not Working

Troubleshoot issues with your Microsoft tablet's camera

The Microsoft Surface Pro has two integrated cameras: a front-facing camera for video conferencing and a rear-facing camera for recording video or snapping photos. These cameras are designed to work by default, but bugs or hardware issues may cause issues. Here's how to fix it when your Microsoft Surface camera isn't working.

Why Isn't the Camera Working on My Surface Pro?

The Surface Pro's integrated cameras may stop working for a number of reasons.

  • The video app you're attempting to use with the camera does not detect the camera.
  • Multiple apps are attempting to use the camera simultaneously.
  • Privacy settings in Windows or the app you're using have blocked access to the camera.
  • Your antivirus software has blocked access to the camera.
  • The camera's driver is out of date or faulty.
  • The camera is disabled in your Surface Pro UEFI settings.

How to Fix It When Your Microsoft Surface Camera Is Not Working

These solutions should fix a non-working Microsoft Surface Pro camera. They apply to both front-facing and rear-facing cameras. While these instructions are intended for the Surface Pro, they apply to all Surface devices running Windows 10 or Windows 11.

  1. Select the correct camera in the app you're using. The Microsoft Surface Pro has a front-facing and rear-facing camera. This can cause confusion if the wrong camera is selected.

     Zoom app settings menu with Front and Rear camera selection box highlighted
  2. Check for conflicts between apps trying to access the camera. Only one app can access the camera at a time, so the camera will not work in a second app if the first remains open.

  3. Perform a Windows Search for Camera privacy settings and open the search result. Verify that camera access is enabled and that apps have access to the camera.

    You will also see a list of apps which can have camera access enabled or disabled. Check that access is enabled for the app you want to use with the camera.

    Windows 10 Camera Privacy app and the camera access toggle highlighted with On
  4. Restart your Microsoft Surface Pro. This will clear most bugs or software conflicts.

  5. Run Windows Update. This will download and install new drivers, which may fix a camera issue caused by a bug in the camera's driver.

  6. Open your third-party antivirus software if you have one installed. Examine its settings to make sure the camera is not blocked. Alternatively, try temporarily disabling the antivirus to see if the problem is fixed.

  7. Perform a Windows Search for Device Manager and open the top result. Expand the System Devices category, which is found near the bottom of the window.

    Look through the list of devices to find Microsoft Camera Front or Microsoft Camera Rear. Check if the icon next to the device shows a down arrow. If so, that means the device is disabled. Right-click the device and then select Enable Device.

    Windows 10 device manager displaying Microsoft Surface camera device entries with Enable Device highlighted
  8. If the camera was not disabled, right-click Microsoft Camera Front or Microsoft Camera Rear in Device Manager and tap Disable Device. Then right-click the camera again and select Enable Device. This effectively reboots the camera and , may clear up any lingering conflicts.

  9. Still in Device Manager, right-click Microsoft Camera Front or Microsoft Camera Rear and then select Uninstall device.

    Once uninstalled, tap Action in the menu at the top of Device Manager and then select Scan for hardware changes. The camera you uninstalled will reinstall and again appear in Device Manager.

    Device manager with the right-click context menu with Uninstall Device highlighted
  10. Shut down your Microsoft Surface Pro.

    Hold the Volume Up button and then press the Power button. Continue holding the Volume Up button until the Surface UEFI appears.

    Select Devices from the menu on the left. A list of system devices will appear with toggles to enable or disable each device.

    Check the Front Camera and Rear Camera are enabled. If not, use the toggles to enable them. Exit the UEFI to return to Windows.

    Surface UEFI with Devices and enabled device toggles highlighted.

The Camera Still Won't Turn On?

If these steps above fail to help, the problem is a hardware fault with the camera or cameras on your Surface Pro. You can verify this by attaching an external USB webcam to see if it functions.

If it does, but the Surface Pro's cameras still will not respond, then a hardware fault is likely. You should contact Microsoft support for repair or replacement.

  • How do I switch the camera on a Surface Pro?

    To change from the rear camera to the front camera on a Surface Pro, open the Camera app on the Surface Pro, then swipe down to reveal Camera Options. Tap Change Camera to change from the rear to the front camera. Tap Change Camera again to go back.

  • How do I take a screenshot on a Surface Pro?

    To take a screenshot on a Surface Pro, press and hold the Power and Volume Up buttons. On older Surface Pros, press and hold the Windows button and the Volume Down button. Alternatively, use the Snip & Sketch app by opening the Windows 10 Action Center and selecting Screen snip.

  • How do I connect AirPods to a Surface Pro?

    To connect AirPods to a Microsoft Surface device like the Surface Pro, open the Windows 10 Action Center on your Surface Pro and select All Settings > Devices > Add Bluetooth & other devices > Bluetooth. Open your AirPods case and press the button on the back until the light flashes. Select your AirPods from the Surface Pro screen and click Done.

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