How to Turn On a Microsoft Surface Device

From powering-on to setup to a complete installation

What to Know

  • Press the Power button to turn on your Surface device. On most devices, the button is on the upper or lower edge of the display.
  • If your Surface device is new or you've reset it, Windows 10 setup will begin after it powers on.
  • Follow the prompts to set your region, keyboard layout, Wi-Fi network, and other preferences.

This article covers how to turn on and set up a Microsoft Surface Device for the first time. The instructions here apply to all Surface devices currently sold by Microsoft and many now discontinued.

How to Turn On a Microsoft Surface Device

Press the Power button until the Microsoft Surface device turns on. This should take only a few seconds.

Nearly all Microsoft Surface devices have a power button along the display's edge, on the upper or lower right-hand corner. The button looks and works like the Power button found on many smartphones.

The power button highlighted on a Microsoft Surface device.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop and Laptop Go are the exceptions. They have a power button on the upper right-hand corner of the keyboard.

Setting Up a Microsoft Surface Device

Windows setup will launch immediately if your Surface Device is new or was reset since the last time you turned it on. Here's how to get through it.

  1. The setup tool will prompt you to select a region. It should default to the correct one, but you can scroll through the list to find the country or area you reside in if it doesn't look right.

    Tap Yes to continue.

    The region selection screen during a set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  2. You'll be asked if the keyboard layout suggested is correct. If it's not, find the right layout from the list. Tap Yes to continue.

    Next, you'll be asked if you'd like to add a second keyboard layout. This is only necessary if you use different keyboards for different languages. Most people can tap Skip.

    The setup keyboard layout selection during the set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  3. The next step asks to pair a Surface Pen with the device if it shipped with one. Follow the on-screen instructions and tap Next to pair a Surface Pen, or tap Skip to move on.

    You can always pair a Pen later.

  4. You'll be prompted to select a Wi-Fi network. Tap a Wi-Fi network to select it and then enter the network's password.

    Tap Next to continue.

    The Wi-Fi network selection during the set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  5. The Windows 10 License Agreement will appear. Tap Accept to continue.

  6. The next screen asks whether you're setting up your Surface device for personal or enterprise use. This guide is focused on personal devices, so select that and tap Next.

    Those setting up a Surface device from an organization should contact that organization's IT department for further instructions.

    The account selection during a set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  7. Setup now asks for your Microsoft account information, including email and password. Enter that information and tap Next.

    A Microsoft account is required to complete setup unless a Wi-Fi network wasn't selected during the second step.

    The Microsoft account entry screen during the setup of Microsoft Windows 10.
  8. If your Surface device supports Windows Hello facial recognition login, you'll be prompted to set it up. Tap Set up to enable the feature or tap Skip for now to continue.

    This feature, if supported, can be enabled later.

    The Windows Hello screen during the set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  9. You'll be asked to set up a PIN for your device. Tap Create PIN to continue.

    The Create a PIN screen during the set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  10. You'll see several successive menus offering the choice to enable or opt-out of sharing your personal data for features and services. None of these features are a must-have, so we recommend you decline them if you're unsure what to do.

    You can change your Windows 10 privacy settings after the setup is complete.

  11. Next up is the option to back up your files to the cloud with OneDrive. Tap Next to enable this feature or tap Only save files to this PC to skip it.

    The OneDrive screen during a set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  12. The next screen will remind you that your Office apps are installed. You likely won't see this screen if you're not a Microsoft 365 subscriber.

    If it does appear, tap Got It to continue.

  13. Setup asks if you'd like to set up Cortana. This is up to your preference, though I'll note that Microsoft has moved away from supporting Cortana in recent updates.

    Tap Accept to fully enable Cortana or Not Now to move past the feature. You can turn Cortana off (or on) after setup.

    The Cortana screen during a set up of Microsoft Windows 10.
  14. It might take a few minutes to finalize your settings. The Windows 10 desktop will appear when finished.

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