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Driving me nuts: Pen constantly "lost" (i.e. SP3 not reacting to it). WHY???


While I do indeed love my SP3 there is one thing that regularly drives me nuts and for which I already wanted to throw it out of the window several times: it constantly "looses" the pen!

Meaning: I am, say, happily inking away and taking notes in some meeting, then I am resting for a few seconds e.g. to follow the discussion and when I want to continue inking and take notes, there is suddenly no reaction from the tablet. It does not react to the pen any more! Keyboard or mouse are fine, but the pen is ignored: i.e. the cursor is not following it, the pen's buttons don't show any effect. It is, as if bluetooth suddenly got disabled and/or the pen disconnected or unpaired. And indeed, often - if I bring up the bluetooth settings and quickly disable/reenable BT - then the pen is back again. I can then ink and point again etc. only to witness the pen suddenly AGAIN not working any more a few minutes later. Sometimes this happens in mid-inking. Suddenly no reaction to the pen any more! This is SOO distracting, frustrating and over time really maddening!

As I had to learn it is obviously the tablet's "fault", not the pen's. I first suspected the pen to have an issue. A new battery didn't help. Then I bought myself a second pen, just to witness the exact same infuriating effect with it as well. So I conclude: It's apparently the tablet that causes these connection losses.

Any idea anyone what could cause this? Could the pen driver be constantly crashing or any other plausible reason? Any solution or workaround anyone?


New Member
same problem here...(also tested 2 pens)...I didn't check the SP4 Pen, can anybody confirm the problem there?


Active Member
I have a Surface 3 and a Surface 4 Pro pen. I don't have that issue. I do run into the issue that the pen behaves like a passive pen in OneNote sometimes. But that may be my wrong doing :)


Super Moderator
Staff member
It is interesting that by turning bluetooth off and on it works again, because the pens inking capability has nothing to do with bluetooth. Have you spoken to MS about this? Only time I've experienced this was due to the AAAA battery, but you've clearly ruled this one out.


My thoughts...If the battery is new and you've tried multiple pens then it is the tablet.

Either corrupt OS, which could be fixed by reinstalling the corrupt pieces (a reset may be the quickest way). OR you have bad hardware. Maybe the Bluetooth chip is bad or overheating.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk


Well-Known Member
I agree, Bluetooth shouldn't affect inking. I wonder if you loosened the pen to have the battery disconnect and reconnect, it would start inking again. I'd also go to the MS store and show them and have them loan you an SP4 pen to test. I'm pretty sure that you probably won't get anywhere with MS phone or online with this problem. It's pretty esoteric for them to troubleshoot.