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How to set up the Surface 3 pro with a Dock-- what they DON'T tell you


New Member
If you managed to find a dock to go with your Surface Pro 3, you have no doubt discovered that the dock does not work right out of the box. In most cases the video out will not work at all, and the charging port will tell you that it is plugged in but not charging. This, unfortunately, seems to be normal.

The vague drawings in the instructions and the admonitions on forums to "just do the updates" don't really tell you much. Here's the secret. First, you must find and install any updates to the computer itself BEFORE you try to use the dock (that much they tell you in the instructions). Step two is to make sure that the computer's battery has a decent charge in it, it doesn't necessarily have to be fully charged but I'd make sure it is more than 60% (this is because the computer cannot access the power from the dock until after a certain point in the update process). Only then should you plug the computer into the dock, and THEN go through the update procedure AGAIN. A whole bunch more updates will show up. Apparently it is the dock itself that requires many of those updates, and the computer will not download them unless it is attached to the dock.

For those unfamiliar with how to do the update, on the touch screen pull in from the right margin, click on the gear to get to the settings, and at the bottom of the settings menu hit "change PC settings." Then click on "Update and Recovery." There will be a button the next menu which will initiate the update process.

Get ready to spend some time waiting for this to finish. In my case there were 54 updates, and I made the mistake of starting this late at night, which kept me up for way too long.

It looks like there is hardware and memory in the dock that mates a specific dock to a specific computer (see my other post on this subject), so you might to make sure you set up the dock using the computer it will be mated with most often. (To use the dock with a different computer, you'll have to log in on that computer BEFORE you put it in the dock, or it won't accept the password.)

Good luck to everyone. If anyone else has some tips, feel free to chime in. -DA1


So are you saying that you can't just charge it and do all of the updates while docked without doing it undocked first and then docked?


Super Moderator
Staff member
So are you saying that you can't just charge it and do all of the updates while docked without doing it undocked first and then docked?

But I think a moderator might dock you for using that word too much.


New Member
enthuz-- As far as I can parse your words, yes. For some reason the computer will not accept a charge from the dock unless the updates done specifically for the dock are completed. It can detect that it is plugged in to the dock and that there is a charge coming in through it, but for some reason that charge won't go through into the battery, and it also doesn't look like the SP3 can use that power to run itself.


I didn't do anything special with my SP3, just plugged it into the dock and everything worked from the get go. External displays, charging, audio, etc... all worked as soon as I plugged the SP3 in. Not sure why others have needed to jump thru hoops.


I couldn't find this but it should be part of the SP3 FAQ & How To. I will definitely follow the OP's instructions when my setup arrives.

Lee Metcalf

New Member
I didn't have any problems as well. I have two docks as well. One at home and one at work. They both worked without any problems or needing to install updates. Worked right out of the box.

Odd that you had a problem. Even my Pro and Pro2 didn't have a problem with the dock
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