Three Quick Steps to Charge the Battery of Your Surface

The Microsoft Surface’s bundled charger is lightweight, smaller, and flatter than many adapters, making it easy to carry. In the North American version, the outlet’s prongs make sturdy little clicks as they fold in and out.

The charger plugs into the wall easily, politely leaving room to plug something into the adjacent outlet. The charger's other end has five little metal pins that line up with the five little metal pins recessed into a gap along your Surface’s right edge.

When attached correctly, a little light begins glowing on the charger’s end. If you don’t see that little light, try wiggling the charger until it seats more firmly in the slot.

Follow these steps to charge your Microsoft Surface:

  1. Unfold the prongs from the charger’s long end, if necessary, and plug them into an outlet.

    On North American models, the prongs fold in for easy storage and out for plugging into a wall. Plug the charger into the wall so it doesn’t cover the second wall outlet, and you’ll leave room for plugging in other gadgets.

    On the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, you need to plug the charging cable into the charger. It’s easy to see which end fits into which spot.

  2. Place the prong’s small end into the charger on your tablet’s lower-right side.

    The five magnetically charged metal ports on the end of the charger cable should mesh with the five magnetically charged ports on your tablet’s lower right side. The connector fits in either way, with the cord pointing up or down your tablet’s edge.

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    If the connector doesn’t snap tightly into the groove, it won’t charge — even when it feels like it’s in place. The key is to look for the little light on the connector. Keep rocking the connector from side to side until the light glows. When it glows, it’s charging.

    On some newer chargers, the glowing light surrounds the plug’s tip; on others, it’s a tiny pinpoint of light.

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  3. Wait for the Surface to charge.

Your Surface takes between two and three hours to charge completely. It may charge in less time, depending on how low its battery has drained. You can use your Surface while it’s charging, but the charging time will take longer.

For such a simple device, the charger leads to a long list of stipulations:

  • You can’t charge the Surface from another computer’s USB port.

  • You can charge your phone or other USB gadgetry from the USB port of any Surface. If possible, though, plug your Surface into the wall first to avoid draining its battery.

  • In a pinch, you can charge any Surface with the charger from any other Surface model. However, the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 charge much more quickly when using their own Pro chargers.

  • For travelers, Microsoft offers a portable charger that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter.

  • The power connector doesn’t fit very easily into the Surface RT and the Surface Pro; a gentle rocking motion usually snaps it into place. On the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, the connector snaps into place much more easily.

  • Unlike the 24 watt chargers bundled with the Surface RT and Surface 2, the power adapter bundled with the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 puts out 48 watts. Its adapter also includes a USB port for charging accessories, a handy feature missing from the power adapter bundled with the Surface RT and Surface 2.

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