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Three Quick Steps to Charge the Battery of Your Surface

The 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 nice little clicks as they fold in and out, just like the keyboards do.

But although the charger plugs into the wall easily, politely leaving room to plug something into the adjacent outlet, the charger’s other end isn’t quite as well designed. Theoretically, its five little metal pins line up with the five little metal pins on your Surface’s right edge.

Practically, though, the charger is difficult to attach, and it often leaves you wondering whether it’s even charging your device. That’s not a good feeling at the airport. You’ll regain your confidence with this little secret:

When attached correctly, a little light begins glowing on the charger’s flat 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.

  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. The connector fits in either way, with the cord pointing up or down your tablet’s edge.


    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 flat part of the connector. Keep rocking the connector from side to side until the light glows. Then don’t touch it!

  3. Wait for the Surface to charge.

A dead Surface with Windows RT charges to about fifty percent in an hour; it fills completely in another hour. The Surface with Windows 8 Pro takes a little longer to charge.

  • The Surface can only be charged with its bundled proprietary charger. At the time of this writing, Microsoft doesn’t offer any chargers that plug into a car’s cigarette lighter.

  • 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 both Surface models. If possible, though, plug your Surface into the wall first.

  • The Surface with Windows 8 Pro’s power adapter puts out 48 watts to charge its large battery. Its adapter also includes a USB port for charging accessories, a handy feature missing from the RT version’s power adapter.

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