Microsoft is arguably the most well known electronics manufacturer, and make a wide range of devices. Microsoft makes laptops with touchscreens as well as tablets, but there can be a hardware or software issue that stops the touchscreen on a Microsoft Surface from working at all. If the touchscreen on your Microsoft Surface tablet is not responding to touch, this is what you should do.
In general, identify if the issue with the hardware or the software by going into the UEFI settings in Windows. If the touchscreen doesn’t work from the UEFI menu, the issue is with the hardware, which needs to be repaired or replaced. But, if it does work, then do the steps below.
Refer to this article from Microsoft that shows step by step instructions for how to access the UEFI menu on Windows. When the touchscreen works from the UEFI screen it means the issue is with your Windows operating system. To fix it you need to:
- Disable and enable the touchscreen drivers from the Device Manager
- Install the Windows update (if available)
- Back up and do a clean install of Windows
Reasons Why Your Microsoft Surface Tablet Is Not Responding to Touch
There are a limited number of reasons why a tablet is not responding, and it’s a matter of trying each of the different troubleshooting steps one by one until you identify why it’s happening. Here are the 5 reasons the touchscreen on a tablet is not responding to touch.
Overall, your tablet needs to be restarted, the firmware or OS needs to be updated, you need to factory reset your tablet, or a component has failed such as the screen digitizer and it needs to be repaired by a repair technician. For Windows tablets, the drivers can also need to be updated.
It’s worth noting that there is a quick fix, which doesn’t solve the issue but will get your tablet working temporarily. Almost all tablets have a micro USB port, except for Apple tablets which have a lightning connector. You can plug a micro USB to USB adapter – or lightning cable to USB cord – and then plug in a mouse and/or keyboard into your tablet.
That way you can use your tablet until you fix it. But, to do each of the troubleshooting steps to fix it, you don’t need to do this.
And you can use the physical buttons on your tablet, such as the volume button, and the power button. Here are each of the steps, ordered from easiest to do, and most likely to fix the problem.
1. Do a soft reset on your tablet
Restarting a tablet closes all the open apps, and restarts the operating system on your tablet. Restarting electronic devices like tablets is a well known method that fixes a large percentage of issues, is easy to perform, and doesn’t take very long. So, this is the first thing you should try.
On most tablets you can restart it by holding down the power button until it turns off. If you’re unsure how to soft reset your tablet, then look for the specific instructions for your brand of tablet using Google. For example, search for ‘how to reboot a samsung tablet’.
Then follow the instructions from the manufacturer. How to do it is almost always also explained in the owner’s manual for your tablet so you can refer to that as well.
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on 2023-02-19.
2. Update the firmware and operating system (OS)
It’s widely reported online such as on Reddit forums that a particular update can cause the touchscreen to stop working. And is caused by a bug with a specific update. Typically, this gets found by the software developers that create the operating system updates.
Or, after a few days enough people complain that the developers patch the update within a day or two, which solves the bug. To update the operating system (OS) on a tablet when the touchscreen is not working you need to use a desktop computer or laptop.
You download the software to connect your tablet to your computer. This varies by tablet manufacturer.
For example, on an Samsung tablet you download Samsung Kies or Samsung Smart Switch. Whereas, on iOS tablets such as an iPad you use iTunes on your computer.
3. Update the touchscreen drivers – Windows tablets only
Drivers are special types of software for each of the different components on electronic devices like laptops, and tablets. Behind the scenes they communicate information between the operating system, and the components – in this case the touchscreen. If they are out of date, they can cause conflicts behind the scenes on a tablet, and can stop the touchscreen from working.
They are fairly easy to update. Go to Device Manager by searching for it in the Start Menu. It will bring up a list of all the components on your tablet, such as the camera, motherboard, and touchscreen. And you right click on the touchscreen from this list and then select ‘update drivers’.
4. Factory data reset
A factory data reset is recommended if you’ve tried all of the above steps and it’s still not working. However, it’s the last step you should try because it will wipe everything on the tablet. Deleting everything on a tablet will reset all the settings and apps to the default, and fixes a range of software conflicts that can occur with apps or the operating system.
Which causes the touchscreen to not work properly or not at all. Before doing this step, you should copy anything you want to keep to a desktop computer, or an SD card.
5. Needs to be repaired by a technician (issue with the digitizer)
If you’ve done all of the steps above then it means there is a physical issue with the touchscreen on your tablet. It needs to be repaired or replaced by a repair technician. If your tablet is covered under warranty then it’s possible the cost of the repair will be free of charge.
But, if the damage is found to have been caused because the tablet was dropped or water got into contact with it (non-waterproof tablets only). The electronics for the digitizer can have failed, there is a loose connection, or is cracked or broken. To fix this the cover on the touchscreen needs to be removed, and inspected.
Contact the manufacturer first to find out how best to get it repaired. They can also let you know if the repair is covered under warranty or not, and where to get it repaired.
General Fix For When Microsoft Surface Tablet Is Not Responding to Touch
The touchscreen on a tablet is very convenient to use, and should work 100% of the time. In rare cases, the touchscreen on a tablet will stop working all together, will only work on certain parts of the screen, or stops working randomly but then start working again. Read on to learn why this happens, and how to fix the touchscreen on a tablet that is not working.
In general, first restart your tablet, then update the firmware and operating system (OS) using the computer software for your tablet. If you have a Windows tablet, reinstall the drivers for your tablet. Finally, do a factory reset, and if it’s still not working contact the manufacturer.
At a high level, there is either an issue with the software on your tablet, or one or more of the components on your tablet. Each of the troubleshooting steps you should do when the touchscreen on your tablet is not responding are easy to do. I have covered these in detail with step by step instructions, so please refer back to the top section of the article.
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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2023-02-19.