My Surface RT Won’t Charge: Updated

Well, unfortunately, as a journalist I need to deliver unbiased and fair information to my readers.
Today has been a sad day. Every weekday I use my Surface to keep up-to-date with any important tech news and then I write about that news.  I plug my Surface into the same outlet every weekday. Today, though, I plugged it in and something strange started happening, namely, the screen brightness kept adjusting itself every three or four seconds. I restarted the device but had no success. Finally, I remembered that the brightness adjusts itself depending on whether or not you’re connected to a power source. So I check the connection to the wall outlet, and that looked fine. Lastly, and perhaps the place I should have started first, I looked at the indicator light on the power connector that was attached to the Surface. The white indicator light was not on. No matter how much I fiddled with it, the light would not turn on.


I tried every available outlet in the office to no avail. At this point, it’s possible that the problem is either the charger of the Surface itself. I can’t fully diagnose this at my office, but I’ll update this post when I find out which of the two is the issue.

The good news for Microsoft is that I have not been able to find another report like this anywhere. I feel kind of lonely, but at least I know the issue isn’t as widespread as the dreaded “Ring of Death” on Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

For now, Microsoft has some good suggestions for fixing this if you are having a similar issue.

You can find their suggestions here.


Ok so the good news is that I have a faulty power supply and not a faulty Surface. I went to my local Best Buy and asked if I could try the power supply that was attached to their demo unit. Their power supply worked perfectly so I was able to deduce that mine is broken.

After fiddling with mine some more by twisting and pushing the end of the cord that attaches to the wall wort (the square shaped thing that plugs into your wall) I have been able to get it to start charging. I’m not confident that this will work for long, though.


I went to a Microsoft Store and explained that my power supply was broken and they replaced it without argument. If there is a store nearby, I’d recommend doing this.

  • Clint V

    Well, I have the EXACT same problem as the original post. I will add that while the screen was self adjusting from bright to less brought every 2 second or so, the charging symbol was appearing and disappearing next to the battery icon. My surface is completely dead now. I have messed with the charging cable at all points and I haven’t been able to bring any life to the charging light.

    I am almost tempted to attempt to put a small charge using the USB port. I’m not sure if that would actually work, or damage the hardware.

    I have a friend with the same surface RT, so i will swap chargers and see if mine works with his surface, and if his will charge my surface.

    Sorry, I don’t have any answers yet, but I think it’s a lot more common than the post mentioned initially.

  • Giu

    I’ve had the same problem. Bought a new cable, one year on, surprise surprise: same problem again.

  • Adeline

    Same problem. Honestly I am thinking of changing to a real laptop such as toshiba or lenovo. The surface has given me far too many issues.I suggest to not invest in the later models of the surface, but I’m sure that the newer models are not any better.