Surface Pro 4 Type Cover suddenly stops working

I’m seeing more and more reports of borked Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 Type Cover keyboards, likely linked to last month’s firmware/driver updates.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Type Cover suddenly stops working
Gordon Mah Ung

Yet another report of problems with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. This time the symptoms involve a suddenly dead Type Cover, a missing driver — and no help from Microsoft. There are tantalizing hints that the bug arrived with a recent pushed software update, and it may affect some Surface Pro 3 machines as well.

Poster kzh91 on the Microsoft Answers forum describes the problem:

After a recent surface pro 4 firmware update, my 'surface type cover filter device' driver disappeared, and my type cover no longer works. … I have tried doing a restart, hard restart, uninstalling the existing keyboard drivers and clicking on scan for hardware changes, but the surface type cover filter device doesn't come back. My type cover was attached throughout this process. I do not wish to refresh windows as i don't want to have to reinstall everything, and i can't roll back the surface firmware updates.

Looking at the other complaints on that thread, it appears as if refreshing Windows doesn’t help at all. For some subset of Surface Pro 4 users (no doubt a “small number” of customers), the keyboard doesn’t work, and Microsoft isn’t answering questions.

On the Surfaceforums blog there’s a distressingly similar complaint about the Surface Pro 3. From poster rodmartinelli:

I have experiencing some trouble to setup my surface cover keyboard. It is a new device and has never worked. It appears in device manager as HID Keyboard but not Surface Cover. Tried to uninstall drivers and reinstall but still unsucessful. Tried to "reset" drivers by holding Volume up + Power button for 10 seconds but it has just took me to bios menu. Does anyone knows if there is a different way to reset drivers or to change HID Keyboard driver to Surface proper driver?

There are similar reports from Singapore, on Windows Central, and many, many more on the Microsoft Answers forum. This report from JasonCliche seems particularly apropos:

Recently the keyboard cover stopped working. I can see it in the "devices" section of the settings app but no keyboard light nor does any key-press work. When closing or opening the cover I can see it hide and show on the setting screen. So the OS see's the cover. It's just not registering any action on the keyboard. In the Devices portion of the Control Panel no errors show up. I tried alcohol swabs on magnets, two button reboot, normal reboot, reinstalling driver from keyboard section control panel, crying softly into my hands... so I took it into the Microsoft store.

At the MS store, they plugged in a USB diagnostics drive and found that it was a driver issue (wish I took a screen shot). We tried another keyboard and it didn't work. He said it was a recent failed MS update that probably caused the problem.

There’s been one report that upgrading from Windows 10 1607 to 1703 (Anniversary Update to Creators Update) solved the problem.

I have no idea what's happening, but the ongoing complaints about bad Surface drivers and woeful support certainly strike a chord.

Have a problem with your Type Cover? Tell us about it on the AskWoody Lounge.

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