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Surface 3: Plugged in but not charging


I know you are so frustrated to arrive at this page. I know; trust me. I’ve been there.

I’m not a pro; I don’t have any scientific explanation for the causes of the famous “plugged in but not charging” issue.

I’ve tried everything out there only to prove most of them fake hopes.


My “not charging” scenario:

When my Surface was on, it won’t charge, no matter what I do. However, it could be charged when completely powered down; sometimes.


My solution:

Important: each of the following steps may or may not at all be a relevant factor to the solution, but these steps are what I’ve taken. Here is how I solved this issue trial-n-error fashion.


Perhaps you have already updated the battery driver for more than 6 times and is feeling stupefied and is asking God “why me”.  Well, I’m not going to tell you to update battery driver for the 7th time.

Here we go.

1. Having proven that the original charging cable came with the Surface box failed to charge, I turned to other USB cables to try my luck; Sony and other unknown manufacturers alike, they didn’t work. So I thought about the higher quality USB cable that I bought for my home stereo system.

2. I drained my Surface 3 by running video until it shut itself off. Then I charged it over night. When fully charged, I drained it again. I used my hi-fi grade USB cable to charge, with adapter connected directly to wall socket that also supplies power to my hi-fi system. I flipped the power plug polar once or twice.

one draining

one charging

one draining

one charging

one draining

3. After the 3rd full-draining, I left my Surface 3 at the corner for one full day (at least, I guess).

4. In desperation, I even said to it: “Maybe I should let you go and buy a new one that have all the new tricks.”

5. Full-charge. After which, it worked. It now charges when running. It now charges when the adaptor is connected to any other multi-socket and/or wall socket in my little joint.


However, it works only when using my hi-fi grade USB cable. The “plugged in but not charging” issue still re-appears whenever I use other regular USB cables; the ones that have black rubber coating. To make sure best connection, my hi-fi USB cable’s micro end is made significantly “tighter” than the regular micro USB cables that come from appliance/PC manufacturers. This observation presents an obvious conclusion: in addition and not limited to driver, firmware, and power module quality issue, we can not rule out the possibility that USB cable quality may be a suspect, or an accomplice at least, to the seemingly ever-transcendent “plugged in but not charging” issue.


Surface users sharing this same issue, please don’t feel lonely; this issue is not unique to Surface devices; it can be found on other brands; even premium models from highly respectable manufacturers.


I hope my redneck, hillbilly, duct tape style fix can get you out of the same ____ hole that bogged me down.



作者:Evan Liu

60% 魔羯 + 30% 處女 + 8% 射手 + 2% 天秤



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