Surface Pro - intermittent pen inaccuracy when hand is on the screen

EDIT: If this issue affects you too, consider also leaving feedback in the feedback hub:

Reporting the issue:

For insiders:  (currently 76 votes)

For non-insiders: (currently 17 votes)

Requesting the possibility to disable tilt correction:

For insiders:  (currently 15 votes)

For non-insiders: (currently 1 vote)

Begin Original Post:
I have a brand new pen/surface pro 2017. If my hand is not on the screen, the pen is perfectly accurate, even at an angle. About 50% of the time, if I begin a stroke with my hand already resting on the screen, there is a significant offset of the pen line to the actual tip position. This makes hand-writing nigh impossible. Calibrating is useless, since if I calibrate to correct the offset, then 50% of the time it is now offset in the other direction. Here is someone else's video of this phenomenon:

Is this a software or hardware issue? Should I replace my pen? My surface? Both? 

Update: After more experimentation, and based on the feedback here and on reddit, the issue is almost certainly electrical, and has as much to do with the back of the device as the front. Some users report that if the user is touching the metal case of the surface and resting a hand on the screen, the offset happens. For some people it seems it is the reverse, with touching the metal case actually stops it from happening. Microsoft, what say you? Is a firmware fix in the works?

Update 2: The issue is clearly widespread, and seems to be either a design flaw or a bug in the driver for the pen. Also, this problem is not limited to only the early pens as it is confirmed occurring in a black pen as well. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be a case of a faulty unit. Also, it seems to be the case that what is happening is that the pen corrects for parallax when it is tilted using the tilt sensor. When this problem presents itself, the parallax correction cuts out. However, it is not the case that the pen is registering no tilt, as line width is unaffected (in apps that vary line width based on tilt). So, for some reason the parallax correction only is affected by having electrical contact with the screen while inking.

to quote Beirot: "It seems that the new pen has a tilt sensor that allows it to compensate the parallax when tilting the stylus. For some reason, the behaviour of the sensor is being affected by grounding/electrical/magnetic issues due to the naked hand contact with the tablet (if I electrically isolate the contact of the hand with the pen the problem persists). Old Surface pens and the compatible new Wacom Ink don´t correct the parallax when tilting the stylus, so they don't show this random problem, they simply lose their accuracy." Thus, using an older pen or the wacom Bamboo pen "solves" the issue. As far as I am aware, Microsoft has not recognized the existence of the issue yet, which makes me less than optimistic that a solution will be forthcoming from them.

Update 3: Microsoft has recognized the issue, and is apparently searching for a root cause of the issue. It is possible a software fix will not be possible and we are stuck. It is also possible a software fix will come down the pipeline and this whole episode will be history. Using an illustrators glove helps a great deal, but is not ideal.


Hey Everyone,

As of 8/8, the fix to address this issue has completed testing and is now live, please go update your Surface Pro via Windows Update to get the latest download. You can obtain this fix by checking Settings > Update & security > Windows Update

The Surface Pro Update History page is in process of being updated with the details of this release.

BryanH [MSFT]

Microsoft Surface Team

47 people found this reply helpful

Was this reply helpful?


Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback.


Question Info

Last updated September 16, 2021 Views 74,963 Applies to: