I’ve recently unboxed a brand new Surface 3 and Surface Pen, and was relieved to see that they survived the transcontinental trip they took to get to me. I could write with the Surface Pen, but for some reason, the OneNote button on the pen didn’t do anything. Clicking it once didn’t launch OneNote, and double-clicking it didn’t take a screenshot like it would in the Surface commercials I’ve seen.
A quick search finally revealed that the Surface 3 will not prompt you to pair the Surface Pen via Bluetooth during Windows setup, like it would with the Surface Pro 3. This is understandable as the Surface Pen is not bundled with the Surface 3 like it is with the Pro 3.
To pair the Surface Pen, you need to swipe the Charms menu out from the right-edge of the screen, tap Settings, Change PC Settings, PC and Devices, Bluetooth, and ensure that Bluetooth is turned on.
If a Surface Pen is already listed, you’ll need to click it, then click Remove Device. If it isn’t, then you’ll need to hold down the top button on the Surface Pen for seven seconds until a light on the pen begins to flash. The Surface Pen should shortly appear in the list of Bluetooth devices on the Surface 3. Simply click it, then click Pair and that’s it, the Surface Pen should now be paired to your Surface 3.
Using the Surface app, you can customize the top button on the Surface Pen to launch either the desktop or Modern versions of OneNote, whichever you prefer.
I’ve never paid any attention to the booklets and instruction manuals that accompany the tech gadgets I’ve bought over the years. Blenders, microwaves, and other kitchen appliances, yes, because they confuse me, but never for phones and tablets. I certainly didn’t read the ones that came with the Surface 3 and Surface Pen, even though in hindsight, I should have.