Why is Surface Pro Running So Slow & How to Speed it Up

If your Surface Pro is running slowly, it could be because it is overheating, you have too many apps/programs open, or your operating system is out of date. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to speed it up including cooling it down, closing apps, and updating it.

Is your Surface Pro running slow?

A Surface Pro is an incredibly versatile device that is just as good at playing games on the couch, as it is getting work done on the bus. Unfortunately, nothing ruins the fun of a device like this quite like poor performance. 

Whether you are having fun or doing research, trying to use a slow Surface Pro will be an annoying experience. Keep reading to learn more about why your Surface Pro might be performing slowly, and how you can speed it up.

Key Takeaways

  • A few of the reasons your Surface Pro might be slow include the fact it is too hot, you are using too many apps at once, or the operating system is out of date.
  • Some ways to speed up your Surface Pro include letting it cool off for a little, closing down a few apps, and making sure you update the device to the newest version of Windows.
  • If your Surface Pro is a little older, age could be to blame. Different programs and software are optimized to work on new devices, and devices with older components may struggle to keep up with certain apps, programs, or games.

Potential Reasons for a Slow Surface Pro

Here are a couple of the reasons why your Surface Pro might be running slower than usual.

1. The Device is Overheating

If your Surface Pro feels quite hot and is struggling to run well, there is a good chance it could be overheating. After being in the sun too long or being used heavily for long periods of time, the internal components of the Surface Pro can become incredibly hot.

Most devices have fans or cooling systems meant to keep parts from getting too hot, but those can often get clogged with dust, malfunction, or simply not be able to keep up with all of the heat being generated.

The reason that overheating can slow a Surface Pro (or any computer) down is because most processors are designed to slow down and reduce power usage in these situations. If they didn’t slow down, they would overheat to an extreme level that could cause permanent damage.

2. Too Many Applications Open/Running

Actively using too many apps or programs at the same time can often be to blame for poor Surface Pro performance. A computer can only handle so many tasks at once, and asking it to do too much can lead to a dip in performance.

Computers only have a finite amount of computing power. If you only have a program or two open, most computers easily have enough power to handle that. But if you have 15 open, that finite amount of power needs to be spread to all of them, which reduces how each performs.

In addition to apps you are actively using, there could be some apps on in the background. These may be running without your knowledge and could be using up a lot of your memory and CPU, too.

Via Task Manager, you can see which applications/programs are consuming lots of system resources.

3. Running an Outdated Operating System

Another potential cause of a slow Surface Pro is that it is running an outdated operating system. Microsoft frequently makes updates to its Windows operating system and many new updates contain performance improvements, bug fixes, and more.

Older versions of an operating system may not be compatible or work well with the apps and programs you use, which can lead to issues like poor performance, freezing, and even crashes.

A Windows update is going on

Ways to Speed Up Your Surface Pro

Here are a few of the best ways to speed up your Surface Pro if it is performing slower than you’d like.

1. Let it Cool Down

If your Surface Pro feels a little hot, letting it cool down can be a great way to quickly and easily restore performance. Simply close down the apps, turn the device off (or put it to sleep) and set it down.

After enough time has passed, and the device no longer feels too hot, you can resume using it. Make sure to keep the device out of the sun and leave it somewhere cool while it rests so it doesn’t continue to stay hot.

2. Close Apps You Don’t Need

Reducing the load on your memory and processor can be a wonderful way to speed up your device. You can do this in seconds by using fewer apps and programs and closing down the ones you don’t need.

As mentioned earlier, programs that are running in the background can also be to blame and should be dealt with, too. If you want to close these programs, open up the Task Manager, right click on the program you want to close, and select End Task.

As you close down programs, you should see your performance improve. Also, there may be some apps that start automatically when you boot up your Surface Pro, that you have no idea are ever running. To check what apps start when your computer starts, go to the Task Manager.

In the Task Manager, you want to go to the Startup tab. In that menu, you can decide what programs you want to start up alongside with your computer, and which you don’t. This page will also show you the impact on each startup that the program will have.

3. Update Your Surface Pro

If you think your poor performance comes from an outdated operating system, make an effort to update it to the newest version of Windows. These updates are often full of bug fixes and other enhancements that can provide a boost to your performance.

While you should have been prompted to make an update when they were made available, it’s possible to miss these notifications. To manually update your operating system, go to Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates.

If there are updates available, you can install them as long as you have enough free space on your device. Once everything has been installed, simply restarting your device will complete the process and your device will be updated.

Also, while it isn’t common, some new updates can have bugs and other issues that may lead to some experts recommending against people updating their devices to a certain version of an operating system. 

As a result, consider looking an update up on Google and make sure it is okay to update to and won’t cause any issues. Updating the operating system also updates drivers, which help your computer and the components in your device communicate and work properly.

Other Solutions

  • Clean up Hard Drive for More Free Space

It’s a best practice that you should have at least 15 percent of free disk space to make your PC run smoothly. That means if your Surface Pro laptop is 85 percent full for more, it’s time to clean up and make some room for it. You can do so manually, by uninstalling unused programs, transferring large files, clearing system registry/junks, etc. You can also rely on a PC cleaning program for efficiency.

  • Check Spyware/Malware

Chances are third-party malware, virus, or spyware may have caught you. They usually do a number of bad things such as damage files, take over web browsers, eat up precious disk space, etc. which will slow down your Surface Pro for sure. How to know? The easiest way to find out is to use antivirus or anti-malware to scan your computer. 

  • Manage Startup Programs

Many programs you’ve installed are notorious for secretly adding themselves to the auto-startup list. Not only will that affect boot time, but you’ll experience more slowdowns or freezing times after the startup. Because these programs can be still running and consume a considerable amount of system resources.

Don’t hesitate to disable or remove them once and for all. On Windows, you can use Task Manager to manage those programs or services. Just right-click on the taskbar (at the bottom), select Task Manager, and go to the “Startup” tab, where you can disable any programs you want.


Here are a few common questions about Surface Pros and how fast they run, as well as their answers.

Which Surface Pro model is the fastest?

In general, newer models of the Surface Pro like the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro 9 will be the fastest and best performing. This is because the newer versions generally have better processors, more RAM, and more advanced components.

Is it normal for an old Surface Pro to be slow now?

Yes, in general, a tablet or computer that is older will normally be slower than one that is new. The reason for this is generally due to the outdated components in older devices. 

Programs and apps are generally optimized to work on newer devices, so trying to use them on an old one can lead to performance problems.

Final Thoughts

While a Surface Pro is a device that can do it all, you want to make sure it is working its best. We hope that this guide has helped you learn why your Surface Pro is slow, and what you can do to help it speed up.

Have you tried other tactics that have helped your Surface Pro perform better? If so, we’d love to hear about them in a comment.

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