How to set up Surface Dial on Windows 10

Got a new Surface Dial? Here are the steps to set it up and what you need to know.

Setup Surface Dial on Windows 10

Surface Dial is a new kind of accessory aimed to help you optimize the way you work and create. It’s compatible with any PC, laptop, or tablet running Windows 10 with support of Bluetooth LE (Low Energy).

With simple presses and turns this accessory can bring up the most used shortcuts, controls, drawing tools, and more to keep you focus on your work, instead of spending time thinking on keyboard shortcuts or menu navigations.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to set up Surface Dial on your Surface Studio, desktop PC, laptop, or tablet running Windows 10. Likewise, you’ll get everything you need to know about its features, how to use gestures, and maintenance tips.

How to add Surface Dial to Windows 10

To pair a Surface Dial to your device using Bluetooth connectivity, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Bluetooth.

  4. Turn on the Bluetooth toggle switch.

  5. Pop the bottom of the Surface Dial.

  6. Press and hold the pair button.

    Surface Dial pair button
    Surface Dial pair button
  7. Select the device on the Bluetooth settings page.

  8. Click the Pair button to add the Surface Dial to your computer.

Once you completed the steps, you can start using the accessory immediately.

How to customize Surface Dial settings

You can customize its features on Settings > Devices > Wheel, and you can add up to three custom shortcuts to make it more personal.

Surface Dial comes preconfigured with a number of global controls that work across apps. Some of these shortcut, including media controls to control volume and play music. And you can even use to navigate playlists or control music above the Lock screen.

The accessory offers haptic feedback, a vibration that makes it intuitive to be precise with the controls.

You can also quickly scroll and zoom documents and web page, undo and redo, adjust screen brightness, and more.

How to use Surface Dial gestures

Surface Dial has an intuitive design that requires only three simple gestures, including press and hold, click, and rotate.

Once the accessory is connected to your device, simply “press and hold” to bring up the menu. “Rotate” to find the tool shortcut you want, and “click” to select or use the shortcut.

Some apps only let you click to use actions. For example, in the Maps app, you can click to select tilt, and then you can switch between aerial and street view.

How to keep Surface Dial working properly

The accessory work two AAA alkaline batteries that you can replace by simply popping the bottom.

The bottom of the Surface Dial is also built with stiction, a material that allows to easily stick to the screen, such as the one from Surface Studio.

If you find that Surface Dial is sliding more than desired, you can simply wipe any dust built up at the bottom with alcohol wipe, damp cloth, stick tape, or lint roller.

Surface Dial tech specs

Surface Dial
ExteriorCasing: Aluminum
Color: Magnesium
DimensionsDial: 2.32 x 1.18 in (59 x 30 mm) (D x H)
Base: 2.12 x 0.15 in (54 x 4 mm) (D x H)
Weight145 g with batteries
Battery life12 months typical (4-hour daily use)
WirelessBluetooth Low Energy
Frequency: 2.40 GHz
Range: 2 meters
Capacitive-touchscreen detectable (Studio only)
Power2 AAA alkaline batteries
FeaturesCompatibility: All Windows 10 devices
Press and hold: For menu
Rotate: Freely/continuously (both directions); 0.30 N-cm resistance torque
Click: Activates a momentary switch with 300g force; Rotate detection functional in up and down button positions
Dynamic feedback: Provides tactile feedback in software adjustable increments
On-screen detection: Touch digitizer reports the onscreen location through a capacitive pattern (Studio only)
AppsBluebeam (Revu)
Drawboard (Drawboard PDF)
Mental Canvas (Mental Canvas Player)
Silicon Benders (Sketchable)
Smith Micro (Moho 12)
Spotify (Spotify)
Staffpad (StaffPad)
Windows (All)
Word, PPT, Excel (Office Win32)
OneNote (UWP version)
Windows Maps
Groove Music
PewPew Shooter
Microsoft Photos
About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].