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Surface Pro X: the stylus works, the camera doesn't at the moment

Photo: Microsoft

Users who use a Microsoft tablet from the Surface Pro X series are currently confronted with a curious problem: the camera no longer works. Both on Reddit and in Microsoft's user forum, numerous people report the outage. According to the report, the cameras of the devices suddenly stopped working on May 23.

The Surface Pro X was Microsoft's attempt to combine the functionality of Windows with the efficiency – and therefore battery life – of ARM chips. When the series was launched in 2019, it was the thinnest and lightest Surface model, but not the cheapest with a starting price of 1149 euros.

Error Message Not Helpful

There is still speculation about the reason for the error that is now occurring. The tech magazine »The Verge« reports that when trying to reproduce the problem on a Surface Pro X, calling the camera led to the cryptic error message 0xA00F4271<MediaCaptureFailedEvent> (0x80004005).

One user told Forbes that a Microsoft support representative told him that an update had triggered the bug. Others suspect that a digital certificate is the reason for the outage. Such certificates are used, for example, to secure digital connections – and must be renewed regularly. This, it is assumed, could have been forgotten here.

Reinstall Windows or...

On Reddit, a user reports that the only way to fix the problem was to reset the computer completely and reinstall all programs. A process that would not only take a lot of time, but would also involve the loss of all installed programs and the data stored on the device. In the user forum, a Microsoft employee urges those affected to be patient, they are in the process of investigating the problem. So far, there has been no official statement from the group.

However, users have now found a workaround that can be used to fix the error, at least temporarily. Accordingly, the camera works again if you reset the date in the system settings to May 22 or an earlier date. In the long run, however, this method cannot be a solution, because some online logins only work if the time on the user's computer and the target system is synchronous.

Ultimately, users of the Microsoft tablets in question can only wait until the manufacturer provides a fix that gets the cameras going again.