Skip to main content

Surface Pro 3 receives new firmware update today for WiFi connectivity and more

If you are one of the lucky people running a Surface Pro 3, you will want to head into Settings > Update and recovery to check for new updates today. Besides the usual slew of security and x64 patches for the OS, a new firmware update is also being distributed. Firmware is the essential feature to make the hardware and OS work better together, meaning they tend to fix bugs, improve performance, and optimize the user experience.

Microsoft has published the specific changes to this firmware, which is on a rolling basis (meaning you may not see it right away). Here is what is new.

Surface Pro 3 "System Firmware Update – 9/9/2014"

  • Surface Pro UEFI update (v3.10.250.0) improves system experience and enhances overall system stability, including Wi-Fi.
  • Surface Pro Embedded Controller Firmware update (v38.6.50.0) enhanced support for system performance and user experience, including thermostat icon on boot.
  • Surface Pro System Aggregator Firmware update (v3.9.350.0) increases the overall system reliability and compatibility with a Surface cover.
  • Surface Integration driver update (v2.0.1102.0) enhances user experience, including Wi-Fi stability.
  • Surface Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3055.107) improves Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth reliability and system stability, and significantly enhances the user experience.

As you can, the focus of this update appears to be the continuing attempts to improve the Wi-Fi experience on the Surface Pro 3. Customers have complained about poor connectivity, dropped signals, and the "disappearing" Wi-Fi driver, requiring a soft-reset of the device.

How well does the firmware address these problems? It is too early to say, but if you have a Surface Pro 3, you can go and get the update now.

There does not appear to be any firmware updates for the other Surfaces, although they do get RT updates (where applicable) and x86/x64 OS updates, including Office today.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

71 Comments
  • Omg Daniel where have you been
  • Dude, woaw... Calm the fuq down!
  • Mr. Rubino was in prison.
  • Wonder if it will make it use 5ghz on SSID's that share 2.5 and 5ghz? getting 12megabit throughput on a device made in 2014 kind of sucks...
  • A thermostat? Can we get one for the Surface 2? Pwease???? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • All Surface models have the thermostat icon. If you haven't seen it then congratulations. It means your device has never exceeded peak operating temperature.
  • Oh. I misunderstood.. I expected it to let me know the temperature of my surface at all times. *sigh.. Oh wells Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Hope this stops the overheating. I'm excited to get off work and check this out.
  • according to MSFT, the surface doesn't overheat. It just runs hot, and that's ok. Like a car engine you know. It's the way it is meant to be.
  • Coz its a PC. It will become little hot like a laptop.
  • There is no SP3 overheating problem so you will never see some mythical fix. There is a problem with specific SP3s overheating (AKA a manufacturing defect). If yours overheats, contact Surface support and get it replaced. Listenng to people around here about some supposed firmware fix will leave you with a long wait and disappointment. For practical purposes the overheating myth is the equivalent of an urban legend that is keeping people from properly dealing with the handful of defective devices that actually overheat.
  • To be fair, MS explained that it wasn't overheating, the threshold for when it goes in to safety has been adjusted.
  • The other commenters obviously can't read. It was not an issue that it overheated. It was an issue that it inappropriately claimed you were overheating. That bogus claim is what this fixes. As one person correctly said, if yours is legitimately overheating, you should probably exchange it... or at least monitor what programs are running, because they are possibly misbehaving.
  • Would love to know why MS keeps using these Marvell wifi chips and yet, can't get this resolved. These problems existed with SP1.
  • LOL EXACTLY. It's like 3 generation later and they are still patching the SP1 and somehow I'm sure SP4 has yet another wonderful marvell chip in there because, it worked so great the past 3 times :)
  • Yes, exactly. Stop using Marvell and use Intel or Broadcom instead.
  • Noooooo.... I just got done flashing 78 of these with the last firmware.
  • Eager to get the updated on my sp3's!!!!
  • Daniel, seen news that Microsoft is revealing something on Thursday based on windowsphone..not seen any reports here if know any details Pls post...
  • It's people reading too much into things. It is nothing big. Not an app, not a phone.
  • A fish?
  • There is some truth to this.. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • It's a WATCH!!!  No, wait, Apple just got done inventing that.  Disregard.
  • A tablet optimised for dogs?
  • I'm going for kids corner for tablets. we'll get to see Joe's kids and be told who needs API and usability improvements when you can safely give your expensive device to your 3 year old after he ate KFC with his hands. you know, critical stuff here.
  • I used to have devices that would "just work" with wi-fi. Then I bougt a MS surface and made me realize I never knew wi-fi was such complex technology with so many problems, and so many patches required. Makes you appreciate problems the developed world doesn't have. Thanks MSFT. You've changed my life :)
  • Yup, even Apple has WiFi issues on their MacBooks. Not easy stuff to conquer.
  • Daniel, I've owned 3 ultrabooks/laptops before my surface, not macs and never had a wi-fi patch because it is 2014....you know, it's not new technology outside of redmond apparently :)
  • You have never had a manufacturer release an updated WiFi driver or a BIOS update (i.e. firmware?).  Wow, you are exceptionally lucky.  Every device I have ever owned has had those things, but you usually have to go looking for them on the OEMs website.  I don't always install them if I haven't encountered issues, but they are still there.  I haven't had any issues with my SP3, but I install the updates anyway because it's so easy when it comes directly from Windows Update.
  • I have had firmware updates for my nokia phones. None of my Dell or Asus laptops have ever had any firmware updates of any kind. I get a lot of driver updates via windows update but usually they are generic or just graphics drivers from nvidia to increase performance. That is to say, I have received more updates for my surface than anything, even those things that get updates like my phone. And out of all these updates, the number of "wifi reliability" ones is the vast majority. And yes, my SP2 and SP3 still show "disconnected sorry" IE messages basically every week at random times. Nothing I've owned, has been patched so often, so many times...and still broken. Lucky? I don't thinkso. I think let's just call it like it is: a really lousy move from MSFT.
  • You're flat out wrong.  Check out support.dell.com and enter your computer's model info.  You'll see dozens of drivers, patches, updates, etc. including BIOS (or possibly called firmware).  If you don't see this, please provide the model you searched.  I'll happily eat my words if I'm wrong. 
  • Sorry but that is just utter BS. Surface devices have had wifi problems from the start because Microsoft decided to go cheap on the wifi hardware/chipset. It has been a stunningly bad decsion that has hampered every Surface device at one point, and some quite consistenty. There are generations of devices NOT USING Marvell chipsets, including most current Windows based machines, that have no wifi issues. The problem is the use of inferior technology in an otherwise high end device.
  • +1. What's worse is that this is supposed to be a high end device with premium components at a premium price. It's like buying a BMW and having a door handle fall off all the time or something :)
  • LOL, my BMW 540i is on its third driver's side interior door handle ;)  They have a plastic pivot point, and it inevitably will just break off in your hand when you go to open the door.
  • It's just that they used cheap hardware, and no firmware update will ever improve it. Mr. Rubino, you need to be more critical, instead of this ever-so-cosy situation with Microsoft...
  • ROFL you have clearly not heard of Qualcomm's Killer WiFi product used in high-end gaming?  Or, if you didn't know how complex WIRED networking is, some of the ole Intel or Broadcom server NICs?
  • clearly not because it just works on everything I have that doesn't have a surface logo apparently. and yes, I also don't "high end game" on wifi....lol. that's like, an oxymoron.
  • Lol i didnt catch that. High end game on wifi???? Whodafuq does that?!?!?! Nothing comes close to Ethernet speed and stability yet. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Keep in mind he is probably obliged to spew such BS, given he is probably paid to do so.  Take a look at the editor's track record playing shill and this sort of garbage makes perfect sense.
  • I don't think he's paid but I do agree he is very "lenient". It's like when 9to5 mac looks at an apple issue, there is always an excuse about why it is ok and they need to be given a pass. What I don't get is the fact he doesn't work for MS...I think, and clearly what MSFT needs is tough love. It is not ok to patch your wi-fi firmware again and again and again and still not fixed the issues. Not that his dissaproval would make it happen but, who does he advocate for, the user, or MSFT? I hope it is the former because this isn't a MSFT owned, it is an end user site. I'd think editors like him should argue on behalf of users, not mega corporations. After all if you love the product, tell them what they are doing wrong so they can make it better. Pom poms and cheerleading leads to products only cheerleaders are happy with and normal people hate.
  • I'm sure hoping this is a resolve as it's annoying at times. I still wouldn't give up my SP3 though; LOVE IT !!!
  • I just checked and I have 16 important updates for my Surface 2. Not even kidding.
    One optional one as well.
  • ....and this is news for some reason? Unless you have been living in a cave (without wifi) it is hard to miss the fact that the releases today are typical of any second tuesday since the release of Windows XP.
  • No need to be passive aggressive, man, I was only wanting to share...
    It's rare I see so many updates all at once. Some urgent updating I assume.
  • Oh please oh please let this FINALLY fix the WiFi driver issue. Every time someone replies to the thread for it on Microsoft's help site, i get it emailed to me as i created the thread. I haven't updated it cause i've been waiting for MS to make an official fix to this issue before i update and close the thread. Please oh please
  • This better help. Wifi is very flaky on my SP3. I just got it this weekend so I'll be returning it if Microsoft hasn't successfully fixed the problems. They certainly have had enough time. I'm worried they picked a crappy wireless chipset and there isn't much more than can do.
  • arrgghh.  nope.  still getting wifi connection issues when starting sp3 from standby. damn.  Hoped it would.  don't know whether to return my sp3 back to john lewis as its doing my head in
  • My SP3 just crashed even after the firmware update. So annoying. Other than the wifi issue, I like my surface though.
  • Cortana is coming on surface pro 4 and surface pro 3 will get it by firmware upgrade
  • ....did you get that from Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny? If you were just using your crystal ball you should check it for cracks. That it may make it to the Windows OS is no secret. As to how, anyone can make up stories just as creative as yours and they would equally based in fiction. 
  • Wow, the timing and kinds of updates are similar to what I've experience with my surface pro one. I'm noticing a pattern here.
  • One day I'll get one... one day. Maybe by the time the Surface Pro 5 is out. LoL
  • This has been like the tenth update for Wi-Fi connectivity. Other devices come.out and hit it on the head say one...why in all hell cant they fix the wifi issues? Only device I know that constantly falls into "limited" state after extensive use.
  • This is even bigger news than the iPhone 6!!!  Yes!
  • As long as the firmware fixes kernel-power id 41 events I see daily in the two surface 3s I've used, causing blue screens, then I'll be happy. I can't recommend the surface 3 to my business users yet because of this, no matter how much I would love to.
  • Update to this. The firmware and updates seem to have drastically improved networking on wireless and wired/docking station. Used to take forever to switch between the two (upwards of 5 minutes), and at boot when docked it would always take 2-3 minutes to identify the wired connection. Now it boots to the wired connection when booted while docked, is near instantaneous to identify the primary wireless connection when undocked, and takes less than 1 minute to reconnect to wired when redocked. Don't know if it's due to the dock updates, the wifi updates, the firmware or a combonation, but the surface 3 is now much more like a standard laptop. If other things as described in my original post are alleviated, then perhaps the surfaces can be better used and thus recommended.
  • So far it seems to have helped the Bluetooth / surface Bluetooth mouse issue I have had off and on since day one, where my mouse is not recognized right away.
  • Glad to see this. I've had my SP3 since launch day and I can count on probably one hand the number of times the WiFi and bluetooth have simply disappeared on me. That happens maybe once every 2 weeks or so -- about every other time I have to reboot the Surface to get them back, otherwise the device manager scan for hardware changes trick works. I use my SP3 daily both docked (hooray gigabit ethernet!) and undocked. Just applied this firmware update with no problems -- Wi-Fi connected fine immediately after the update. Among my myriad of updates today, I also had a couple of dock driver updates, too -- of course, I don't know how long those have been sitting there, as it's been awhile since I peeked at optional updates. So far, so good.
  • I'm an owner of a Surface Pro 3 and haven't come across any Wi-Fi issues on mine. Can someone please explain what all this fuss is about?
  • It's situational. For me, I have Hyper-V enabled on my Surface Pro 3 so I can do Windows Phone development in Visual Studio 2013. It sets up a virtual Windows Phone on my Surface so I can write phone apps. When you enable Hyper-V, you cannot "Sleep" your Surface, you need to Hibernate the unit instead. When you wake up the unit from hibernation, the WiFi status is "Limited" and you need to "Repair" the wireless connection. It only takes one minute to correct, but you must do it EVERY time and it's a complete pain in the butt. My Surface RT and Surface 2 (also RT) work great -- but obviously, I don't run Visual Studio on them since they run RT.
  • Ah ok. Thanks for that! Yeah, that would be a pain.  Is it only happening to people running Hyper-V?  The only thing I'm running on mine is Photoshop CS6.  No issues so far with Wifi.  Also, since getting my SP3 I havent picked up my Surface RT once! haha
  • I think it has to do with the fact that my SP3 will not "Sleep" -- it's not even an option because I use Hyper-V. So I need to Hibernate. If I disable Hyper-V, everything works GREAT and I can Sleep the unit. If Hyper-V is disabled and  Hibernte..."Limited Connectivity" comes back. So, it's not Hyper-V related -- it's Hibernation related. If you leave your SP3 in Sleep mode long enough...it to might Hibernate so it saves your state/info. THEN, when you awaken the unit....you might see the issue. What a shame. I'm otherwise...Incredibly pleased with the device and the form-factor. I sure hope they figure this out.
  • Same here, I've got my SP 3 for 2 weeks now, and I have been using it daily and mobile... never had any latency in finding and connecting to Wifi (public and private)... Ethernet connection is also immediate (via a USB Gigabit + 3 USB 3.0 accessory)... Even better, the SP3 sync all my wireless Access Point, bookmark etc from my Windows Phone ! very neat integration... The new firmware seems to make the SP3 even more responsive, not I have noticed any issue in the past, but this things is damn fast ! (I have the i5 8GB, which may contribute to that)... It get a little bit hot when playing video etc but nothing out of normal expectation... The good things is that this not my legs getting burned anymore (my girlfriend complain about that with her Mac Book Air!-)... The SP3 is a great device and real pleasure to use and the best Laptop I ever had!
    I had some issues with the Pen not always connecting at first, but not anymore...  
  • Patch Tuesday did NOTHING to help me with my WiFi "Limited Connectivity" issue on my Surface Pro 3. I can't believe this rediculous WiFi Card and/or Driver -- why is this so hard when my Surface RT and Surface 2, and my Lumia 1520 connect so reliabily...
  • Daniel do you know of any improvements developments with Windows 8.1 on WiFi management?   There really needs to be some deeper improvements made in this area... eg when you need to hit hidden SSIDs rather than it allow you to reconnect to a known hidden SSID you have to add a new one - I'm up to SSIDname 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 on these connections. Or is there a feature I've not found?  
  • Wifi still doesn't connect properly after being turned on... :/
  • Please don't complain,they are working on it,its guaranteed that by 2025 it will all be fixed.!
  • So,they are fixing that crappy Wi-Fi issue,that's good news for the persons that bought a $800 tablet,now they will finally be happy.
  • Honestly never had WiFi issues..... got the update. WiFi now broken. Reboot. WiFi working.   Wassaproblem
  • I just got my SP3 on Friday. I immediately installed all updates and rebooted several times after. I didn't notice WiFi problems until Sunday. I'm using 5 Ghz WiFi and my connection became limited and then it dissappeared about every 5-10 minutes. WiFi had to be turned on and off to fix. Bluetooth also seems to disconnect because I was using my PowerUp speaker and it made the connection sound every 5-10 minutes. I switched to 2.5 Ghz and did notice any problems. On Monday I tried 5 Ghz again with a different channel on the router. WiFi never became limited but it did seem to get slow every 5-10 minutes like I had to wait for it to reconnect to the router. Last evening, Tuesday, I applied the new firmware and found Wifi to be stable all evening. It was also faster but I was not scientific about measuring that so the improvement may be conincidental. I haven't yet had the problem where Wifi wouldn't reconnect after waking up from sleep.
  • This update (just completed about 30 minutes ago) Broke WiFi and official Microsoft USB to Ethernet adapter. Upon rebooting I lost all connectivity to network shares and the internet. wired and wireless icons displayed limited connection. I open an internet explorer browser and the page wouldn't load. I clicked on the troubleshoot button in the middle of the web page and the strangest thing happened. It actually WORKED! never in my life has the stupid tool worked. Since then network connectivity has been fine. The whole thing in the update about the UEFI is concerning though especially for folks using PGP Desktop Encryption. Be careful with firmware updates. They are a necessary evil !