All Microsoft Surface Pro X Cameras Stopped Working Tuesday

Microsoft Surface Pro X
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If you're wondering why the camera on your Surface Pro X suddenly stopped working this week, you're not alone. A flood of Surface Pro X owners took to Reddit yesterday to complain that their webcams unexpectedly stopped working — an issue that can have various repercussions.

Surface Pro X owners attempting to use the camera are greeted with the following error message: 

Error code 0xA00F4271<MediaCaptureFailedEvent> (0x80004005). 

What's interesting about this particular issue is that it affects every single Surface Pro X customer. Given the encompassing nature of the camera failures, the most likely culprit is an expired security certificate, according to Reddit user Wapitiii. If you roll your Surface Pro X back to any date before May 23, 2023, the camera "magically" starts working again — giving credence to the suggestion that a security certificate is to blame. This isn't a good workaround, by the way, as rolling back the date on your device can result in authentication problems for secure websites or programs on your PC.  

"Well, setting the date manually back to April, but as stated before, the incorrect date interferes with date/time sensitive websites or apps," wrote PCurrington on the Microsoft Community forum. "Chrome immediately started blocking my email website, and I was unable to access a travel message board. Any software/website that tracks the date. So, when I want to use the camera, I have to manually adjust the date back, use Zoom, and then correct the date to automatic to use other apps or websites."

Without functioning cameras, Surface Pro X customers are unable to partake in video calls using Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Meet (among other popular apps used for work and education). In addition, the Surface Pro X's camera also works as a way to log into Windows 11 using Windows Hello. Users with non-functional cameras will need to login using alternative methods. 

Despite the widespread nature of this latest Surface Pro X problem, Microsoft hasn't officially commented on the problem yet. The company is at least aware of the problem, as a note in the Windows 11 Feedback Hub shows that Microsoft is "looking into it." Unfortunately, there is no timeline for a fix, so customers will need to roll back the system clock manually to use the camera (and risk upsetting other programs), or perhaps invest in an external webcam

Microsoft's Surface Pro X is a bit of an odd duck in the broad PC market to begin with: it's a 13-inch convertible powered by a Microsoft SQ1 or SQ2 Arm processor. The use of a power-sipping Arm processor allows the device to last up to 15 hours per charge. 

Microsoft earlier today released the Windows 11 "Moment 3" Update (KB5026446), but it is doubtful that it addresses the camera issues faced by Surface Pro X owners.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • 10tacle
    Way to go Microshaft! You broke something where workers can't even use your Teams meeting app! Go ahead and keep advertising the Surface Pro though to your corporate customers, the sheep.
  • Sippincider
    One of the reasons to own a Surface device is the expectation that Microsoft can MAKE THEIR OWN HARDWARE WORK.

    MS, this is a serious # up. Own it and fix it. If it's something as simple as a certificate, do an emergency update (and God's sake don't wait until the next Patch Tuesday!).
  • InvalidError
    As more stuff requires 3rd-party licensing and certificates to operate, we'll see more stuff randomly break from licenses and certificates expiring. The joys of not really owning anything because everyone wants to guarantee their own piece of infinitely recurring zero-value, zero-effort revenue.
  • USAFRet
    Not aplogizing for MS in any way, but certs expiring has happened many many times before, with other companies.

    I expect the fix will get pushed quickly.
  • ezst036
    This is not the reason to get upset with Microsoft. Someone made a mistake. This isn't a bad policy that they're going to be forcing on people, such as TPM2.0.
  • A Stoner
    They continued spying on you, that license did not lapse, but they did stop doing any functional work for you...