All Microsoft Surface Pro X Cameras Stopped Working Tuesday

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.