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Microsoft Surface tablet with Windows RT doesn’t include the options to re-install the OS due to many restrictions but, if you can use the recovery options of the tablet and Windows RT (Windows 8 on ARM) to refresh your Surface RT’s OS. If, you ever lose access to Windows RT in your Surface RT or the Windows RT fails to start on your Surface then, these in-OS options can’t do anything. In that case, you will have to boot into the recovery mode of Surface to access the advanced options like refresh, reset, repair and more.

Booting into recovery mode is very easy but, you can’t boot directly into recovery mode on any Windows 8 or Windows RT PC including your Surface. You must have a recovery drive which can be used to boot into the recovery mode on Surface.

Before proceeding further for the instruction to boot into recovery mode on Surface RT, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Access to a fully functional Surface RT tablet.
  • A USB drive with minimum size of 4GB.
  • Recovery drive which can be created by following the instructions found here.

Now, when you think you have fulfilled the above requirements, simply follow the instructions below to boot into recovery mode on your Surface RT tablet.

Instructions:

  • First of all, power off your Surface tablet by shutting down your Windows.
  • Now, plug your recovery USB to your Surface RT’s USB port.
  • Press the ‘Volume down’ key on your Surface tablet and while holding the volume down button, press the ‘Power button’ of Surface.
  • Your Surface RT would power on and should boot into recovery mode from your USB.

Note: It may take upto 5 minutes for your Surface RT to boot into recovery mode so, be patient.

  • You would be prompted to select the language. Select your desired one and bingo! Your recovery options will appear.
  • You can select your desired one from the provided list.
  • That’s all!

You may visit our Tips & Tweaks section for more tips, tricks and tweaks about Windows 8 and its related products.

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