Need more storage? Here’s how to replace the SSD on the Surface Pro 8

Need more storage? Here’s how to replace the SSD on the Surface Pro 8

The Surface Pro 8 is one of the best devices Microsoft has made in recent years, and it’s hard to deny that it does a lot right. With a bigger, high-resolution 120Hz screen, a new design with Thunderbolt ports, and a spec bump, it’s truly a great laptop as you can see in our Surface Pro 8 review. But it’s also an expensive one, and if you want to upgrade the storage, it’s even more so. Thankfully, Microsoft makes it easy to replace the SSD on the Surface Pro 8.

Microsoft actually recommends only doing this in a business setting, and it’s more so meant to be a way to destroy sensitive data before recycling a PC. That means that officially, you shouldn’t do this yourself with your personal Surface Pro 8. But if you want to do it anyway, we’re here to help.

What you’ll need

Before you get started, there are a few things you’ll need to get things done. Most importantly, a new SSD and the tools to get to the SSD slot. You don’t actually need a lot of tools to get to the Surface Pro 8’s SSD, though, because it’s quite easy to get to. Here’s what you’ll need:

It’s very important to note the form factor of the SSD here. The most common form factor is the longer M.2 2280 design, but the Surface Pro 8 uses the smaller 2230 variant, and that’s the only size that fits. You can use our link above to get the right one.

Additionally, you’ll need a USB flash drive to have installation media for Windows 11 after replacing the SSD. Microsoft makes this pretty easy with Surface recovery images, and we’ll show you how to use them in a bit. We have a USB Type-C flash drive listed above because the Surface Pro 8 doesn’t have a USB Type-A port. You can also get a Type-C to Type-A adapter if you already have a flash drive. Additionally, make sure the flash drive is formatted to use the FAT32 file system.

Preparing to replace the SSD on the Surface Pro 8

If you’re getting rid of your old SSD, the first thing you need to do is make sure you can start over with your new one after the fact. To do that, you’ll need a recovery image on your USB flash drive, and you may also want to back up your files. Then, you can reset your PC if you want to erase all your data, which you probably do if you’re selling the SSD or giving it to someone else. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Back up your personal files to a cloud storage service like OneDrive, or use an external HDD or SSD (not the same as the USB drive you’re using for recovery).
  2. Go to the Surface recovery image download page.
  3. Choose the Surface Pro 8 and enter the serial number of your product. You can find the serial number under the kickstand, near the middle of the device.
  4. Download the recovery image, which is a .zip file.
  5. Extract the files within the .zip archive into the USB flash drive – make sure the drive is formatted and using the FAT32 file system beforehand.
  6. Once the .zip file is extracted and your personal files are all backed up, you’re ready to reset your Surface Pro 8. Again, this is optional, but if you’re planning to give the SSD away or sell it, it’s good to be on the safe side.
  7. Open the Settings app, then click Recovery -> Reset PC.
    Option to reset the PC in the Windows 11 Settings app
  8. Choose Delete everything if you want your personal data to be removed from the SSD.
  9. Next, choose whether you want to use a local reinstall or a cloud download for the reset. This shouldn’t impact the end result, so it’s up to you, but the local reinstall option is faster.
  10. Before finishing the process, click Change settings.
    Windows 11 reset confirmation page with a red highlight on the Change settings option
  11. Enable the option that says Clean drive. This will overwrite the space in your drive with empty data, making it harder to recover your files.
    Windows 11 reset settings for cleaning the drive
  12. Click confirm and follow the procedures to begin resetting the PC.
  13. Once it’s done, turn off your Surface Pro 8.

Replacing the SSD in the Surface Pro 8

Now, you’re ready to start replacing the SSD inside the Surface Pro 8. The process is fairly simple, so here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open up the kickstand on the Surface Pro 8 to expose the SSD cover on the left side.
  2. Using a SIM ejection tool or paper clip, push into the small hole on the cover to remove it. The SSD is immediately visible on the top half of this section.
    Surface Pro 8 removable storage
  3. Using the Torx T3 screwdriver, remove the screw holding the SSD in place.
  4. Gently slide the SSD out of its slot.
  5. Take your new SSD, and align it with the SSD slot using the notch in the contact pins. Slide the SSD in at a 45-degree angle until the contacts are completely covered by the SSD slot.
  6. Use the Torx T3 screw to hold the new SSD in place.
  7. Put the SSD cover back on.
  8. You can now set up your Surface Pro 8 as a new PC.

Reinstall Windows 11 after replacing the SSD

Once you’ve replaced the SSD, you’ll need to reinstall Windows 11 to start over as if it’s a new PC. Here’s what to do:

  1. Before turning on the Surface Pro 8, insert the USB flash drive you used to store your Surface recovery image.
  2. Plug in your Surface charger.
  3. While holding down the Volume Down button, press the Power button on the Surface Pro 8 until you see recovery options.
  4. Follow the instructions to install Windows 11.

Once that’s done, you can access your cloud service or external storage to get the personal files you backed up at the beginning. Other than that, you’re done, and you’re ready to use your new and improved SSD in the Surface Pro 8.

If you haven’t yet, you can buy the Surface Pro 8 using the links below. It’s one of the best laptops you can buy today, and if you never need to upgrade the storage, now you know how.

    Surface Pro 8
    The Surface Pro 8 is a modern Windows tablet with the latest specs, a 120Hz display, and Thunderbolt 4 support.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.