ModeSwitcher Tool

Behind the scenes, when you double-click the Enter Surface Mode desktop shortcut in Windows mode, a tool called ModeSwitcher runs.

Most of the time, before you use the Enter Surface Mode shortcut, you might have been troubleshooting either locally or remotely and switching to Surface mode is an easy final step. However, there will be occasions when you cannot initiate entering Surface mode (for example, when you silently install Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Surface, or application updates. For these situations, you can include a call to ModeSwitcher in a script.

ModeSwitcher is located in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Surface\v2.0 folder.

ModeSwitcher Syntax

modeswitcher.exe –enteruser

In this command, -enteruser initiates the switch to Surface mode (including log on to a Surface mode session). For this command to succeed, the device made for Surface has to be in Windows mode or in a Surface mode out-of-order state before you run ModeSwitcher -enteruser.

You must run the ModeSwitcher tool from the device made for Surface, not from a remote computer. ModeSwitcher is already included on all new devices made for Surface.

The following steps demonstrate a typical scenario in which an automated script installs Windows 7 updates to a device made for Surface:

  1. The script logs off of the current Surface mode session and then installs Windows 7 updates.

  2. If the updates do not require a system restart, the script runs the ModeSwitcher tool, which switches the device made for Surface back into Surface mode and logs on to the Surface mode session.

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