If you’re using Chrome as your primary web browser on your Surface, DO NOT upgrade it to version 49.
Some people have discovered that while Chrome 48 worked fine (more or less), Chrome 49 does not trigger the on-screen keyboard which makes it pretty useless in tablet mode. [Kind of funny since Google is supposedly all about mobility, nowadays, and they are very quick to downgrade sites and are not mobile-friendly.]
The “old stand by” answer of setting the “Enable Touch Events” to enable, doesn’t seem to help in this case. (In case you’re wondering, you can open a new tab in Chrome and browse to chrome://flags to see a giant list of settings. One of them is the “Enable touch events” setting.)
Chrome 49 Keyboard Issues on Surface: Workarounds
If you didn’t hear about this issue until it was too late, there are a couple of workarounds, unfortunately, none of them get Chrome to trigger the keyboard as it should:
- Attach a keyboard.
- Use Edge or some other browser when in tablet mode.
- Manually switch back to Desktop mode by swiping in from the right of the screen and clearing the Tablet Mode option. Once you do this, the keyboard icon will appear in the system tray and you can bring it up manually.
The 2nd or 3rd option is probably the best temporary workaround. Hopefully, the folks over at Google will issue an update to correct the problem soon because Chrome is a pretty popular browser.
Of course, if you’re OK doing it, reverting back to version 48 will also do the trick. Just be aware that it might just be tough keeping Chrome from trying to update itself back to the (broken) version 49.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.