My laptop mouse touchpad is not working

Updated: 05/04/2019 by Computer Hope
Laptop touchpad

This page covers the most common ways to resolve a non-functioning laptop touchpad. If you cannot resolve the issue for your laptop's touchpad after trying the solutions on this page, the touchpad is probably not working due to a less common cause. In this case, we recommend taking the laptop to a computer repair shop for further analysis.

Operating system not responding

The first thing to check is whether the computer and the operating system is not responding as well. It could be that the computer is frozen, meaning it is not responding to any commands you give it. In this case, the touchpad would also not be working.

To check for this issue, try pressing the Windows key to see if the Start Menu opens.

Fn key combination

Some laptops have an Fn key + function key combo to enable and disable the touchpad. If your laptop has this feature, try pressing the button or keys to turn the touchpad on and off a few times, to see if that resolves the issue.

External device

Some USB input devices automatically disable the touchpad when connected. As a troubleshooting step, turn off the computer, disconnect all external devices, then start the computer again to ensure one of them has not turned off the touchpad. If this fixes your problem, you can reconnect the USB device to continue troubleshooting or changing settings discussed in the next sections.

Check touchpad settings

Note

We recommend that you connect a USB external mouse, or use the laptop's TrackPoint (if available) to perform the steps below. If you cannot get an external mouse to function, see our navigating Windows with the keyboard page.

As we mentioned in the previous section, it's important to have a look at your mouse/touchpad settings, as they may keep your touchpad from working or disable the touchpad entirely. To access the mouse settings, follow the steps below.

Windows users - Touchpad settings

  1. Press the Windows key, type touchpad, and select the Touchpad settings option in the search results.
  2. In the Touchpad window, make sure the Touchpad On/Off toggle switch is set to On. If it is Off, change it to be in the On position.

Windows users - Mouse settings

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter.
  2. Click the Hardware and Sound option.
  3. Under Devices and Printers, click the Mouse option.
Tip

If the Control Panel View by option is set to Small icons, click on the Mouse option in step 2 above.

  1. In the Mouse Properties window that opens, locate your touchpad settings. They are usually under the far right tab next to Hardware (the name of the tab varies from manufacturer to manufacturer).
  2. Ensure there is a check in the box next to Enable touchpad.
  3. Adjust any other settings to your liking, then click Apply, then OK.
  4. Test your touchpad.

If you do not see a touchpad tab in the Mouse Properties window, try the following steps.

  1. In the Mouse Properties window, click the Hardware tab.
  2. Check for an entry in the Devices list named HID-compliant mouse. If you have a USB mouse connected to your laptop for troubleshooting purposes, you may see two HID-compliant mouse entries. Click on each entry to find the one that does not have USB in the Location property.
  3. When you find the HID-compliant mouse entry for the touchpad (the non-USB entry), click the Properties button.
  4. In the HID-compliant mouse Properties window, check the Device status to see if it states "This device is working properly." If it states anything else, then there is a problem with the touchpad.
  5. If the touchpad device is not working properly, you can try updating the drivers. Click the Change settings button, click on the Driver tab, then click the Update Driver button. Click the Search automatically option to allow Windows to look for an updated driver on the computer and on the Internet.
Note

If you do not see a non-USB HID-compliant mouse device on the Hardware tab, the touchpad may have been disabled in the BIOS (see the BIOS setup section below). If the touchpad has not been disabled in the BIOS, the Windows operating system may not be able to detect it due to it being defective and non-working (see the defective hardware section).

Apple macOS users

  1. For macOS X, access the System Preferences in the Apple menu at the top of the desktop screen. For MacBook Pro, click on the System Preferences icon at the bottom of the desktop screen.
  2. In the System Preferences window, click on the Trackpad icon to open the Trackpad settings.
  3. Adjust any trackpad settings you prefer to change.
  4. Test the trackpad to see if it works.

Checking Device Manager and updating drivers

Note

We recommend that you connect a USB external mouse, or use the laptop's TrackPoint (if available) to perform the steps below. If you cannot get an external mouse to function, see our navigating Windows with the keyboard page.

If the touchpad still isn't working, the Windows Device Manager can tell you detailed information about hardware issues and help you update drivers. For example, if a device has a yellow exclamation mark or red X next to it, this is indicative of hardware or software issues. To locate the touchpad in Device Manager, follow the steps below.

  1. Press the Windows Key and type device manager, then press Enter.
  2. Under Your PC, double-click the Mice and other pointing devices entry.
  3. Locate your touchpad and right-click the icon and select Update Driver Software.
Note

If you see two entries named HID-compliant mouse, right-click on each and select Properties. In the Properties window, on the General tab, check the Location value. If the Location is "on I2C HID Device," that is the touchpad device on your laptop.

  1. Click Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the steps (if the drivers are out of date).
Tip

Right-clicking the touchpad icon gives you the option to either enable or disable it, depending on the device's status. If disabled, re-enable and test the touchpad. If it is already enabled, change it to disabled, then re-enable it. Sometimes toggling this setting "resets" and fixes the touchpad.

Note

If you do not see the touchpad device listed in the Device Manager, it may have been disabled in the BIOS (see the BIOS setup section below). If the touchpad has not been disabled in the BIOS, the Windows operating system may not be able to detect it due to it being defective (see the defective hardware section below).

Check CMOS (BIOS) setup

Make sure the touchpad has not been disabled in the CMOS (BIOS) setup. Once you have entered the BIOS or CMOS setup, check the hardware device settings and, if the touchpad is disabled, re-enable it and restart the laptop to test the touchpad.

Corrupt operating system files

Another possible cause for a malfunctioning touchpad is corrupt operating system files. While you would notice other issues as well due to corrupt system files, this could result in the touchpad not working.

Fixing this requires you to either activate a restore point at a date before the touchpad stopped working, or you may need to perform an operating system repair installation. The repair installation will require you to access a restore partition on the hard drive or use an operating system install disc.

Defective hardware

Finally, if the touchpad still is not working correctly or at all after trying the troubleshooting steps above, it may be defective. Contact the computer manufacturer for further suggestions or take the laptop to a computer repair shop. It could require replacement of the touchpad itself or another hardware component. If the touchpad cannot be fixed, you could connect and use an external mouse as a workaround.