How to disable or enable the touchpad on a laptop

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Laptop touchpad

The touchpad on a laptop is a convenient way to add the functionality of a mouse without the need of an extra peripheral. Most users will find themselves in situations where they would like the touchpad on (e.g., no external mouse) or off (e.g., accidentally moving the mouse cursor with their palm while typing). The exact steps may differ slightly, depending on the laptop's manufacturer, so you may need to use some intuition to achieve your desired outcome.

Steps to try first

TouchPad Button: Many laptops have a button near the top of the touchpad that allows you to quickly enable and disable it. You can toggle the touchpad off and on by using that button.

TouchPad Fn keys: Some laptops have an Fn key that can be used in combination with one of the F1 - F12 function keys to enable and disable the touchpad. To toggle the touchpad off and on, press both of these keys at the same time.

Tip

The icon associated with toggling the touchpad is often indicated by a rectangle with a line under it.

How to disable the touchpad in Windows

Through the Windows menus

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter.
  2. Select Hardware and Sound.
  3. Under Devices and Printers, select Mouse.
  4. In the Mouse Properties window, select the tab labeled TouchPad, ClickPad, or something similar.
  5. On the TouchPad tab, there should be an option for enabling and disabling the TouchPad. It may be a button or a checkbox. Select the Disable option and then OK.
Note

Once the touchpad is disabled, you need an external mouse to navigate in Windows, or you can use your keyboard to navigate in Windows.

Using a keyboard only

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter.
  2. Use your keyboard to navigate to Hardware and Sound, and then press Enter.
  3. Use your keyboard to navigate to Mouse (located under the Devices and Printers section), and then press Enter.
  4. Use the keyboard combination Ctrl+Tab to move to the Device Settings, TouchPad, ClickPad, or the similar option tab and press Enter.
  5. Use your keyboard to navigate to the checkbox that allows you to enable or disable the touchpad. Press the spacebar to toggle it on or off.
  6. Tab down and select Apply, then OK.

How to enable the touchpad in Windows

Through the Windows menus

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter.
  2. Select Hardware and Sound.
  3. Under Devices and Printers, select Mouse.
  4. In the Mouse Properties window, select the tab labeled TouchPad, ClickPad, or something similar.
  5. On the TouchPad tab, there should be an option for enabling and disabling the TouchPad. It may be a button or a checkbox. Select the Enable option and then OK.

Using the keyboard only

  1. Press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter.
  2. Use your keyboard to navigate to Hardware and Sound, and then press Enter.
  3. Use your keyboard to navigate to Mouse (located under the Devices and Printers section), and then press Enter.
  4. Use the keyboard combination Ctrl+Tab to move to the Device Settings, TouchPad, ClickPad, or the similar option tab and press Enter.
  5. Use your keyboard to navigate to the checkbox that allows you to enable or disable the touchpad. Press the spacebar to toggle it on or off.
  6. Tab down and select Apply, then OK.