Updated: 12/16/2018 by Computer Hope

Laptop touchpadAlso called a glide pad, glide point, pressure sensitive tablet, or trackpad, a touchpad is an input device on laptops and some keyboards. It allows the user to move a cursor with their finger. It can be used in place of an external mouse.

A touchpad is operated by using your finger and dragging it across the flat surface of the touchpad. As you move your finger on the surface, the mouse cursor moves in that same direction. Like most computer mice, the touchpad also has two buttons below the touch surface that allows you to left-click or right-click.

Note: Not all laptop touchpads have visible buttons as shown in the picture. However, either the full touchpad or the bottom section of the touchpad acts as a button when pressing down on the touchpad. Also, tapping the touchpad usually acts as a click.

How to scroll using the touchpad

Scrolling with a touchpad can be done using one of the following methods.

  • Place the mouse cursor on the vertical scroll bar, located on the right side of the program window, then press the left touchpad button. While continuing to press the left button, drag your finger downward on the touchpad to move the scrollbar down.
  • Most touchpads allow the user to place two fingers on the touchpad and drag them up or down to scroll.
  • Some touchpads have a vertical scroll area built into the touchpad on the left or right side often with an up and down arrow at the top and bottom of that area respectively. Moving your finger up and down in this section of the touchpad allows you to scroll.

Do I need to use the touchpad on my laptop?

No. All modern laptops have a USB port that allows you to connect the same type of mouse you use on a desktop computer to your laptop. If you don't like using the touchpad, we recommend connecting a USB mouse to the laptop.

Hardware terms, Input device, J mouse, Mouse, Mouse terms, Pointing device, TrackPoint