Is your touchpad laptop not working? Here is the fix

touchpad laptop not working

When the laptop touchpad stops working, it’s easy to panic. If you can’t move your mouse cursor, it’s hard to do a lot on your computer.

But do not worry. Chances are that when the laptop’s mouse pad isn’t working, the fix is ​​pretty simple. We’ll walk you through the common troubleshooting steps to fix a trackpad that’s not functional.

Is your entire computer frozen?

Sounds a little silly, but it’s worth double checking. If your touchpad stops functioning as a one-time event, your computer may be completely frozen. In that case, neither the touchpad nor the keyboard will work fully.

To check this, press the Windows key to open the Start menu, then try Ctrl + Alt + Del to open the Security screen. If none of these have any results, give your computer a few minutes to process whatever it is doing. After a few minutes, if it’s still stuck, you’ll need to press and hold the physical power button to turn it off.

Hopefully, this is a one-time problem. Review the common reasons Windows is unresponsive if a deeper problem needs to be diagnosed.

Check the keyboard touchpad key

One of the most common causes of a laptop touchpad not working is that you have accidentally disabled it with a key combination. Most laptops have an Fn key which combines with the F keys to perform special operations.

Many of these, like changing the brightness or disabling the wireless functionality, are useful. However, one of these key combinations will disable the laptop’s touchpad. Since it’s easy to accidentally hit, you might think it’s broken if you change it.

The exact key depends on your laptop model (this will be different between Asus, HP, Lenovo and other models), but it usually has a square trackpad icon, sometimes with an X next to it. Some keyboards show a light on this key to let you know that the mouse pad is off.

Below, you can see the F5 key on an HP Elitebook, which deactivates the mouse pad when combined with Fn .

Try pressing this key again and see if the trackpad comes back to life.

Remove external mice

Moving on, another simple but important troubleshooting procedure is to unplug all USB mice connected to the laptop. You should also unplug any Bluetooth mice you might be using.

The reason for this is that some laptops have a feature that automatically disables the touchpad when connecting an external mouse. This may be why the mouse pad stops working. For best results, shut down your system, disconnect all non-essential devices and start backup.

If it restarts and the touchpad works, you have encountered the problem. You may be able to change this setting to keep the trackpad active even with a mouse connected (see below for more on this).

Check your mouse settings in Windows

You should review your mouse settings in Windows, just in case something was messed up there. Go to Settings> Devices> Touchpad first.

Here, make sure you have the touchpad slider enabled. There is also a box under this label released touchpad when a mouse is plugged in , as we mentioned above. While you’re here, take a look at the other touchpad options to make sure you’re getting the most out of your touchpad and that it behaves as you expect.

If you are unable to resolve the issue from this menu, you may be able to access touchpad specific settings in another location. Open the Control Panel by searching through the Start menu, then change the category view to Small Icons or Large Icons . Select the mouse item here and a new window will open.

In the far right of this window, you should see a tab labeled Device Settings , TouchPad or something similar. You can turn the touchpad on or off here, so you may find it’s disabled if it didn’t work before.

Dig Into the Device Manager

If your laptop’s mouse pad still isn’t working, you’ll need to upgrade to a deeper resolution. Press Win + X to open the Power User menu and select Device Manager .

Here, expand the Mice and other pointing devices category . You will see more entries here if you have connected other mice as well. Double click on one and look under Location to understand what it is. If this says about USB input device or similar, it’s not your touchpad.

If you see devices in this header that have a yellow exclamation point or a red X , this indicates a problem with the driver.

Try right-clicking and choosing Disable Device , then Enable Device Again. Then, right-click and select Update Driver , then Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software . This is unlikely to actually find a new driver to fix the problem, but it does come sometimes.

Finally, it’s worth visiting the laptop manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest driver. These often work better than the generic drivers used by Windows and may solve problems.

Do a Google search for the name of your laptop and look for a Downloads or Updates section on the device page. You can right-click on the affected entry in Device Manager and press Uninstall Device before installing a new driver.

Look for the touchpad settings in the BIOS

Your computer’s BIOS or UEFI controls many settings regardless of any operating system. It is possible that your touchpad is disabled in the BIOS, completely preventing Windows from accessing it.

You will need to enter your PC’s BIOS by pressing F2 , Del or a similar key as soon as you turn it on. From there, look for an entry called Internal Pointing Device , Touchpad , Trackpad or similar. This could be under an advanced title . Make sure it’s not disabled.

Disable Tablet PC services

Windows 10 touchscreen devices, such as 2-in-1 hybrids, have a special service called Tablet PC Input Service . This controls the touch functionality; part of that is disabling the trackpad when in tablet mode.

There is a small chance this could interfere with the trackpad in normal use. Worth looking at if nothing else has contributed to this point. Type services in the Start menu and start the Services utility . Here, scroll to input service for Tablet PC , click with the right mouse button and select Stop .

If your touchpad works after doing this, you have encountered the problem.

Mac Mousepad Not Working?

We looked at troubleshooting the Windows trackpad, but MacBook trackpads can also run into problems. Thankfully, we have a comprehensive MacBook trackpad troubleshooting guide , so check this out if you’re a Mac user.

If All Else fails, you may have a hardware problem

The above steps should cover most of the trackpad issues. However, there is a chance that your mousepad is still not working.

If so, you probably have a hardware problem. Perhaps a cable is damaged or the touchpad has worn out. In such cases, you should take your computer to a repair shop and have a professional opinion or just start using an external mouse.

Read the full article: Is your touchpad laptop not working? Here is the fix

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