It’s easy for panic to set in when your laptop touchpad stops functioning. It’s difficult to use your computer if you can’t move the mouse cursor.
But don’t fret. It’s likely that your laptop mouse trackpad has stopped working. The fix is simple. This article will show you how to troubleshoot a trackpad that isn’t working. These tips are most applicable to Windows but some can be used on Macs.
Is your entire computer frozen?
Although it sounds silly, this is worth checking. Your computer may be locked if your touchpad suddenly stops working. If that happens, the touchpad and keyboard may not work.
On Windows, press the Windows button to open the Start Menu. Next, try Alt + Delete for the Security screen. To open Spotlight on a Mac, press Cmd+ Space. This is a quick way to check if your computer’s responsiveness using the keyboard.
These should produce some results. Give your computer time to complete the task. If it remains frozen after a while, press and hold the Power key to turn it off.
This should be a temporary issue. If you are looking for a more serious problem, review common reasons Windows becomes nonresponsive.
Verify the Touchpad Key on Your Keyboard
A common reason why a laptop’s touchpad doesn’t work is that you accidentally disable it using a combination of keys. The Fn key is found on most laptops. It can be combined with the, and other function keys to perform specific operations.
These keys, such as changing the brightness or disabling Wi-Fi functionality, can be very useful. On many laptops, however, these key combinations can disable the touchpad. This is easy to miss, so you may think that your touchpad has gone bad.
The exact key will depend on the model of your laptop (Asus, HP and Lenovo may differ). However, it typically has a square icon with a trackpad-like icon. Sometimes, it also has an X beside it. You may see a light next to the key on some keyboards to indicate that the mouse’s touchpad is off.
You can see below the F5 key on an HP Elitebook laptop. This turns off the mouse pad when it is combined with the Fn key.
You might try pressing the key combination again to see if your trackpad responds.
Eliminate any external mice
Next, unplug any USB mice that are connected to your laptop. This is a simple but crucial step to troubleshoot a laptop touchpad not working. Also, disconnect any Bluetooth mice that are in use.
This is because some laptops, including Windows and macOS, have a feature that disables the touchpad automatically when you attach an external mouse. This could explain why your touchpad isn’t working. To test this best, turn off your system and unplug any non-essential accessories or devices. Then, restart the computer.
If your mouse’s touchpad is working after a reboot, then you have solved your problem. You might be able to adjust this setting depending on the computer you have (see below).
Reviewed the Mouse Settings in Windows
Next, you should review your mouse settings in Windows to see if there are any issues. Go to Settings > Devices> Touchpad first.
Make sure that you enable the Touchpad slider. As mentioned above, there’s a box that is below it labeled Leave touchpad when a mouse has been connected. You can also check out the touchpad options below to ensure that your mouse input works as expected.
You might be able to access touchpad-specific settings elsewhere if you are unable to resolve the problem using this menu. Click the Additional mouse option link at the right. Drag the Settings Window horizontally until you see it.
The dialog box will open. You’ll see a tab to the right labeled Device settings, TouchPad, or something similar. If the touchpad isn’t working, you can disable it or enable it. Re-enable it to see if your touchpad works again.
Explore the Device Manager
If your laptop mouse pad still isn’t working, you will need to do some more troubleshooting. To open the Power User menu, press Win + or right-click on the Start button to open it. Next, select Device Management.
Expand the Mouse and Other Pointing Devices category. If you have connected more than one mouse to your touchpad, you will see multiple entries. To find out its location, double-click on it. It’s probably not your touchpad if it says USB Input Device, or something similar.
After you have found your mouse, right-click and choose Disable device. Next, choose Enable device. Next, right-click on the entry and choose Update driver. Then Search automatically to find updated driver software. Although it is unlikely that this will find the correct driver, sometimes it does.
This section should have devices that have a yellow exclamation mark or a red X border around them. This indicates a driver problem. For more information, see How to Update Windows Drivers.
It’s worth visiting the website of your laptop manufacturer to download the latest driver. These drivers are often more reliable than generic Windows drivers and can resolve your problems.
To check for updates, you can use a manufacturer utility such as Lenovo SystemUpdate. If you don’t have a manufacturer utility installed, do a Google search using your laptop’s name and “drivers”. You will find the Downloads or Updates sections on the device’s page at the manufacturer’s site. To see if your touchpad problems are resolved, install the most recent update.
For a fresh start, you may right-click on the affected entry in Device Manager and hit uninstall the device.
Touchpad settings are located in the BIOS/UEFI.
Many settings can be controlled by your computer’s BIOS/UEFI, independent of any operating system. Your touchpad may be disabled in your BIOS. This could prevent Windows from accessing it.
You will need to enter the BIOS of your computer by pressing F2 or Del. Look for the entry Internalpointing Device or Touchpad. This could be found under the Advanced heading.
It should not be disabled. Turn it on again if it’s disabled. Windows should be able to recognize the touchpad. After re-enabling the BIOS touchpad, you may need to go through the following steps.
Tablet PC Services Disabled
Windows devices with a touchscreen (e.g. 2-in-1 hybrids) have an exclusive service called Tablet Computer Input Service. This service controls touch functionality and disables your trackpad when you are in tablet mode.
This could cause a slight problem with your trackpad during normal usage. If nothing else has helped, it’s worth taking a look at. You can review it by typing services in the Start Menu, and then launching the Service utility. Scroll down to Tablet Computer Input Service and right-click it. Then, choose Stop.
If the touchpad responds to these steps, it means that you have solved your problem. Double-click the service to stop it from loading each time you start it up. Disable will stop it from running but could cause unpredictable behavior when you use your device in tablet mode.
Mac Mouse Trackpad Doesn’t Work
While we’ve focused on troubleshooting Windows trackpad problems here, MacBook trackpads can also have issues. We have a complete guide for troubleshooting MacBook trackpad issues.
Touchpad Still Not Working? There may be a hardware problem
Most trackpad issues can be fixed by following the above steps. There is a possibility that your mousepad doesn’t work.
If this happens, it is likely that you have a hardware problem. You might have a damaged cable or a worn-out touchpad. You should either take your computer to a repair shop for a professional opinion or use an external mouse.
To keep you going, you can find a decent mouse at a reasonable price. Make sure you are aware of what to look out for when shopping for a mouse.