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How To Fix Laptop Touchpad Not Working 2024

It can be very frustrating when your laptop touchpad not working properly. Suddenly, you lose the ability to smoothly use webpages and apps. This makes even simple tasks difficult. When the cursor jumps around or does not move at all even though your fingers glide across the touchpad, your laptop becomes hard to use.

Problems with an unresponsive or glitchy touchpad usually come from software issues, not hardware failures. Common causes include outdated drivers, accidentally turning off the touchpad with a keyboard button, corrupted files interfering with the touchpad, and configuration changes. With some troubleshooting, you can find the root cause and get your touchpad working again.

This guide provides easy step-by-step instructions to fix touchpad issues on Windows or Mac laptops. We will cover the most common reasons for a broken touchpad and solutions you can do yourself. By methodically going through each recommended troubleshooting method, you can fix your issues and fully restore touchpad functionality.

The good news is touchpad problems are typically easy to fix once you identify the specific cause. You can feel confident that by following the fixes outlined here, you’ll get your unresponsive or jumpy touchpad smoothly working again.

Check Simple Causes First

When your touchpad stops working properly, first check if your whole computer is frozen or unresponsive. Try pressing the Windows key to open the Start menu or use keyboard shortcuts to see if anything happens. If there is no response, force restart your laptop by holding down the power button.

Next, look at your keyboard for a function key with a touchpad icon, often showing a prohibited symbol. On hp laptop touchpad not working, this may be the F5 key. Press and hold the Fn key plus this function key to turn the built-in touchpad on and off. If you accidentally disabled it, that should make it work again.

You should also unplug any external mice, trackpads or other pointing devices connected by USB or Bluetooth. Some systems automatically disable the laptop touchpad when another input device is detected. Unplug them and reboot to see if that fixes the issue.

It’s also a good idea to open your operating system settings and check that the touchpad is actually turned on, and that options like tap-to-click are set up how you like. On Windows, go to Settings > Bluetooth & Devices > Touchpad to verify the status.

On some laptops, you may see a ‘Leave touchpad on when mouse is connected’ checkbox here. Turn that on if you want both pointing devices active together.

Windows Touchpad Settings

To access all the touchpad controls on Windows, go to Settings > Bluetooth & Devices > Touchpad. The top section lets you adjust touchpad sensitivity to your preference. Scroll down further to set up taps, gestures, scrolling direction and more based on how you like to use your touchpad.

Diagnose Hardware/Software Issues

If basic troubleshooting does not bring back touchpad functionality, the problem may need more advanced diagnostics. Updating your hardware drivers, cleaning dirt off the touchpad surface, or replacing a potentially faulty touchpad mechanism could be necessary.

On Windows and Mac laptops, visit your device maker’s website to download the newest touchpad driver for your model. Install it and reboot to see if that resolves any software conflicts.

Carefully clean debris off your touchpad using compressed air and an isopropyl alcohol wipe. This allows your finger inputs to register more accurately.

In rare cases, you may need to swap out a broken touchpad part. Warning signs include visible damage, cursor jumps far from your actual finger position, and erratic cursor movement. Contact your laptop manufacturer or authorized repair center to check if a new touchpad is required.

Advanced Troubleshooting

For more Windows troubleshooting, open the Device Manager and find your touchpad under Mice and other pointing devices. Try turning the device off and back on, or right-click to uninstall then scan for hardware changes so the system reinstalls the drivers.

Use manufacturer tools like laptop touchpad not working lenovo System Update to check for newer touchpad drivers specifically made for your model. The latest versions may fix compatibility issues the generic Windows drivers miss.

You may see online suggestions for unofficial driver downloads, registry tweaks etc. However, be very careful as these risky system-level changes could cause more problems.

Inspect your laptop for any physical damage that could explain the touchpad issues. Look for a swollen battery putting pressure inside, signs of water damage from spills, or a loose touchpad cable needing reattachment.

When To Use An External Mouse

Unfortunately, some laptops seem to have fundamentally faulty touchpad implementations that resist even advanced troubleshooting. If you’ve tried every solution with no luck, it may be time to add an external wireless mouse for better usability.

Learning your laptop’s keyboard shortcuts is another way to minimize reliance on a glitchy built-in touchpad. Master shortcuts like Alt + Tab for switching apps and Windows key + D to hide open windows.

Quality wireless mice from brands like Logitech and Microsoft plug into USB or Bluetooth to provide smooth, accurate cursor control. Switching to an external model like the Logitech MX Master can prevent endless headaches dealing with a bad laptop touchpad.

Conclusion

As we covered in this guide, you can fix an unresponsive, jumping, or erratic laptop touchpad through systematic troubleshooting. We went through basic software checks like tapping keyboard shortcuts to rule out whole system freezes, inspecting function key combos, and reconfiguring touchpad settings.

For hardware or driver issues, we looked at solutions including unplugging other input devices reducing touchpad interference, installing updated drivers tailored for your specific make and model, carefully cleaning debris off the touchpad surface, and replacing damaged physical parts if absolutely essential.

While a glitchy touchpad can temporarily make your laptop extremely annoying to use, in most cases the underlying problem can be identified and resolved by methodically testing potential causes. Try all self-help options before concluding you need to replace your computer entirely. With perseverance and the right guidance, you can get even a previously unresponsive touchpad smoothly working again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Did My Laptop Touchpad Suddenly Stop Working?

Common reasons a laptop touchpad might suddenly stop working include accidentally toggling it off with a function key combination, outdated or corrupt drivers, connection issues with a wireless mouse, and software conflicts. Try troubleshooting by pressing the touchpad toggle key, updating drivers, removing external mice, and rebooting your computer.

How Do I re-Enable My Disabled Touchpad?

If you have a function key like F5 that disables the touchpad, press and hold the Fn button then press F5. You can also enable the touchpad in your Operating System settings under Mice/Touchpad options. Finally disconnect any wired or wireless external mice which may automatically disable the touchpad.

My Touchpad Cursor Jumps Around Erratically. What Should I Do?

Erratic jumping of the cursor usually indicates a hardware failure of the touchpad itself. Connect an external mouse to verify the behavior, then inspect your touchpad for any loose cables or damage. Updating your touchpad drivers can also resolve software-related cursor jumping issues.

Can I Use A Mouse While My Laptop Touchpad Is Disabled?

Yes, you can use a wired USB or wireless Bluetooth mouse with your laptop even if the built-in touchpad is disabled. For best results, select a high precision gaming or productivity mouse from trusted brands like Logitech, Razer or Microsoft.

Should I Just Disable My Glitchy Laptop Touchpad Permanently?

No, don’t permanently disable a glitchy touchpad before exhausting troubleshooting steps. The solutions in this guide can resolve many touchpad anomalies without requiring replacement. If all else fails, rely on an external mouse and learn touchpad keyboard shortcuts as needed.

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