Fix a touch­pad that stops work­ing

LINCOLN SPECTOR re­veals how to fix a bro­ken touch­pad

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

When your lap­top’s touch­pad stops re­spond­ing to your fin­gers, you’ve got a prob­lem. Have you ever tried to use a Win­dows PC with­out a mouse, touch­pad, or other point­ing de­vice? It’s all but im­pos­si­ble. If the prob­lem just started, re­boot your com­puter and see if that fixes it. (Yes, I know that’s painfully ob­vi­ous, but we all some­times over­look the ob­vi­ous.) If that doesn’t work, try these so­lu­tions.

First, make sure you haven’t ac­ci­den­tally dis­abled the touch­pad. In all like­li­hood, there’s a key com­bi­na­tion that will tog­gle the touch­pad on and off. It usu­ally in­volves hold­ing down the Fn key (which is prob­a­bly near the lower-left cor­ner of the key­board) while press­ing an­other key.

But what other key should you press? It’s prob­a­bly one of the func­tion keys (F1 through F12), although it might be some­thing else. Ex­am­ine the key­board, pay­ing par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the lit­tle icons (usu­ally blue) on some of the keys. Look for an icon that might sug­gest the touch­pad.

Un­for­tu­nately, not all touch­pad icons are easy to fig­ure out. I never would have guessed the one on my old Len­ovo X220. I found it by search­ing on the model name and num­ber plus ‘dis­able touch­pad’. The an­swer, by the way, was F8. I had to search the an­swer again for my newer Len­ovo Yoga 900, where it was F6. If you can’t guess the icon, I sug­gest you do the same.

If that doesn’t fix the prob­lem, check the touch­pad set­tings. In Win­dows 7 or 8, go to the Start menu or the search charm and type mouse set­tings. Se­lect Change mouse set­tings (there are other op­tions that are very sim­i­lar, so pick the one with that ex­act word­ing). In Win­dows 10, click the Win­dows key and go to Set­tings > De­vices > Touch­pad. This brings you to the Touch­pad set­tings page, where you can con­firm the touch­pad is en­abled and check other op­tions.

If that doesn’t help, you may need a new driver. Go to your lap­top man­u­fac­turer’s web­site and search for your model num­ber and the words touch­pad driver. See if there’s a driver you can down­load and in­stall.

If none of these sug­ges­tions work, you’ve got a hard­ware prob­lem. As­sum­ing you’re not ready to try this sort of re­pair your­self, you have two op­tions: You can send the lap­top to a shop for re­pairs, or you can buy a small, wire­less mouse and use that in its place.

Check your lap­top’s Touch­pad set­tings to make sure the touch­pad is en­abled, and check other set­tings there while you’re at it

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