The touchpad is the go-to input method for laptops; it is impossible to imagine using a laptop without it for most users. If the touchpad stops working, it can be frustrating for laptop users. Touchpads are standard in Windows and MacBook laptops with slight variations. While you can attach a mouse to your laptop, a touchpad adds functionality.
There are quite a few reasons why your touchpad may be disabled or not working as it should. The issues can range from operating system-related issues to an unintentionally disabled touchpad. Luckily most of the causes of a disabled touchpad can be fixed yourself at home. I will provide some simple fixes to help you get your laptop’s touchpad working again.
What causes A Touchpad To Get Disabled?
A disabled or non-functional touchpad usually results from the user accidentally disabling the touchpad. Or in some cases, it might be due to outdated drivers or an outed OS. However, there are times when the touchpad may not work because your laptop is frozen.
Laptops freeze when their operating system stops responding and get stuck on the same screen. This situation may make it seem like the touchpad is disabled; however, the whole computer is not functioning in reality.
So before you try any other fixes, ensure the laptop is not frozen by pressing the Windows key on your laptop. If the start menu opens up, the operating system responds. However, if your keyboard is also non-responsive, the issue is related to a wrong command causing the laptop to freeze.
How to fix a disabled touchpad?
There are a few methods for fixing a disabled touchpad, and the best part is you can try them by following our step-by-step guide. So without further ado, here is how you can try to fix a disabled touchpad:
Check the function key
Most laptops come with an option to manually disable the touchpad using a dedicated function key. While it requires a specific combination of keys to be pressed to enable this function, users can press this key combination by accident.
In order to make sure your touchpad wasn’t disabled by accident, press the function key along with either F1 or F2, or try the same combination with other function keys.
You should be able to tell if your touchpad has been enabled after pressing the function key combination, as you will get a prompt on your screen.
Disconnect USB input devices
If you attach specific external USB input devices to your laptop, they may override the touchpad and disable it. As long as such an external device is connected to your laptop, the touchpad will not work.
So in order to troubleshoot if any external input device is causing your touchpad to freeze, remove any USB connections attached to the laptop and test if this fixes the issue.
The touchpad is disabled in the settings
If multiple individuals use a laptop, it is possible that another user could have disabled the touchpad in settings. In order to enable the touchpad from settings, you will need to attach a mouse to your laptop via USB and follow these simple steps:
- Type Touchpad in the search bar next to the start button.
- Click on Touchpad settings and make sure that the toggle switch next to it is set to on.
- If the Touchpad has been turned off by accident, turn it back on, and it should start working as usual.
Check drivers for Touchpad
Touchpad relies on drivers to operate correctly, and if Touchpad drivers aren’t installed or up to date, it can cause it to stop working. In order to make sure your Touchpad drivers are up to date, you can follow these simple steps:
- Type Device Manager in the Windows search bar.
- Click on Device Manager, and you will have to click on Mice and other pointing devices.
Note: The touchpad drivers might be under the Human Interface Devices section.
- Next, find and right-click on the Touchpad icon and select Update Driver.
Windows will automatically update your device’s Touchpad drivers; this fix can also install any missing drivers. All you have to do is select Search automatically for updated driver software.
Restart your laptop
Most software-related issues that may cause a touchpad to freeze can be resolved by restarting the laptop. In addition, if you rarely reboot your laptop or always use hibernation or sleep modes instead of a proper shutdown, a restart once in a while is highly recommended.
To restart your laptop with a disabled touchpad, all you have to do is press the Alt and F4 keys simultaneously. Then use the arrow keys to select restart and press the Enter key.
This simple yet effective fix can resolve most of the temporary software-related issues in a laptop to make it start working again.
Install Windows updates
If all the fixes mentioned above fail to resolve the issue, your Touchpad may malfunction due to an outdated operating system. Most hardware on your laptop needs the latest version of Windows to work correctly, and the Touchpad is no exception.
Similar to drivers, you can also install Windows updates automatically using the Windows Update setting. You can follow these simple steps to install the latest version of Windows on your laptop:
- Type “Check for updates” in the Windows search bar and click the Check for updates option.
- Now click the Check for updates button, and Windows will scan for available updates.
- Install any updates that may not have been installed already.
You can apply the fixes in any order; however, it is recommended to restart your laptop after trying a fix to resolve an issue properly.
Once you have applied all the fixes mentioned above and your laptop’s touchpad still won’t work as intended, then there is a chance that the issue might be related to hardware. In case of physical damage to the touchpad or a non-functional touchpad, getting it repaired by an authorized service provider is the best option.