How to Disable the Touchpad on a Dell XPS Notebook

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While convenient for navigation, the touchpad can be a nuisance when typing on your Dell XPS laptop. Slight contact between the heel of your palm and the touchpad can move your cursor to unpredictable areas, which makes typed text appear in the wrong place. To avoid such problems, disable your touchpad. Some models of Dell XPS laptops have a special function key to easily disable the touchpad, but not all do. However, you can also disable the touchpad within Windows.

Function Key

Step 1

Open the Dell XPS laptop lid and power up the computer.

Step 2

Press the touchpad function key, located on the top row of your keyboard. This function key has an image of a touchpad with an "X" across it.

Step 3

Press the touchpad function key again to re-enable the touchpad.

Windows Method

Step 1

Attach a USB mouse to an available USB port on your Dell XPS laptop.

Step 2

Click the Windows orb; type "main.cpl" and press "Enter" to launch the mouse properties window in Windows 7 or Vista. In Windows XP, click "Start" and then "Run," and then type "main.cpl" and press "Enter."

Step 3

Click the "Dell Touchpad" tab from the mouse properties window.

Step 4

Click the picture of the touchpad and click "Device Select."

Step 5

Check the box next to "Disable touchpad/Pointing Stick when external USB mouse is present." Click "Apply" and then "OK."


Connect an external mouse to your computer if you use the Windows method to disable the touchpad, otherwise navigation is severely hindered, and re-enabling the touchpad may prove very difficult.