How Do You Get the Scrollbar on a Touchpad to Work?

By Craig Witt

Most modern laptops with touchpads offer vertical scrolling, horizontal scrolling or both. These features are located along the right-hand and bottom edges of the touchpad, respectively, and are activated when you swipe your finger along the touchpad edge. Scrolling functionality is nearly always enabled by default, but some users find the feature an annoyance and elect to turn it off. In most cases you can simply turn the feature back on using the Windows Control Panel.

Step 1

Click the Windows Start button, select "Settings," and then click "Control Panel."

Step 2

Double-click the icon labeled "Mouse."

Step 3

Select the Touchpad properties tab. The labeling of this tab varies, depending on your computer manufacturer, operating system version and the device drivers installed on your machine. Common labels include "Touch Pad," "Device Settings" and "Dell Touchpad." If you do not see this option, you may not be able to turn on scrolling for your laptop; skip the remaining steps and refer to the "Warnings" section below.

Step 4

Click the "Settings" button within the Touchpad Properties menu and look for the section labeled "Scrolling Settings" or similar. Enable scrolling within this section and define other scroll settings, such as scroll zone width and scrolling speed.

Step 5

Click "OK" to confirm your changes, and then close the Control Panel windows opened in the previous steps. The scrollbar on your laptop is now enabled.

Tips & Warnings

  • Enabling touchpad scrolling may not be possible with some older laptops, or with laptops using outdated drivers. Visit your computer manufacturer's website and download the most current touchpad drivers for your laptop to determine if this is the case for your machine.