How to Fix a Laptop's Touchpad

By Chelle Handley

Laptops use a built-in touch pad to translate the movement of the user's finger into screen navigation and interactive input. Touch pads are convenient when working in a small area or away from a desk. Users experiencing trouble when using the touch pad should first clean the surface with a soft cloth and a drop or two of an ammonia-based window cleaner.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Ammonia-based window cleaner

Enable Touch Pad

Step 1

Click "Start", then right-click "Computer" or "My Computer" located on the right side of the window, and then "Manage." Enter administrator password if asked.

Step 2

Click "Device Manager", and double-click "mice and other pointing devices."

Step 3

Right-click the touch pad and click "enable." Windows searches the computer and enables the touch pad. Close the screen.

Step 4

Restart the computer if prompted. If the touch pad still does not work, update the drivers (see reference 1).

Update Drivers

Step 1

Click "Start", then right-click "Computer" or "My Computer" located on the right side of the window, and then "Manage." Enter administrator password if asked.

Step 2

Click "Device Manager," and double-click "mice and other pointing devices."

Step 3

Right-click the touch pad and "Update Driver Software," then "Search automatically for updated driver software." Windows searches for and if available, loads the new drivers. Close the screen.

Step 4

Restart the computer if prompted. If the touch pad still does not work, uninstall the touch pad (see reference 1).

Uninstall/Reinstall the Touch Pad

Step 1

Click "Start", then right-click "Computer" or "My Computer" located on the right side of the window, and then "Manage." Enter administrator password if asked.

Step 2

Click "Device Manager" and double-click "mice and other pointing devices."

Step 3

Right-click the touch pad and click "Uninstall". Check the device tree to ensure the touch pad is gone.

Step 4

Right-click "Mice and other pointing devices" and then click "Scan for hardware changes." Windows searches the computer and re-installs the touch pad. Close-out the screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pressing the function "Fn" key and the F9 key at the same time enables the touch pad.