How to disable touchpad?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by linxt, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. linxt

    linxt Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2010
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    Hi folks! First post to this forum but used windows since the original.

    Question, how can I disable the touchpad in windows7? Device manager wouldn't let me turn it off even when I plug in a logitech usb mouse.

    Just got this laptop recently and the touchpad is driving me nuts when I accidently touch the pad area. Old habits (and thumbs) die hard!

    Dell Studio 1745 is the laptop.

    Thanks for any suggestions and help.

    Tom Taylor
  2. RAK

    RAK Extraordinary Member

    Jul 6, 2009
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    It is a tough thing to do on Dells. Disabling through the Control panel does not seem to work in many cases.
    But, for a daily opeation, look carefully at your "F" keys. You may see a small touchpad symbol on one of them. If so, you are in luck. Hold down the "Fn" key and press the F key with the symbol. That will diable it for the session.
    You might also find an option in the Bios setup to permanently disable it.
  3. MaxDavid

    MaxDavid New Member

    Mar 24, 2010
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    You did not specify your reason for wanting to disable your laptop's touchpad.

    Let me take a wild guess: You want to avoid erratic cursor motion while typing.

    I have experienced this behavior on a number of laptops which, following a clean installation of Windows, did not have the mouse control panel specific to the laptop's touchpad.

    Laptop makers overwhelmingly source their touchpads from Alps and Synaptics, who write their own software to control these devices.

    Both the Alps- and Synaptics-supplied mouse control panel allow you to change the touchpad's behavior, for example, turning it on or off, or changing the tapping sensitivity. (From what I have read and experienced, that tapping sensitivity is largely to blame for most erratic cursor movement issues.)

    Without subsequently downloading the proper touchpad drivers and/or software, a clean installation of Windows results in a sometimes problematic generic mouse control panel without the features that allow touchpad control.

    And, although Windows Update will find updates for some hardware, it doesn't seem to find this.

    If that's your case, you have (at least) two choices: Install the right mouse control panel or use a utility likeTouchFreeze.

    Choice #1 Install the right mouse control panel

    Your laptop maker's support website may have just what you need. Discovering whether your laptop has an Alps or Synaptics touchpad may be a chore, however. Warning: If you install Synaptics software on a laptop with a Alps touchpad (or vice-versa), you may regret it. You might find, for example, that your keyboard no longer works, which--if you need a password to launch your user acount--proves troublesome, unless you start up in Safe Mode. (Remember: Before making major changes to your system it's always prudent to create a Restore Point in the System Properties dialog box accessed from System Protection on the left pane of Windows 7's System Control Panel.)

    Even if your laptop maker's website does have what you need, finding where to download it from may prove difficult. Do diligently search there, however, because if you can find the software there, odds are it will work.

    As Synaptics advises, " To ensure that you get the appropriate device driver for your system, download your Synaptics device driver from your system manufacturer's support website." And, "Installing a generic driver can result in the loss of customized Synaptics pointing device functionality."

    But, because the latest touchpad drivers are written by Synaptics and Alps, you should be able to download the latest software for their touchpads at their websites.

    For Synaptics, visit

    For Alps, I'm not sure--their website(s) is difficult to navigate. Alps makes touchpads for Dell, Sony, and Toshiba, and are known for jerky movement and temperamental scrolling.

    I have recently (March 2010) found touchpad software that works:

    -for a Sony laptop, I found a utility that will install a version of the Alps Pointing Device Driver that is compatible with Windows® 7 at

    -and for a Toshiba at

    Choice #2 Use a utility like TouchFreeze

    TouchFreeze is a utility that disables the touchpad (at least, reportedly, its tapping function) automatically while you are typing text.

    I have tried it and it works very well.

    And it’s quick and easy.

    #3 MaxDavid, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010

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