This page covers the most common ways to resolve a laptop touchpad not working. If you cannot resolve your laptop touchpad problem after trying the solutions on this page, the touchpad may not work due to a less common cause. In this case, we recommend that you bring the laptop to a computer repair shop for further analysis.
The operating system is not responding
The first thing to check is whether the computer and the operating system are also not responsive. The computer may be frozen, which means it is not responding to any commands you give it. In this case, the touchpad also doesn’t work.
To check this, try pressing Num Lock or Scroll Lock key on your keyboard to see if the lights on the keyboard are on. Many keyboards have few indicators when Num Lock and Scroll Lock are activated. If your keyboard has this feature and the lights turn on and off when you press the Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys, the computer doesn’t freeze. If the light stays on or off after pressing the key repeatedly, then the computer may freeze. Restart your computer to see if this solves the problem, and as a result, the touchpad is working again.
Some laptops have buttons around the touchpad or the Fn keyboard to turn the touchpad on and off. If your laptop has this feature, try pressing a button or key to turn on the touchpad before following any steps below.
Some USB and PS / 2 input devices automatically disable the touchpad when connected. Troubleshooting step, turning off the computer, disconnecting all external devices, then restarting the computer to make sure one of them didn’t turn off the touchpad. If this fixes your problem, you can reconnect the mouse to continue troubleshooting or change the settings discussed in the next sections.
Check mouse settings
Note: We recommend connecting an external mouse, PS / 2, or USB, or use your laptop’s TrackPoint (if applicable) to perform the troubleshooting steps on this page.
As we mentioned in the previous section, it’s important to look at your mouse/touchpad settings as they can keep your touchpad working under certain circumstances. To access mouse settings, follow the steps below.
- Navigate to the Start menu or press the Windows key and type change mouse settings in the Search field, and then press Enter.
- In the Mouse Properties that opens, locate your touchpad settings. They are usually found under the right tab next to Hardware (the tab’s name varies from manufacturer to manufacturer).
- Make sure there is a check box next to Enable touchpad.
- Adjust any other settings to your liking, then click Apply, then OK.
- Test your touchpad.
Apple macOS users
- For macOS X, access System Preferences in the Apple menu at the top of the desktop screen. For MacBook Pro, click the System Preferences icon at the bottom of the desktop screen.
- In the System Preferences window, click the Trackpad icon to open the Trackpad settings.
- Adjust any trackpad settings you want to change.
- Test the trackpad to see if it works.
Check Device Manager and Update Driver
If the touchpad still doesn’t work, Windows Device Manager can give you detailed information about hardware problems and help you update the drivers. For example, if the device has a yellow or red X exclamation mark next to it, this is an indicator of hardware or software problems. To locate the touchpad in Device Manager, follow the steps below.
- Navigate to the Start screen or press the Windows key and type device manager, then press Enter.
- On your PC, double-click Mice and other pointing devices.
- Locate your touchpad and right-click the icons, and select Update Driver Software.
- Click Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the steps (if the drivers are out of date).
Tip: Right-clicking on the touchpad icon allows you to enable or disable it, depending on the device’s status. If disabled, re-enable it and test the touchpad. If it is already enabled, change it to disable, then re-enable it. Sometimes enabling/disabling this setting “reboots” again and fixes the touchpad.
Check CMOS (BIOS) settings
Make sure the touchpad has not been disabled in the CMOS setup (BIOS). Once you have entered the BIOS or CMOS settings, check the hardware device settings and if the touchpad is disabled, re-enable it and restart the laptop to check the touchpad.
The operating system file is damaged
Another possible cause for a damaged touchpad is corrupt operating system files. You will usually notice other issues and corrupt system files, resulting in the touchpad not working.
This fix requires you to activate a restore point a day before the touchpad stops working, or you may have to perform an operating system repair install. The repair installation will ask you to access the recovery partition on your hard drive or use an operating system installation disc.
Finally, if the touchpad still isn’t working correctly or it may not be very correct. Contact the computer manufacturer for instructions on adding or bringing your laptop to a computer repair shop. It may require the replacement of the touchpad itself or other hardware. If the touchpad cannot be fixed, you can connect and use an external mouse as a workaround.