If the touchpad of your laptop has stopped working suddenly, it can be quite frustrating to know the real cause. However, this problem is fairly common and here are ways to fix a laptop touchpad that’s not working properly:
Check if your touchpad is dirty
If you rarely clean up the laptop, the touchpad could be dirty with grease and dust. Wipe the touchpad with a slightly damp microfiber cloth and wait for one minute. Wipe it again with another clean part of the cloth.
Check function key
Depending on the model of your laptop, there are function keys that disable different components, such as the display and touchpad. The easiest way to check a malfunctioning touchpad is to see whether it is disabled by the function key. Check the keyboard for a small icon of a finger or a touchpad. Press and hold the Function key on your keyboard and then press the enable/disable key for the touchpad. The locations, colors, and icons of Function and touchpad enable/disable keys are different depending on the make and model of your laptop, so you need to check carefully.
In some cases, your touchpad has been disabled in the Settings menu. If you have a Windows 11 laptop, go to Settings > Bluetooth & Devices > Touchpad. Make sure that the touchpad is enabled. If you have a MacBook, go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control > Mouse & Trackpad. Look for “Disable the Trackpad if an External Mouse is Connected” and be sure it’s selected. A similar option is found in Windows 11 laptops. Go to Settings > Bluetooth & Devices > Touchpad. Look for “Leave Touchpad on When a Mouse is Connected” and be sure to enable it.
Disable the Tablet mode
If you have a Windows laptop with a touch display, it is possible that you are in tablet mode and this may disable the touchpad. This is a standard functionality to prevent any unwanted input when you use the touchscreen display. This feature is typically found on Windows 11 with a 2-in-1 form factor, which can be transformed easily into a tablet. If the keyboard isn’t removable, this feature will be enabled by default in tablet mode. Go to Action Center and see if the tablet mode is enabled or disabled.
Resolve driver conflicts
If you have installed multiple third-party drivers, there’s an increased risk of driver conflicts. It is not possible for Microsoft to regulate how these drivers are developed, so a new driver or two may interfere with your touchpad. Because it’s next to impossible to pinpoint the problematic driver, the best solution is to roll back recent driver updates. Go to Device Manager and look for newly updated drivers. Right-click it on a device and choose Properties. Go to the Drivers tab and choose Roll Back Driver.
Restart your laptop
This is a common solution for many Windows-related problems. This is however a last resort. If the touchpad is somehow disabled after the laptop wakes up from sleep mode, restarting it may fix the problem. If this is a minor, temporary glitch, your touchpad should work again.