How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop: 10+ Ways to Make It Work

Updated: April 26, 2023
6 min read
How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop: 10+ Ways to Make It Work
by Dmytro Sywyi
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

A laptop combines all you need from a computer in one device, including a keyboard and a built-in mouse (touchpad or trackpad). But when the touchpad stops moving, the laptop immediately starts to feel like a “brick”.

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In most cases, it is a software-based problem. Hardware-based issues are less than 15-20% of all cases. That means you can fix it without the service center’s help. Check out the fullest guide on how to fix the touchpad on a laptop.

Why your touchpad isn’t working: main causes

Here are signs that you need to think about fixing the problem of your computer touchpad not working:

  • You see cracks or other visible damage on the touchpad.
  • The cursor freezes.
  • Your touchpad works only from time to time.
  • Your touchpad stopped working.

If you experience any of the above issues, fix your touchpad. The good news is that you can do this at home in less than an hour. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to fix touchpads on Windows-based laptops.

Is Your Whole Computer Frozen?

The most common reason for major computer freezing is high CPU usage. It means that currently opened apps consume too much working memory. Usually, the PC starts to get glitches when CPU usage passes 75-80%. When this level passes 90-95%, your computer may freeze for an uncertain period of time. That’s why your laptop pad is not working.

The easiest way to troubleshoot it is to close the most consuming apps. Usually, it’s some 3D games, web browsers, or editing software.

  1. Use CTRL + Shift + ESC or right-click with the mouse on the Windows logo with a mouse to call the Task Manager.
  2. Use arrow keys to browse the Task Manager and find the most consuming app. Press the Delete button on your keyboard to stop this app. You can also right-click with a mouse on the app’s name in the Task Manager and choose the End Task option.

How to fix the touchpad on Windows. Step-by-step guidelines

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Instead of wasting your time googling “Why is my touchpad not working?”, check our instructions. We are gathering 13 ways to solve this issue.

1. Restart the PC

It’s the easiest way to fix a not working touchpad. This action closes all apps and cleans the working memory and temporary files. If corrupted data interferes with the touchpad, this action solves this problem.

Turn down your laptop and let it rest for 2-5 minutes. After this, turn it on. It should help you to fix the touchpad on the laptop.

Don’t open all of your previously used apps at the same time. Open them one by one. It helps you find out which app causes the touchpad malfunction.

2. Search for the touchpad buttons

Certain laptops have switches that allow them to turn off the touchpad. Check if your computer has buttons or bumps close to the touchpad. Once you find it, press that button. It will enable the touchpad.

Sometimes you can find these buttons on the side of the laptop. Usually, it is located near the USB and LAN ports. Check these parts of your laptop too. It can be an explanation of why your touchpad has stopped working on the laptop.

3. Try the “Fn” key combination

How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

If your laptop doesn’t have the button to switch a touchpad, try the function keys. It’s a line of keys located on the most elevated line of the keyboard. Most of these keys are multifunctional.

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When you press only the function key, it will do just what is on the pictogram. But the combination of the Fn+F key will launch a shortcut that may help you fix the not working touchpad on a laptop.

Hold the Fn key and press the F-key. There is no universal “touchpad” button — it may vary even inside one laptop series. Check the instructions for your laptop in the “Hotkeys” section. The manufacturer should write this combination there. If you have the instruction near you and don’t know which is responsible for this action, tap all the F-buttons one by one. Some of them will unlock the touchpad.

Try more severe solutions if the touchpad is not working on the laptop even after those manipulations.

4. Check the Touchpad Settings

Some apps can intentionally turn off the touchpad. It can be games, graphic design apps, or even media players. You can turn it back in the settings. Here is instruction on how to fix the touchpad that’s stopped working on the laptop:

  1. Open Settings → Devices.
  2. Find the Touchpad and switch it on. Also, you can change the sensitivity of the device: the higher it gets, the faster the cursor will go.

You can also try the following settings to troubleshoot the not working touchpad on a laptop:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Type in the search bar Control PanelHardware and SoundDevices and PrintersMouse.
  3. Scroll to the Hardware and check the box near Enable touchpad.
  4. Apply these changes.
How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

If you don’t find the touchpad on the Properties, these steps may help you:

  1. Open Mouse PropertiesHardware.
  2. Find an HID-compliant touchpad. If you connect the USB mouse to troubleshoot the trackpad, you will have 2 HID-compliant entries. Find those that don’t have a USB in the Location property.
  3. Once you located the touchpad with HID, select Properties.
  4. Find device status. It should say, “This device is working properly”. If you see another message — proceed to the next steps of our instructions.

5. Reset the Touchpad Settings

If the cursor still fails to move, reset its parameters. This also may help you to fix the touchpad on the laptop.

  • Click on the Windows icon and go to Settings.
  • Type TouchPad in the search bar.
  • Choose Touch Bar settingsReset the touchpadReset.
  • Wait until the system reactivates the device.
  • Test the touchpad.

6. Disconnect all external devices

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Some devices may conflict with your touchpad. The fastest way to troubleshoot the situation where the keyboard and touchpad are not working is to detach the externals. Shut down your laptop, cut off all devices, and then turn it on.

If it helps to resolve the issue, reconnect your externals one by one. That’s how you will find what prevents your touchpad from working correctly.

7. Check the Mouse Properties

How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

The trackpad may just be disabled in the Windows settings. Do next to fix the touchpad on the laptop that is not working:

  1. Open the Run App.
  2. Type main.cpl and click OK. This action will open the Mouse Properties.
  3. Open the Device Settings tab.
  4. Find your trackpad and select EnableApplyOK.

8. Check for fresh updates

How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

Each update installs on its schedule. Some parts of your system may operate on the latest software, while others may continue working on the old software. It leads to conflicts, which may be the reason why your touchpad is not working on a laptop.

  1. You need to run the latest Windows with the most recent drivers. To check it, click on the Windows icon and choose Settings. Type About the System in the search. You will see the information on the Specifications block.
  2. To obtain the latest version of your Windows system, you need to open the Update and Security block in the settings. After this, select the Windows Update tab and pick the Check for updates button.
  3. If there are any updates, you will see the Download and Install button. Click on it and follow the instructions to fix a touchpad that doesn’t work.

9. Update the touchpad driver

It is the software component that regularly optimizes the device. It helps the PC work with the most recent apps, even when the hardware is 5+ years old. If one of the drivers is too old, the computer may encounter some malfunctions. And one of them is that the computer touchpad is not working. You can fix it with the following actions:

  • Go to the Device Manager. There are two ways to do this.
  1. Right-click Windows with an external mouse and select Device Manager.
  2. Use the search bar near Windows. Write a Device and find the app.
  • Go to Pointing DevicesTouchpad (often called a Pointing Device or something similar) → right-click → Update Driver.
How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

You can also uninstall the trackpad driver. Modern PCs will automatically find them.

  • Open the Device Manager, right-click on the touchpad, and select Uninstall.
  • Pick the Scan for hardware changes option. Your computer will find the touchpad and install an up-to-date driver. Or you can just restart the system — modern laptops (released after 2015) reinstall the drivers automatically.

Note: Ensure you are connected to the internet. Otherwise, the laptop will not be able to find the update, and you’ll be stuck when the touchpad on a laptop is not working until you connect to the internet.

Another way to solve this issue is to visit the manufacturer's site and download the software manually. Most tech manufacturers have a software section on their websites. Write your laptop series in it, and you will get the link to the page with the suitable drivers.

10. Turn off the Tablet PC Input Service

How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

If you still think “Why does my touchpad not work?” while you use the touchscreen, seek the source of the crisis in the Tablet PC Input Service. This service shuts down the touchpad.

If you don’t use the stylus, turn it off on the Registry Editor. You have two ways to call:

  • Type in the search bar near the Windows button Regedit. Click on the Registry Editor app.
  • Hold the Win + R combo to open the Run app. Type regedit and press Enter.

Once you have done this, proceed with this:

  1. Right-click on TabletPC > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  2. Set the new name as TurnOffTouchInput.
  3. Double-click on it and specify the Value data as 1.
  4. Press Enter.

11. Enable the cursor in BIOS

How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

Review the basic settings. Maybe the problem is hiding there. Do the following to how fix a not working touchpad in BIOS:

  1. Shut down the laptop.
  2. Turn it up and press the BIOS key while booting. It can be F10, F2, F12, or DEL. Also, try the Fn + F key combo.
  3. Go to the hardware settings menu
  4. Find the Touchpad line. Enable it.
  5. Restart the PC.

12. Restore Windows

As we said, Windows constantly updates. Some of the updates may create corrupt system files. The easiest way to fix a touchpad on a laptop is to restore your system from the backup file. All you have to do is to select the restore point on any date before the cursor shutdown:

  1. Find the search bar near the Windows and type Restore. Or you can go to the settings and type “Restore” there.
  2. Go to System Protection and choose System Restore.
  3. Find the restore point before the last system update. Select it. Then wait until the system rolls back.

If you know when your touchpad stopped working, click Show more restore points. Select the moment right before “Day X”.

If you don’t have any restore points, factory reset the system. It’s the most severe software action that you can do. Factory reset eliminates everything from the hard drive, including settings, apps, and personal files.

13. Check for defective hardware

If you have tried everything we said before, but your touchpad or mouse is not working, a computer has broken hardware. Contact the manufacturer if you still have a warranty. They will change the touchpad for free or at a highly reduced price.

If you are confident in your repair skills, contact Howly experts to get a tailored hardware troubleshooter that we will make just for you. We recommend visiting the nearest payment station for those who aren’t fully confident with their hard skills. Repair technicians change broken hardware for new ones for some service fee.

How to fix the trackpad on the laptop with macOS

How to Fix the Touchpad on a Laptop

Even Apple laptops can have touchpad (trackpad) bugs. Here is what you can do to fix the problem:

  1. Check for software updates. Go to the System Preferences, launch Software Update, and launch available updates.
  2. Another way is to open the System Preferences, slide to the Accessibility menu and find the Pointer Control line. Modify the speed — slide the arrow to the Faster side.
  3. Disconnect the mouse if your trackpad doesn’t respond. Check the settings info. Go to the Pointer control and untick the box. This setting orders the system to ignore a trackpad when a mouse is present.

If none of these resolutions have helped to fix a not working trackpad, it’s mostly a hardware problem.

Recommendations for the external touchpads

  • Check that your touchpad is connected to the laptop. Make sure that both ends are plugged in. Unplug the touchpad, turn it down for 1-2 minutes, and plug it in again. It may be a minor hardware bug, so reconnecting should fix it.
  • Change the batteries. Set new pair if you have a wireless trackpad or touchpad. They may be too weak. Change them for more powerful ones. Check the battery's volume and other power settings on its package.
  • Restart Bluetooth. Turn it off in the settings and then turn it on. Click on Windows and go to Settings. Type there “Bluetooth” and choose Bluetooth and other devices. Find the Bluetooth toggle, and switch it on.
  • Reinstall the touchpad. Go to the Bluetooth settings, delete it from the connection list, and click on Add Bluetooth.

Use a mouse

Some touchpads are just not long-lasting, and you need to deal with it. Buy a mouse if you don’t want to repair a touchpad. It’s a cheap and easy solution. Fixing the trackpad costs you $150+, and new laptop prices lay around $800. A fine mouse costs $50-100, but if you need it just for web browsing, there are acceptable options even for $10-15.


Why is my touchpad not working?

In most cases, it’s a software bug. Restart the computer to remove corrupted temporary files. Check that you enable the touchpad with a special button, function keys, or settings. Update the hardware or roll back to the previous system version.

What are the reasons for not working the touchpad on MacBook?

Usually, it’s a software glitch. Restart the computer, change system preferences, and disconnect the mouse. Update the laptop to the latest possible macOS or roll back the system to that day when you don’t have this glitch.

Is it possible to replace the touchpad on my laptop manually?

Any touchpad can be replaced in case of breakage. But you should know that it can serve as a separate part or be integrated with the keyboard (depending on the brand of your laptop). Contact Howly or head to a service center if you aren’t sure how to replace the touchpad at home.

Conclusion: how to fix your not working touchpad at home

Check the laptop for damage. Clean it from the dirt as it may be clogged. If there is no visible damage, search for a software problem. Restart your laptop and let the system updates install correctly.

Check for updates. Maybe you using old software, which conducts system conflicts. So it may answer the question “Why isn’t my touchpad working?”.

Next, try to change the settings of your PC. Externally connected devices might interfere with the built-in touchpad. One of the biggest system conflicts is about damaged files.

Roll back to the previous system version, if you have a backup. Also, consider a factory reset or visiting the nearest service station.

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