How turn off/disable laptop touchpad?

I have a Dell Precision M90 laptop and I forgot to ask this of our biweekly, one day only level of tech support when he was here yesterday. Where do I go to turn off the damn touchpad? I’m sick of screwing up emails because of this thing.:frowning:


If so, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel. Look for a Touchpad aplet. If there isn’t one, check under Mouse or Keyboard.

Most laptops have a function key (normally labelled “FN”) which can be used in combination with other keys to do things like disable or enable the touchpad. On the Toshiba laptop I’m using right now, it would be FN-F9. Your Dell may have a different key combination, so look for grey icons on the keys - those might help you figure it out.

There might also be a touchpad icon in the list on the lower right, which will get you to the screen to disable the damn thing. I’m with you - I can’t stand touchpads, so turning it off is one of the first things I do.

You may need to download and install the driver from the touchpad manufacturer (usually Alps or Synaptics) to disable it. The touchpad may work fine with the mouse driver built into Windows but the OEM driver may let you disable it while leaving the pointing stick enabled, or vice versa.

I found the info for the touchpad under the mouse, it has an Alps driver installed. Unfortunitly the only way I’ve found to disable “the damn thing” is to completely uninstall the driver. I just know that someday I’m going to be somewhere without a mouse and be screwed because there is no pointing stick…:smack:

It should have its own entry in the Device Manager - where it ought to be possible to right-click it and select ‘disable’.

Alternatively, if the wrist rest part of the case is easy to open (sometimes they hinge upward to permit access to the hard drive, or other components), the trackpad may have its own little molex-style power connector that can just be pulled out.

I checked Dell’s website, and for the Precision M90 notebook computer, they offer a download of a Synaptics driver. Try to install it.

Yeah, but why install a driver for a device you’re not going to use? It’s just going to consume system resources, slow boot times, etc (albeit probably imperceptibly)

If this is Windows XP…

Right-click the ‘My Computer’ icon on the desktop (or open the ‘System’ app in control panel)
Select the hardware tab
Click Device Manager
Expand the category ‘human Interface Devices’
Locate the trackpad entry, right-click and disable.

If it’s Vista… not a clue, but maybe something like the above.

It’s an XP Pro OS. There is no Touchpad driver under Human Interfaces, but there is under Mice and Other Pointing devices. Unfortunitly the Device Usage box that let’s you disable the device is greyed out.

I’m thinking about opening it up and just pulling the plug, but its a company laptop so I hesitate.

Don’t do that. Your IT dept will not appreciate it if you mess up company assets. Not to mention that it’s probably not as easy as disconnecting one wire to disable the touchpad. Try downloading and installing the driver provided by Dell.

Can you just Update the driver to a random one (preferably something that’s not even a mouse) so that it won’t work at all? Then you could always roll it back to the right driver if need be.

Edit: If it’s just bugging you while you’re typing, give Touch Freeze a try. It makes it so that the touchpad is disabled for a second or two after your last keystroke, significantly decreasing errors (this is what the proper drivers do too, except this lets you get the functionality without the bloat).

Heh, I just tape a small index card over the touchpad to “disable” it. Easy.

That sounds like it might be part of some kind of corporate lockdown - which might also prevent you from installing a new driver.

I would trust your judgment here - It’s a risk I’d consider on my own equipment, but not on company property, unless explicitly instructed by the proper authority.

Pretty much the same with my Vista machine - except that disabling means disabling only when it sees a mouse plugged in, which is good. It has to mention that it is disabling the touchpad whenever you boot, which is bad.

Yeah - the OP may not even have admin rights to the machine. Thats how our corporate IT does things, anyway.

Oh I have Admin rights, I’m just trying to be respectful and not abuse them. My number one rule of survial over the past 25 years has been “Don’t piss off the IT support guys”. :wink: I was able to update the Dell drivers, but to no avail . . it just renamed it to a new device and kept the disable function greyed out.:frowning:

I’ll try and see if Touch Freeze does what I need. If not I’ll go out to shop area and cut me out a nice piece of plastic to RTV down over the “the damn thing”.:smiley:

When I had that problem I did not disable the touchpad competely, I just turned off the “tap to click” feature. It drove me half crazy before I realized exactly what was happening and I couldn’t disable the whole thing because I am usually using it as a real “laptop” and have no space for an external mouse.

Well my bi-weekly support came back yesterday and was able to fix it because he has the same type of Dell laptop that I do. It appears that Microsoft drivers for the corldess mouse and keyboard were installed and over rode the touchpad driver controls. He told me that the MS drivers weren’t neccessay unless I was programing function keys on the mouse or keyboard, which I don’t bother doing at work.

The touchpad problem is now gone. The touchpad is locked when I have a mouse attached and becomes active when I unhook the mouse. Life is good again.

I have exactly the same problem with a Compaq Armada M700 which came with Win 98 but now runs XP Pro. It has a (stupid) EasyPoint IV “pointing stick” which I cannot disable because it does not show up anywhere, control panel, device manager, nowhere.

This page has drivers for other OS but no drivers for XP.