Laptop question - possible to use mouse and touchpad at the same time?

I have a Gateway M-6862 laptop. The left touchpad button is having problems and gets stuck.

I mostly use my computer in bed, and vastly prefer using a touchpad. Can I hook up a USB mouse and just use it for the left button? Or will hooking up the mouse automatically disable the touchpad?

Related question - has anyone ever fixed a touchpad button without taking the whole laptop apart? What will I find if I just pry off the one button cover?

It might depend on the laptop, but I’ve got a mouse hooked up to mine and both the mouse and the touchpad work fine.

But have you tried tapping the touchpad itself instead of pressing the left button? Most touchpads I’ve come across treat a tap as a left click.

You generally can’t take apart the touchpad, but you may be able to replace it.

Adding a USB mouse will not override the touchpad. If you wanted to, you could reassign the buttons if it makes things easier (since you use left button far more often, might want to switch it with right).
Plus, I think most touchpads will do a ‘left click’ if you tap the touchpad in the centre sharply.

Thanks for the reassurances!

I should have explained, I do tap the pad as a “left click” as much as possible. But I’ve never got the knack of using that for certain things, like clicking and dragging to highlight text. So my idea is to use the mouse as little as possible, but have it ready for those times I need it.

Am I the only one who can’t use a touchpad at all ? Perhaps I’m clumsy or heavy-handed, but the cursor jumps hither and yon, the slightest touch is interpreted as left click. (Or maybe I need to change some sensitivity setting I’m unaware of?)

Actually, I’d suggest turning off tap to click. The settings should be under Mouse in Control Panel on Windows, or Keyboard and Mouse under System Preferences on a Mac. Sensitivity should be in there, too.

Windows works fine with multiple input devices.

Maybe it’s just me, but I consider the touchpad as a last resort when there’s no mouse available. I can’t imagine anyone preferring the touchpad. It’s also a major pain when I’m trying to type on a laptop keyboard, because if I accidentally touch the keypad as I’m typing, the cursor will jump up or down to a completely different place in the document than where I was typing.

Give me an external keyboard and mouse with my laptop any day.

My Toshiba works with both mouse and touchpad, wife’s Advent disables touchpad when mouse is plugged in (same OS - Ubuntu.)

Some touchpads are very configurable and can emulate ‘sticky keys’
However, for use in bed a trackball might be worth considering as a better alternative. My son will not be parted from his, similar to this one

Not that I’m trying to talk you into doing it, but the usual gesture for click-and-hold is double-tap-and-hold. Tap once, then tap again holding down the second time, then when you move it performs a drag.

I set up the touchpad on my Toshiba laptop (Vista) to turn off when a USB mouse is plugged in. The default action is for them to both be active.

I despise touchpads. I have a trackball mouse which doesn’t require a pad or much space, and I much prefer it, even on airplanes. I can put it on the armrest if need be.

So shut it off. Any laptop has provisions to do that and then it won’t happen accidentally.