Laptop touchpads are becoming more user-friendly as the years go by. As far as they have come though, they still don’t offer half the usability and performance of an actual mouse. If you spend more time with a mouse connected to your laptop this guide will show you how to setup your computer to disable your touchpad whenever a mouse is connected.
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If you are more fond of using an external or Bluetooth mouse on your computer rather than the touchpad, you might as well set your touchpad to automatically disable when a mouse is connected. It’s pretty handy if your touchpad reacts to the touch of your palms. Whatever your reason, the process for setting your touchpad to auto disable is super simple, although it does differ a little depending on your computer manufacturer. Below are all the steps you will need to put this change into effect.
How to Setup your Laptop Touchpad to Disable when a Mouse is Connected.
Depending on what computer you own you may be able to enable this feature from the manufacturer's included software rather than using Windows. You will most likely find this software running in your taskbar's system tray. If it is, double-click on it, go to Settings and choose the appropriate option from the list, it should be blatantly easy to spot.
If your computer doesn’t have any software managing your touchpad, don’t worry you still have the option to use Windows 10’s built-in tools. First, open Windows Settings by pressing Windows Key + I, from this screen, click on Devices and select Touchpad from the list of devices on the left-hand menu.
Here you should be able to work out what we are going to do next pretty easily. There are two options actually, the first one allows you to turn off the touchpad completely, which will be a problem if your mouse batteries go flat and you don’t have access to a wired alternative.
The second option allows the touchpad to be disabled when a mouse is connected, reenabling when the mouse is disconnected. You can choose either option 1 or option 2. If you are choosing option 1, turn Touchpad from On to Off. If you are choosing option 2, just untick the Leave touchpad on when a mouse is a connected box.
Note: Some Dell computers have a slightly different method and will require you to go to Settings > Devices > Mouse or Settings > Devices > Touchpad and click Additional Mouse Options/Additional Settings. (yellow square in the image above) You can also make sure you have Dell Touch Guard enabled.
Once you have made the changes in either of the settings menus, the effect will be instant and won’t require you to restart your computer. If you wish to enable the function again simply go back into the same location and set the toggle in the opposite position. This should limit the collateral damage to the keyboard only next time your cat decides to walk across your laptop while you're in the middle of a project.