Some Dell users have been reporting problems with their touchpads. Most affected users report suddenly losing the ability to use the touchpad after it has been working for a long time. While some users report encountering this problem after performing a Windows update, some have no apparent trigger in mind. Even more curiously, most users report that while an external mouse is connected the touchpad works just fine.
If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, the following fixes will help you get back your touchpad functionality on your Dell computer. Below you have a collection of methods that other users have successfully used to resolve this particular issue. Follow each potential fix in order until you get your touchpad back. Let’s begin.
Method 1: Enable the Touchpad using the function key
The most common reason why the touchpad stops functioning is because the user ends up disabling the touchpad function by mistake. Most laptops have a function key dedicated to the TouchPad integrated with the F keys. The most common placement is on the F9 key.
To re-enable the touchpad on your Dell computer, press the button resembling a TouchPad button and see whether you regain the TouchPad functionality. Certain models will require you to have the Function key pressed while pressing the TouchPad key.
Method 2: Re-enabling touchpad from Control panel or Dell Settings
Users that reported losing the touchpad functionality after installing a Windows update have managed to resolve the issue after discovering that their Touchpad was disabled inside Control Panel. Altough the causes for this are unclear, most users suspect that the issue is caused by an improper Windows update.
Here’s a quick guide on how to re-enable the TouchPad functionality of a Dell computer via Control Panel:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “control” and hit Enter to open Control Panel.
- Inside Control Panel, navigate to Hardware and Sound, then click on Mouse and Touchpad.
- Next, click on Additional mouse options and see whether your Touchpad is enabled inside Mouse Properties. If it isn’t, click on Enable device under the Dell TouchPad tab and restart your computer.
Note: If you can’t find the settings options specified above, open a Run box (Windows key +R), type “main.cpl” and hit Enter to open the Mouse Properties window. Then, go over to Dell Touchpad and click on Click to change Dell TouchPad settings. Next, from the dedicated Dell Touchpad section, change the Touchpad toggle from Off to On and hit the Save button.
- At the next startup, see if the issue has been resolved and you are able to use the TouchPad. If you’re still having the same issue, move over to the method below.
Method 3: Update/Rollback TouchPad driver via Device Manager
Losing the functionality of your Dell’s TouchPad might also be caused by a glitched driver or by an improper installation performed by WU. Some users experiencing the same problem have managed to regain the TouchPad functionality on their Dell laptops by either updating the TouchPad driver or rolling it back to a previous version that was functioning properly.
Here’s a quick guide on how to use Device Manager to update or rollback the Touchpad driver on Dell laptops or notebooks:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “devmgmt.msc” and hit Enter to open Device manager.
- In Device Manager, expand the Mice and other pointing devices drop-down menu, right-click on Dell Touchpad and select Properties.
- In the Dell Touchpad Properties window, click on the Driver tab to bring it forward, then click on the Update Driver box.
- At the next window, click on the Search Automatically for updated driver software box and wait for the new driver to be installed on your computer.
Note: In case the wizard gets back to you saying you already have the latest driver, return to the Driver tab and click on Roll Back Driver.
Once the TouchPad driver is updated or rolled back, restart your computer and see whether you manage to resolve the issue at the next startup. If you’re still having problems with the TouchPad on your Dell laptop or notebook, move down to the final method.
Method 4: Creating a Linux Boot DVD
This might seem like an odd fix, but a lot of users have managed to use it successfully to regain the TouchPad functionality on their Dell computers. This method involves creating a Linux boot DVD, using it to boot in Linux, then booting back on Windows 10.
A lot of users have reported that this method was successful in bringing back the Touchpad functionality. Here’s a quick guide on creating a Linux boot DVD and boot your computer from it in order to fix the Dell TouchPad issue:
- Download any Linux distribution ISO. If you don’t know which, visit this link (here) and download the latest Ubuntu LTS release.
- Once the Linux ISO is downloaded on your computer, insert a blank DVD and burn the Linux ISO on it.
Note: If you don’t have a DVD at the ready, you can also copy the Linux distribution on a flash drive using this guide (here).
- Restart your machine and boot from the Linux media that you’ve recently created. If your DVD drive (or USB slot) are not configured as booting options, you might have to change that from your BIOS settings.
- Once your computer manages to boot from the Ubuntu ISO, select Try Ubuntu without installing and hit Enter.
- Wait until your system is fully booted in Linux, then restart your computer and take out the Linux Media so that your system will boot back into Windows.
- At the next startup, wait until your system is booted up and check whether you managed to restore your Touchpad Functionality.