How To Disable Trackpad

Dear Computer Lady,

I have a new-ish laptop. I always use a mouse because I can’t cope with the silly little track pad thing they have on laptops. How can I turn off the trackpad, or maybe there’s another way to solve my problem.

When I’m writing something, often the cursor jumps up to a previous line. Sometimes it highlights everything on its way, and sometimes it doesn’t but whichever it does, suddenly I’m typing in the wrong place. This is most frustrating. If it highlights everything, then the next keystroke I make deletes everything in the highlight, which is fine if I were doing it on purpose, but since I’m not, it’s quite infuriating. How can I get this computer to stop doing that? I’m thinking that disconnecting the trackpad might work, but I’m not aware of touching the trackpad when this happens. I may be touching it by accident along the way. Has anyone else complained about this? I know one other person who says she has this problem too, so at least I know it’s not just me.

Any ideas how to stop the cursor from jumping up like that?

Please and thank you, Betina

Dear Betina,

This is actually one of the most common questions I receive, and as such it is worth addressing once again. If you search my website, you will find similar questions and answers.

Some trackpads can be easily disabled by a switch on or near the trackpad itself. Others can be disabled by a keyboard combination, and still others can be disabled using the settings in the control panel.

Sometimes there is a setting in the control panel that turns off the trackpad as soon as you plug in an external mouse.

Unfortunately, the switches or settings are unique to each manufacturer and even model of laptop so there is not a universal answer to this question.

Look closely at your trackpad, if there is a small button or switch close to it, try pressing it and see if it turns the trackpad off. If you see a light on or near the trackpad, try double tapping directly on the light, often the light will change color and the trackpad will turn off. Double tapping again will turn it back on.

If you can’t find any switches, try going to the Control Panel, under “Hardware and Sound” then click on “trackpad” and see what you can find for settings.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • mrshvd3
    • March 8, 2016

    I love how Computer Lady includes so many possible solutions — manufacturers ought to pay attention to her answers and do better at standardizing things like disabling the trackpad on a laptop.

    One more suggestion would be to go to the laptop manufacturer’s website; look for FAQ or a user information guide. You can probably also do an online chat or email to ask how to disable the pad for your particular model.

    • Geowyn
    • April 18, 2016

    I also hate the track pad and use a remote control mouse on my laptop. I could not figure out how to turn off the track pad so I used one of those fake credit cards they send in the mail (minus the magnetic strip) and taped it over the track pad.

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