Trackpads have been around for decades and are often the perfect pointing tools for mobile devices. When desk space is tight or no mouse is in sight, the trackpad can really help you get around your PC. If you live an itinerant life on the road, the trackpad becomes a space saver because you don’t have to pack your mouse. However, despite all the benefits, sometimes you actually want to use the mouse (or some other input tool).
If you leave the trackpad enabled, it’s too easy to bump the pad with your palm and send your cursor flying across the screen. What’s worse, you could type an email but suddenly find the cursor on a new line because your thumb grazed the trackpad.
This is pretty annoying – but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s are three ways to disable the trackpad on your Windows 7 laptop.
- Disable the track pad from the device manager
- Use the vendor specific trackpad software
- Get Touchpad Blocker
Alright, let’s dive in:
1. Hit up the Device Manager
The first option we have is to open the Device Manager and disable the trackpad driver.
Click Start and type:
Now you can see a list of all your system hardware components.
Scroll down to Mice and other point devices, click the little plus sign (+) and choose your pointing device. On most Lenovo laptops it says something like ThinkPad UltaNav Pointing Device. On a Dell computer it might read as Cypress Touchpad or Alps Touchpad. Other computers might display Synaptics Touchpad or something similar.
Go ahead and double click it to open the Properties screen then click over to the Driver tab and hit the Disable button.
Click OK and close the Device Manager then touch the trackpad… It should ignore you now.
2. Use Trackpad software
The other option is to open your trackpad software so you can easily toggle the pad on and off. Click Start and type “trackpad” or “nav”. If nothing relevant appears in the search results you can download and install the appropriate trackpad control software for your system. Here are links to some major vendors:
3. Introducing Touchpad Blocker
If you still can’t find the software you need, or wish there was a smarter solution, check out Touchpad Blocker. This freeware program blocks accidental taps and clicks while you type. The touchpad actually stays on but dynamically disables itself as it detects keystrokes.
There are a bunch of settings to tweak too. For example, you can view a little counter to see how many touchpad clicks it blocked and also configure custom hotkey combinations to toggle the program on and off.
Very nice. You can grab it from the Touchpad Blocker website.