The touchpad on a laptop is an alternative to using a mouse. It moves the cursor around the screen and is accompanied by buttons used for left- and right-clicking. Some common problems with touchpads include erratic movement or no movement at all. The touchpad is more likely to behave improperly over time, as dust accumulates around it.
Keep the touchpad free from debris. Even with light usage, a touchpad can get extremely dirty. It should be dusted and gently cleaned once a week, no matter how often you use it. The natural oils from your skin are enough to disrupt its operation. Keep the lid closed when not in use, and keep your hands as clean as possible before operating the laptop.
Update the drivers regularly. The drivers allow the laptop to communicate properly with the touchpad. If the drivers are outdated, they could be incompatible with other system files. In addition, drivers are updated to fix known problems with the software. If you are experiencing trouble, it is likely that an update will correct it. Use Windows update, or go to the manufacturer's website to download the proper files.
Reinstall the current drivers. If there is no update available, uninstalling then reinstalling them might help. A bad shutdown is a common cause of corrupted files, which can affect drivers also. Once the files are removed, Windows can reinstall a fresh copy of the files from the original location. Go to Start, type "Device Manager" and press "Enter." Expand "Mice and Other Pointing Devices," then right-click "TouchPad." Click "Uninstall," then "OK." Click the "Action" tab at the top, then "Scan for Hardware Changes."
Check the touchpad cable to see if it is loose. A loose or disconnected cable will cause malfunction, or stop the device completely. It is a thin cable that plugs into the motherboard and is usually found beneath the keyboard. This may not be an easy task, depending on your particular model. Take the laptop to a licensed technician if you are uncomfortable opening it up.
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