The parts on your laptop, like most electronic devices, are prone to breaking down at one time or another. Some parts are just more reliable and will most probably outlive others that aren’t.
However, even if a component of your trusty notebook, does break down, there’s a chance it won’t be much of an inconvenience, depending on how important it is for your normal, everyday use.
For example, CD-Roms are extremely outdated but are still a part of many modern-day laptops. In fact, chances are you won’t even know if it’s broken or not as opposed to your Hard drive, without which your laptop can’t even boot up.
But what about Touchpads? Sure, your laptop will turn on without it but it would be a massive inconvenience if they stop working as for most people, they are the sole method of navigation the cursor on the screen. Yes, you can and some people even do use a mouse but that takes away the portability factor that the laptops are so popular for, as you have to carry it around everywhere with you.
So what to do if your touchpad stops working? Well, there can be several reasons for that to occur and chances are that you can fix them yourself.
Unresponsive Operating System
The first thing that you need to check if it’s really the touchpad that’s not working or is there something wrong with your system. A common misconception can happen is when your operating system becomes unresponsive and the screen freezes.
Since most of the time, the only thing moving on our screen is the mouse cursor, we can easily believe the touchpad isn’t working. To know if it’s the OS and not the touchpad, try pressing the Caps Lock button on the keyboard or just randomly type something if a text field is selected on the screen.
If the Caps Lock light does not change compared to what it was before or if the text you’re typing isn’t being typed on the screen, then your screen is frozen. You can either wait for it to unfreeze or if you can’t wait for that, restart your laptop.
External Device Connected
Another thing that may affect your touchpad is the connection of an external USB or PS/2 device. Most devices, automatically disable the touchpad, for example, an external mouse.
If there’s no device connected, this is not the probably not the case but if there is, disconnect the device and restart the computer. If the touchpad works after that, then you touchpad is fine and it was the device that temporarily disabled it.
Touchpad Turned Off
What most people don’t know is that your touchpad can be turned off manually either by the dedicated hardware button or by software using the Settings in your Operating System.
The hardware button is usually placed inside, around or above the touchpad or it might even be a Fn+Function key combo. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and to know about it, look up to your manufacturer’s website against your specific model. Once you know what it is, try pressing it and check if the touchpad works.
If that’s not the case, there might be a chance the touchpad is turned by software. For Windows 10, go to Settings>Devices>Touchpad. On the top of the page, you’ll see a toggle switch under “Touchpad” that’s either in the “On” or “Off” position. If its Off, toggle it back to On and you’re good to go!
Drivers not Installed/Updated
Drivers can be a big issue in machines running Windows especially when some updates can significantly change the working of your OS. Every hardware on your laptop requires a driver to work seamlessly with the software and without it, it wouldn’t work. As the Operating System updates, the drivers also have to be updated, otherwise, they do not work properly.
Although, the drivers are automatically updated with the Windows Update but sometimes that just doesn’t happen or some drivers even get deleted accidentally by a naive user who does not know his way around. Either way, there is a chance your touchpad may not be working due to a driver issue. To check that:
- Open Device Manager by typing it in the Windows Search.
- Under Your PC double-click on Mice and other pointing devices.
- Locate your Touchpad and check if it has a Yellow exclamation mark or a Red X next to it.
- If it does, double-click the icon, go to the Driver tab and select Update Driver.
- Click Search automatically and follow the steps accordingly.