Your laptop or netbook’s touchpad allows you to control your PC without having to go to the trouble of packing a mouse each time. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t work quite the way you want it to. If you’re frustrated by an overly sensitive touchpad , strange behaviour when typing or want to discover hidden capabilities like gesture support and on-pad scrolling, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to discover how to unlock your touchpad ’s potential.
1. Identify driver
Not all laptops come with a dedicated driver installed. Click Start, type “device” into the Search box and click Device Manager to see if yours has. Expand Mice and other pointing devices. If it reads “Microsoft PS/2 Mouse” then you need to download a dedicated driver to access your touchpad ’s advanced features.
2. Download driver
You’ll find all available drivers for your laptop model in our Downloads section. Choose Advent followed by Netbook or Laptop, then pick your model from the drop-down list. Click the Download link next to Touchpad drivers. Read the license agreement, tick the box and click Download file, then save the zip file to your hard drive.
3. Extract and install
Once downloaded, right-click the zip file and choose Extract All followed by Extract. Once extracted, open the newly created folder to locate the setup file. Double-click this and follow the prompts to install the drivers, rebooting when asked. You may get a security warning appear on your next boot. If so, untick the Always ask before opening this file box before clicking Run.
4. Access configuration options
With new drivers in place, look for a touchpad icon in your taskbar ’s Notification area (you may need to click the ^ button to reveal it). Double-click this – or type “mouse” into the Start menu’s Search box and click Mouse under Control Panel – to access its configuration options. Switch to the manufacturer-specific tab – it’s called “Finger Sensing Pad” on Monza N-series laptops, for example, and click the Configure button.
5. Basic tweaks
You’ll see a number of different options appear depending on your touchpad model. If you keep accidentally brushing your touchpad when typing, for example, look for an option that automatically disables it when doing so (if no option exists, try the free Touchpad Blocker tool instead). You should also be able to adjust the sensitivity of your touchpad from here, which helps you fix issues where your touchpad makes it difficult to control your mouse pointer.
6. Advanced tweaks
Modern touchpads support gestures, which allow you to quickly launch applications and perform other tasks by sweeping your finger in a certain way across the touchpad – they’re particularly useful when it comes to using Windows 8. You’ll also find options for clicking and scrolling using the touchpad , another time-saving feature.
7. Disable your touchpad
Of course, not everyone gets on with touchpad , in which case you may want to simply plug in a traditional mouse and use that on a day-to-day basis. If you go down this route, make sure you disable the touchpad , so it doesn’t interfere with your mouse as you accidentally brush it. Look for an option in the configuration options that automatically disables the touchpad when a USB mouse is plugged in. If no option exists, hold the [Fn] key and press the function key with a touchpad icon ([F6] on Monza N-series laptops, for example) to disable and enable it manually.