Although the touchpad of laptops can be quite useful at certain times, the normal thing is that for most users it ends up being a nuisance due to the large number of problems it gives, which is why we always recommend using an external mouse. If the touchpad of your laptop does not work or malfunctions (such as that it goes crazy when you touch it), we will tell you what you can do about it to solve it or, at least, to “go pulling” until you can take it to repair if it has been damaged.
The touchpad in notebooks is the “mouse” built into them and typically consists of a touchpad and two buttons that act as left and right-click. The fact that it is a touch panel can cause a lot of annoyance since when typing on the keyboard we can lean on it and make it go crazy, and precisely for these two reasons it is also a part of laptops with a tendency to break down.
What to do if the touchpad does not work
If the touchpad on your laptop is not working at all, neither the touchpad nor the buttons, it is most likely that it has either been disabled or has been completely damaged.
In the first case, the first thing you should do is test the key combination on your laptop that activates and deactivates this functionality. As a general rule, this is with the Fn + F9 keys, but it depends on the brand and model of your laptop, it could be in another combination of keys or even have a dedicated button for it. Look for the icon that we show you in the following image and try to activate and deactivate it to see if it comes back to life since perhaps you deactivated it accidentally.
It is also possible that you have disabled the touchpad in Windows options, or that in your laptop software (or mouse options) you have selected that if an external USB mouse is detected, the laptop’s touchpad is disabled. To check the latter, simply disconnect any mouse you have connected to the computer, and to check the first you can see it in the Windows mouse options.
There are two other additional checks you can perform if the touchpad is not working. The first is to check that you do not have the device disabled in Windows (or that it has its drivers correctly, although in the vast majority of cases they come standard with the operating system), and to do this, click on the Start button and select Administrator of Devices. Under the category «User Interface Devices (HID)», check that it is not disabled (and if it is, right-click and click Enable) or that it does not appear with a red cross indicating that it does not have drivers (in which case right-click and select Update driver).
Finally, if the touchpad does not work it may be that it is disabled in the notebook BIOS. To check this, as soon as you turn on the computer, repeatedly press the DEL key, F2 or F10 depending on your laptop to access the BIOS, and in the Advanced menu you will find the option “Internal Pointing Device”. Check that it is not disabled.
If none of this has caused the touchpad to work again, it is probably physically damaged and you will need to have it repaired.
What to do if the touchpad “goes crazy”
A fairly common problem with laptop touchpads is that they behave that is not expected, or in a colloquial way, that they go crazy. For example, when you put your finger on the touchpad, the cursor on the screen will start to move from side to side erratically, or even without even touching the touchpad the cursor will move on its own.
There are two potential reasons why the touchpad could be failing in this way, and both are physical. The first reason is that there is something “loose” internally or that it is not well connected, and the way to see it unfortunately is by opening the laptop to access the component and be able to review it, so what we advise you is that you take it to a service of repair or if you do, you are aware that you are voiding the warranty (if any) and that you could break something. Do it at your own risk.
The second potential reason is mere dirt. Even if we have clean hands, human skin always has a kind of “greasy” that adheres to the surfaces we touch, and in the end there is a good accumulation of it on the touchpad, which, in turn, remains dust and dirt in general stuck, which can cause this unwanted behavior in the device.
The best thing you can do is use a dry microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol (do not use sanitary alcohol for this because you could damage the device) and, wetting the cloth a little but without leaking liquid, insistently clean the entire surface of the touchpad, with special emphasis on the corners and edges, which is where dirt accumulates the most.
Again, if with this you cannot fix it, it is best to take it to technical service, although it is true that if your touchpad does not work you can always do without it using a USB mouse.