10 Ways To Fix It When The Touchpad Is Not Working On Windows 10

Restore your touchpad so you can get back to scrolling and tapping

The touchpad on Windows 10 laptops and computers can often stop working. Sometimes the touchpad's scrolling function will cease to function properly while at other times the touchpad may stop being detected by the Windows 10 device altogether.

Causes of Windows 10 Touchpad Problems

Issues relating to the touchpad on Windows 10 tablets, laptops, and computers can be caused by conflicting software and drivers or an out-of-date version of the Windows 10 operating system.

Faulty hardware can also be a common cause of touchpad problems as can the changing of important settings.

A woman using trackpad gestures on her Windows 10 laptop.
Antonio Guillem/Getty Images

How to Fix Windows 10 Touchpad Issues

Touchpad issues can either come from the hardware itself or the drivers powering it in Windows. Once you track down which it is, solving the problem will be straightforward. These steps can help you narrow the cause and get your touchpad back working.

  1. Confirm that it's connected properly. If your touchpad is not working, it can be worth checking to make sure that it's connected to your Windows 10 device properly. If you're using a touchpad that connects via USB, check that both ends of the connecting cable are fully plugged in.

    If your touchpad is part of the keyboard, like with the Type Cover on the Surface Pro and Surface Book, make sure that the keyboard is completely connected to the tablet with no foreign objects obstructing the connecting prongs. 

  2. Remove and reconnect the touchpad. Simply unplugging and reconnecting the touchpad may fix any connection issues you're having. If you're using a Type Cover on a Surface device, this can be done by disconnecting and reattaching the Type Cover.

  3. Check the touchpad's battery. If your touchpad connects to your Windows 10 device via Bluetooth and it stops working properly, its batteries might simply be running out of power. Replace the old batteries with new ones to see if this fixes any problems you were experiencing.

  4. Turn on Bluetooth. If your Bluetooth touchpad is turned on but isn't connecting to your Windows 10 computer, it's worth checking to see if Bluetooth has been disabled. You can check this by opening the Action Center and looking at the Bluetooth tile. If it's lit up, that means that it's enabled. If it's dim, that means that it's off. Turn it on by pressing the tile.

    To open Action Center in Windows 10, click the Notifications icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. If your device has a touchscreen, you can also open the Action Center by swiping in from the right side of the screen with your finger.

  5. Restart your Windows 10 device. It's a bit of cliché, but restarting your Windows 10 computer, laptop, or tablet can often fix problems, including a touchpad that isn't working properly. To restart your Windows 10 device, open the Start Menu, press the Power button, and select Restart.

  6. Enable Touchpad in Settings. It's possible that the touchpad may have been disabled from within Windows 10 by yourself, another user, or an app. To check if it's been disabled and to turn it back on, open Settings > Devices > Touchpad, and make sure the switch at the top of the pages is set to On.

    To open Settings in Windows 10, open the Start Menu and click the Settings gear icon. Alternatively, you can also open Settings by clicking on the All Settings tile within the Action Center.

  7. Check for a Windows 10 update. A Windows 10 update will install the latest versions of the operating system and device drivers for your different devices, in addition to any firmware updates needed to help your touchpad and other devices run the way they're supposed to.

    Make sure your Windows 10 device is plugged into a power source while updating as the process can drain battery power and errors can occur if the device turns off while new files are being installed and changes are being made.

  8. Run a troubleshooter. Windows 10 has pre-installed troubleshooter programs that can scan your computer and its connected devices for any errors and correct them. To begin a scan for any errors associated with your Windows 10 touchpad, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Hardware and Devices > Run the troubleshooter.

  9. Update device drivers. Sometimes you'll need to update a device driver to make it more compatible with your hardware or operating system.

    If Device Manager doesn't appear when searching for it, you may need to click the Filters menu at the top of the search results and select Settings.

  10. Manually install drivers. If you're using a third-party Windows 10 laptop or computer such as one made by Acer, HP, Lenovo, or Dell, you may need to manually install new device drivers to get the touchpad to work properly with the latest version of Windows 10. Like Dell, most companies will have a page on their official website where users can download and install drivers directly.

When installing drivers manually, make sure to download the correct ones for your product model. You can check your Windows 10 device's name and model number by going to Settings > System > About.