How to Enable The Touchscreen In Windows 10

Changed your mind? Turn touch back on in few quick steps

Two boys use a drawing stylus after enabling the touchscreen on a Windows 10 laptop.

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Windows 10 and Windows 8 are both designed to work very well with touchscreens, and a lot of Windows laptops, 2-in-1 devices, and tablets come with touchscreens built right in. The touchscreen is usually enabled right out of the box, but if it isn't, you can enable it yourself without too much trouble.

To enable the touchscreen in Windows 10 or Windows 8, you need to access the Device Manager, which you can find in the Control Panel or open directly from the search box on your task bar.

If the touchscreen has been disabled on your Windows 10 tablet, you'll need to connect a USB keyboard and mouse to turn it back on.

Do You Need a Touchscreen In Windows 10?

No, Windows 10 laptops and 2-in-1 devices technically don't need a touchscreen. That means you can run into situations where you will find that the touchscreen is disabled. Disabling the touchscreen can prevent unintentional inputs, like clicking on things you didn't mean to click on, so some people opt to do without this feature.

The main reason to enable a touchscreen on a Windows 10 device is that it can make it easier to accomplish some tasks, because tapping on the screen typically takes less time than moving the mouse around and clicking with a small trackpad.

In some cases, a touchscreen and compatible pen device can allow you to use your Windows 10 laptop, 2-in-1, or tablet in the same way that you would use a drawing tablet like a Cintiq. If you do any kind of graphic design work, this is a great way to get some additional functionality out of a touchscreen-enabled Windows 10 device.

How to Turn On The Touchscreen in Windows 10

To enable the touchscreen in Windows 10, you need to access the Device Manager. You can access the Device manager through the Control Panel, but it's a little faster to just access it directly through the search box on your task bar.

These instructions will work for both Windows 10 and Windows 8 computers. If you have a Windows 7 computer, the process is different.

Here's how to enable the touchscreen in Windows 10:

  1. Click the search box on your task bar.

    Search field in Windows 10
  2. Type Device Manager.

  3. Click Device Manager.

    Device Manager Control panel in Windows 10
  4. Click the arrow next to Human Interface Devices.

    Human Interface Devices in Device Manager
  5. Click HID-compliant touchscreen.

    HID-compliant touch screen in Device Manager
  6. Click Action at the top of the window.

    Action menu in Device Manager
  7. Click Enable Device.

    Enable device in Device Manager
  8. Verify that your touchscreen works.

What if You Don't See HID-Compliant Touchscreen?

If you don't see an entry for HID-compliant touchscreen in your device manager, there are two possible causes. The first is that Windows doesn't realize you have a touchscreen, which can be fixed by scanning for hardware changes. The other is that you don't actually have a touchscreen.

If your touchscreen has never worked, and you don't see a listing for HID-compliant touchscreen, contact the manufacturer of your device. Provide them with the product number, and they'll be able to tell you if your device is supposed to have a touchscreen. Many laptop product lines include similar versions with and without touchscreens.

If you're sure that your device is supposed to have a touchscreen, here's how to force Windows to check for it:

  1. If you don't already have the Device Manager open, click the search box on your task bar, type Device Manager, and then click Device Manager to open it back up.

  2. Click the arrow next to Human Interface Devices to expand the list, and verify that you don't see HID-compliant touchscreen.

  3. Click Action.

    Action menu in Device Manager
  4. Click Scan for hardware changes.

    Scan for hardware changes in Action menu in Device Manager
  5. Check the Human Interface Devices list to see if HID-compliant touchscreen is there.

    A screenshot of the Windows 10 Device Manager.
  6. If the Windows hardware wizard finds your touchscreen, check to see if it works. If it doesn't, proceed to the next section to check for driver updates.

  7. If it doesn't find your touchscreen, you may have a hardware problem, or your device may not have a touchscreen at all.

How to Update Your Touchscreen Driver

In some cases, you may have a touchscreen that doesn't work even after you have enabled it. If you can see a listing for HID-compliant touchscreen in your Device Manager, and your touchscreen still doesn't work after you enable it, then you may have a driver or hardware problem.

In situations where a touchscreen doesn't work due to a driver issue, you can typically fix it by updating the driver, running Windows Update, or contacting the manufacturer of your computer for any special instructions or update tools.

Here's how to update your touchscreen driver:

  1. If you don't already have the Device Manager open, click the search box on your task bar, type Device Manager, and then click Device Manager to open it back up.

  2. Click the arrow next to Human Interface Devices to expand the list.

  3. Rick click HID-compliant touchscreen.

    Update driver menu in Device Manager
  4. Click Update driver.

  5. Click Search automatically for updated driver software.

    Search automatically for updated driver software
  6. If the driver update wizard finds a new driver, install it.

  7. Check to see if your touchscreen works.

  8. If your touchscreen still doesn't work, try running Windows Update.

How to Enable A Touchscreen On Windows 7

Touchscreens work differently in Windows 7 than in later versions of windows. If you have Windows 7, you need to enable your touchscreen through the Pen and Touch menu instead of the Device Manager. This menu can be accessed through the control panel.

Here's how to enable your touchscreen if you have Windows 7:

  1. Click the Start button.

  2. Click Control Panel.

  3. Click Pen and Touch.

  4. Click the Touch tab.

  5. Click the box next to Use your finger as an input device.

    The box needs to be checked for the touchscreen to work. If it's already checked, and your touchscreen doesn't work, you may have a hardware or driver problem.

  6. Verify that your touchscreen works.