How to Enable the Touchscreen in Windows 10

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

What to Know

  • Open the Device Manager and select Human Interface Devices > HID-compliant touch screen > Action > Enable device.
  • If you do not see HID-compliant touch screen, select Action > Scan for hardware changes.
  • If touchscreen doesn't work after enabling, right-click HID-compliant touch screen > Update Driver. Search for driver update and install it.

The touchscreen on a Windows device is usually enabled out of the box. If it isn't, enable it using the Device Manager, found in the Control Panel. In this guide, we show you how to turn on the touchscreen in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7, as well as how to force Windows to check the hardware for a touchscreen and how to update the touchscreen driver.

How to Turn on the Touchscreen in Windows 10 and 8

To enable the touchscreen in Windows 10 and 8, you need to access the Device Manager. You can access the Device Manager through the Control Panel, but it's a little faster to access it directly through the search box on the taskbar.

  1. Select the search box on your taskbar.

    Search bar in Windows 10
  2. Type Device Manager.

    Device Manager typed in search field
  3. Select Device Manager.

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

    Human Interface Devices in Device Manager
  5. Select HID-compliant touch screen.

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

    Action menu in Device Manager
  7. Select Enable Device.

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

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

How to Force Windows to Check for a Touchscreen

If you don't see an entry for an 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 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, select the search box on your taskbar, type Device Manager, and then click Device Manager to open it back up.

    Device Manager in the search results
  2. Select the arrow next to Human Interface Devices to expand the list, and verify that you don't see HID-compliant touchscreen.

    The Human Interface Devices heading in Device manager
  3. Select Action on the toolbar.

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

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

    Human Interface Devices in 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.

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 touch screen 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, select the search box on your taskbar, type Device Manager, and then select Device Manager to open it back up.

    Device Manager in Windows Search results
  2. Select the arrow next to Human Interface Devices to expand the list.

    Human Interface Devices in Device Manager
  3. Right-click HID-compliant touch screen.

    HID-compliant touch screen selection in human interface devices
  4. Select Update Driver.

    Update driver selection in Device Manager
  5. Select 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.

  1. Select the Start button.

  2. Select Control Panel.

  3. Select Pen and Touch.

  4. Select the Touch tab.

  5. Select 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.

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 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. If you do any kind of graphic design work, this is a great way to get additional functionality out of a touchscreen-enabled Windows 10 device.

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