Killer Tech Tips

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Disable the Touchpad in your Dell Laptop

with 81 comments

If you don’t like the touchpad in your laptop, you’ve probably bought yourself an external USB mouse. The touchpad might get into your way when you type. So, the best thing you can do is to disable it altogether or just disable it when an external mouse is attached.

How to disable the touchpad in Dell laptops?

This is the procedure you need to follow to disable the touchpad in your Dell laptop:

Go to the Control Panel. Under the ‘Hardware and Sound’ options, click ‘Mouse’


Since you have a Dell laptop, you’ll have a special tab called ‘Dell touchpad’ in the window that pops up. Click on the touchpad picture in the window.


In the new window that appears, click ‘Device Select’


Click on the ‘Disable’ radio button to disable the touchpad completely. If you want to disable the touchpad of your Dell laptop only when an external device like a mouse is attached, check the last option that says ‘Disable Touchpad/Pointing Stick when external USB mouse is present’


That’s it. You’ve disabled your laptop’s touchpad for good. If you don’t find an option to manage your touchpad in Mouse settings, you have to install Synaptics drivers from here. Similar options can be found in other laptops as well.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

April 30th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Posted in how to

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  • Linda

    Weirdly I don’t have a tab that says touchpad on my new Studio laptop 1737. I have been rummaging around for 30 minutes and can’t find it. I could swear there used to be a icon for it on the quicklaunch at the bottom. I can’t keep my cursor in place using my mouse and I think the touchpad might be to blame. Where could the option have gone to turn it off? Any ideas?

  • DebbieD

    I don’t have this option either and am getting very frustrated b/c I was able to disable this when I first got my laptop.

  • Jesper

    I had the same problem but fixed it. You need to update your driver for the touchpad though Dell’s support website. After doing that, you will find a touchpad tab and from there you can disable the touchpad and just use your mouse (as I did.). Otherwise update your pointer device through the manufacturer’s website. Good luck.

  • Jon Masterson

    This does not work with Windows 7 unfortunately.

  • Tim

    I just got a Latitude e4300. It does have this feature. However once it senses the mouse the touchpad stays inoperable. I have the Microsoft 5000 bluetooth mouse. I get the popup window when I turn it on that says that windows has detected an external pointing device and has disabled the touchpad. Great, I said. However, when I turn on the computer and the mouse is not on, the touch pad is still disabled. I have to go find the mouse, go into control panel and enable the touchpad. What gives?

  • Marissa

    I tried the download and still no Touchpad tab. any other sugestions? I am running Vista on a Inspiron 1525.

  • Brandon

    I went to what you said but it didn’t have the “Dell Touch pad” tab

  • Chris

    I have just received my Dell Studio 1747, it came with Windows 7 home premium. As I believe all dell computers come with it now. In regards to the problem, here is the solution I have found. If you do not have a touch pad icon, then still go to “control panel” once there go to “devices and printers” then right click on your “laptop” icon. It will give you a list of all the things you can change. Now if you have not had a mouse hooked up do so now, and make sure it works.

    Click on the “mouse settings” tab, in the laptop icon. Then click on the “device settings” tab. Then click on disable, or enable.. it is under there. Just make sure its highlighted on the touchpad. Then to enable it again, before you disconnect your mouse do it again, but click on enable.

  • Doug N

    Have a Dell studio 1535 running vista. I have been trying to disable the touchpad to hopefully stop the “cursor jumping” and odd “no hits” on keystrokes.
    I go to control panel and mouse, then harware… there I find the alps touchpad. I am unable to disable it because under settings the “disable” function is “grayed” out. I do see an option under advanced to disable the touchpad driver. What will happen if I do that .

    Frustrating.. thanks

  • Amanda

    If you don’t have the touchpad tab, you have to reinstall the touchpad driver.

    Go to the Dell website and go to “Drivers and Downloads”, and search your Dell’s specific touchpad driver. You will need to enter your make and model and service tag (mine is on the bottom of my computer).

    Download the driver and reinstall it. Then follow this guy’s directions and the tab should be there.

    If you want the touchpad to be enabled only when there isn’t a mouse plugged in, click on “Disable Touchpad when USB mouse is present” instead of “Disable Touchpad”

    For some reason, Dell initially takes away your right to make a choice about whether or not you want your touchpad disabled. I talked to the Dell tech’s about it they said it is disabled so you don’t so it accidentally. Pretty stupid.

    Anyways, hope that helps.

  • Mike

    There’s another alternative – you can use a software that locks the touchpad while you’re typing and releases it automatically once you’re finished.

    There are multiple free applications online for this, try searching “touchpad locker”.

  • VJ

    The Dell touchpad driver is not available for 64 bit. I have Windows 7 and spoke to support and they told me to use the Vista drivers. But when I went to download them they said they are for 32 bit and they did not have 64. Not sure if that only applies to my hardware (Latitude D830).
    Now taking Mike’s advice to use a locker.

  • Don in VA

    This is absolutely great. The touchpad has been driving me batty on this otherwise nice dell laptop. Too bad they buried the solution. Now let’s see, if you plug in a USB pointing device, why wouldn’t the default be to deactivate the bleepity-bleep touchpad? Doesn’t matter now, have my logitech trackball all set up!

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  • Bill

    If the reason for disabling the touchpad while a mouse is plugged is because of phantom cursor movements, I have another work around that seems to be working well for me.

    With the new win 7 32-bit driver there is no dell tab, but there is a device settings tab, with a synaptics logo, which is the last tab. click the settings button, there will be a tree of options in the left window pane. Expand the pointing tree and then the Sensitivity tree. Select the Touchcheck option and in the right window pane slide the bar all the way to the right. Essentially what this does is make the touchpad less sensitive to light touches of your palms and your cursor will no longer jump around.

  • JAS

    I have a 64-bit Dell studio, and just upgraded my OS from Vista to windows 7 and had this same problem with now not having the touchpad tab (I had it before) in order to disable it. Just thought I’d chime in and let you all know that, unlike VJ’s similar situation above, Dell did have the correct drivers on their website for my computer, and downloading the drivers resolved the issue for me. It must depend on the hardware you have whether they have the correct drivers available or not.

    Thanks for the help.

  • Anthony

    Many thanks for the great tip. I’ve gone for the last option “Disable Touchpad/Pointing stick when external USB Mouse is present.

  • Angela

    You saved my life!!!

    :D I cannot tell you how much happy I’m now… after all year fighting with this!!! :*

  • eddie

    well done! i’ve been forced oh so many times to type things over and over again because of the touchpad.
    i don’t have this problem on any of my other laptops; it is disappointing that the dell one sucks so bad i have to disable it altogether. good show killertechtips, bad show dell (“,)

  • Bobby C

    Well when I go to the Dell site and try to download the Touchpad/Stick Driver either directly or through the Dell download Manager, I get an error message saying that there are no files selected to download.

    I am an User Experience Designer and have to say that Dell’s UX is terrible.

  • betty

    thanks for the info, once i updated the driver i now had touchpad as a button within the mouse settings.

    however, there didn’t seem to be any “options/settings/preference controls. you need to click on the picture of the touchpad, and then the preferences show up.

  • karen

    I have an inspirion 1564. in the past 10 days I have had my cursor freeze up twice locking up the computer. As it turns out the touchpad/buttons were disabled. However I never touched them. Didn’t even know it existed. So here’s my question–both times I had the lap top on my lap on the couch. Is it possible my palm hit a special key and locked something inadvertently or is it possible it heated up too much and locked up. It is the strangest thing.

  • Carol

    I have dell 1011 inspiron mini… and touchpad is not working at all ! I installed a new driver from Dell’s Website… but still my laptob can not find a touchpad driver…I bought a laptop 2 months ago and trackpad began to work only for a moment…and now it does not work at all…what I should do ???? I am depressed…. :(

  • Jo

    BRILLIANT!!! Thanks, that was so simple!! :) Oh, I have a Dell Studio — not sure of the version… Bought it about two years ago? Maybe?

  • Chel

    Thank you. I have a brand new XPS and the pinch screen has been driving me crazy. Following your directions I was able to disable it. Again, thank you.

  • Rachel_aisling

    There is no Dell touchpad tab when I go into mouse settings…I have an inspiron 1525 with windows 7 if this makes any difference – please help – the touchpad is driving me mad!!

  • Cgaugh22

    I agree with Rachel_aisling! Please help. It is driving me nuts!

  • Tjackson

    Same for me. There is no Dell touchpad tab when I go into mouse settings. Inspiron 1521. Just installed windows 7.

  • Martin Essers

    Had the same problem with a Dell e5400.
    To resolve, download the latest touchpad driver from the Dell site and install.
    Restart the laptop, then go to Control Panel, select Mouse and attempt the above again.

  • Steve

    I have no touch pad box available from the control panel, I have an Inspiron 1720

  • RWalters829

    I have that on my computer, but it doesn’t matter, because my touchpad isn’t working to be able to click on it anyway. Boo.

  • Steve@hopethishelps

    If you don’t have the mouse under hardware & sound, do you have “Adjust commonly used mobility settings?”
    If you do, click on that and you should see the TouchPad icon. Click on the icon and you’ll get the Dell Touchpad screen. You can configure it from there.

  • Jenn

    @Steve: Just wanted to say thank you for the suggestion. I couldn’t find out how to shut the stupid thing off, but going to commonly used mobility settings fixed everything. I’ve only had my laptop 24 hours and the touchpad was already driving me nuts!! haha

    Anyhow… thanks a million!

  • bikegirl

    Thanks for the advice, but I didn’t see it in commonly used mobility settings. I’ve suffered with this pad for a year now! Aargggg. I’ll keep trying.

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  • Leroy

    download the latest drivers from Dell then you will see it.

  • Lorenzo

    I downloaded the latest driver (R165804.exe) for my D630, still can’t see the Touchpad tab in Mouse settings.
    I even restarted after installing the drivers.

    What could I do?

  • Rltomkinson

    I have a Dell Precision M4300. I do not have ‘Hardware and Sound’ options, a touchpad tab or “Adjust commonly used mobility settings” I have a Mouse icon, but it does not have anything about the touchpad. How do I turn the darn thing off?

  • Joe Kelder

    I have tried all the above, and no luck. I tried to download from Dell, but all I get when I try to run it is “No file to download” Can’t say I would ever recommend Dell.

  • Sab

    this dell pointing stick is a pain in the @$$ nad there is no way to disable it.

  • Sticky Man

     The control is hiding !!
    Go to C:Program FilesDellTpad    and double click “DellTpad.exe”    – Voila !!

  • Gndmlvr01

    My Dell laptop (new xps) doesn’t have that dell touchpad tab in the Mouse section of the Control Panel.  Now what?

  • Thomas Becker

    for my new dell, I had to go to devices and printers, then mouse, then device setting tab (there is no Dell touch pad tab on mine). Once inside the device setting tab, there is an option to enable.  

  • Profoundmagic

    any luck with this,, i have exactly the same problem?

  • Mike Desson

    Same issue with the Dell Precision M6300 and it’s driving me nuts as well. No tab for the Touchpad in Control Panel/Mouse.

  • Eddie

    I have the same issue, except I’m trying to re-enable mine!   Did you get a solution, please?     You can probably disable by going to start, run, type in “msconfig” and under the startups you will see the file listed.   Please tell me if you see it, because then I can find it and re-enable mine.   :-)

  • Eddie

    Could not find that.  I’m running Vista on a dell laptop

  • Pat

    After much searching, I went into control panel and changed the “view by” option in the upper right hand corner to “catagory.” Click the “hardware and sound” catagory, the third one down in the first column. Next, in my window, the top catagory is “Devices and Printers.” Under that I have 5 options and one is “Mouse.” Click “Mouse.” There are several tabs at the top of that window. I have “Device Settings.” Click that. Highlight your touchpad and click one of the three buttons: enable, disable, or settings. I clicked settings and got a tutorial on the various options I have. The thing that was crazy making for me was the “one finger scrolling” “two finger scrolling” and “pinch zoom”. The heal of my left hand was always touchng the touch pad so it “thought” I was always two finger scrolling.

  • pwebb94

    Try this link, I had the same problem and downloaded the driver from Dell and now I was able to disable the touchpad in seconds.  My Dell is a XPS M1530 so this driver might only be for that but this link will at least bring you to the page that provides drivers.  Good Luck

  • Frankg408

    Followed your instructions….
    IN WINDOWS 7, When I click on “mouse” it is showing my EXTERNAL wireless mouse NOT THE TOUCH PAD PICTURE!
    On the “TABS”  of the external wireless mouse, the only showned tabs are: bottons, pointers, pointer options, wheel and hardware. 
    Do I need to disable the externalk wireless mouse first?  Maybe then it will show the the touch pad picture? can you reply to  Thank you in advance.  Frank