A touchpad can be extremely useful for most people, but there are times when it is little more than an irritation, so how do you permanently disable a touchpad if you do not want or need it? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answers to help a frustrated reader.
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Photo courtesy of Anonymous Account (Flickr).
SuperUser reader toriloukas wants to know how to permanently disable the touchpad on a laptop:
I own a Dell Inspiron N5050 laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium installed on it and have been trying to permanently disable the touchpad. I installed the appropriate driver in order to manage my touchpad preferences and successfully disabled it, but once the machine was rebooted, the touchpad was active once again. I really do not care if I need to keep disabling it each time I restart my laptop, but does anyone know of a way to permanently disable it?
What is the best (or easiest) way to permanently disable the touchpad on a laptop?
SuperUser contributors Steven and Scott have the answer for us. First up, Steven:
Approach 1 – BIOS
The touchpad can often be disabled in BIOS. On my Dell Latitude E6430s, the option is POST Behavior > Mouse/Touchpad. There is even an option to disable the touchpad only if an external mouse is attached.
Approach 2 – Device Manager
Open the Control Panel, then go to System > Device Manager. Navigate to the Mouse Option, right click on it, and click Disable.
Approach 3 – Physically Disconnect
According to a disassembly video (link shown below), it appears that you can unplug the touchpad by removing the keyboard (at 3:45) and removing the small ribbon cable near the touchpad.
Disassembling the Dell Inspiron N5050 [YouTube]
Followed by the answer from Scott:
The keyboard shortcut Win + X will open the Windows Mobility Center. On my Dell Inspiron (with Windows 7 installed on it), it looks like this:
I disabled my touchpad there and it has remained disabled through many reboots.
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