Touchpads are a common problem on laptops and tablets, but they’re one that’s almost impossible to fix — at least not without sacrificing functionality. They can often be finicky, jumping around on the desktop or reacting strangely when you press down on it. If you have a touchpad on your computer, you’re in luck — there are a number of methods you can use to get the most accurate and responsive experience, no matter how finicky your touchpad may be. But how do you know which ones are the right ones for your laptop or tablet? Here are some ways to fix a jumpy or inaccurate touchpad that might be making your life miserable.
Try the easy way first
First, you want to make sure your computer is fixin’ itself. If you’ve been using it for a while and nothing is wrong, but the touchpad is a bit jumpy, try going to Device Manager and unchecking the box for “MoS2 Touchpad.” From there, clear your history, cache, and cookies, so that the touchpad is clean. If you want to be extra careful, you can also try uninstalling and reinstalling your programs.
If that doesn’t help, then your computer is probably shot and you should get it repaired. But if you want to risk it, then first things first — try the easy way!
Use a mouse
While touchpads are finicky, most mice are pretty consistent across devices and software. That means it’s possible to use a mouse on your laptop or a desktop and have it work exactly as you want it to. If you have a touchpad on your laptop, you can use a dedicated mouse that’s designed for touchpads.
If you want to use a mouse on your desktop, you’ll likely want to use an optical mouse, as most mice for computers are laser or light. If you want to use a lighted mouse, you may want to look into getting a trackpad remote, as these are often more accurate and responsive than traditional mice.
Use a trackpad
The trackpad on a laptop or a desktop is often the most accurate way to interact with the computer — although this can be counterintuitive, as you may want to use it less often because it’s so accurate. If you want to use a trackpad on your laptop, you’ll want to make sure it’s connected to your computer via a USB cable.
If you want to use a trackpad on your desktop, you’ll likely want to use an external one, as the built-in trackpad on most laptops and tablets is often inaccurate. If you want to use an external trackpad, you’ll likely want to look into purchasing a wireless trackpad, as these are often more accurate and responsive than traditional trackpads.
Make your own mouse movements work
Sometimes, the easiest way to fix a jumpy or inaccurate touchpad is to use it as it was meant to be used. That way, any issues that might have been caused by your touchpad’s finickiness are eliminated. To make your own mouse movements work on a touchpad, click and drag your mouse around the touchpad, similar to how you’d use a trackpad. Make sure to release the button when you’re done, as releasing the button too early will cause your touchpad to jump.
To make sure your computer follows suit, make sure you have a wireless or wired connection to your computer. If you’re using a laptop, make sure your touchpad is connected to the computer via a USB port.
Add a third mouse button
Sometimes, you may want to use a third mouse button on your computer to give you more options when using an inaccurate touchpad. You can add a third button to your computer via the “button” section in the “Control Panel” of the Control Panel app on your computer or in the “System” section of the Control Panel on your mobile device.
You’ll want to make sure the “Additional buttons” section of the “button” section is set to “None” so that your computer doesn’t Override the button setting. You can also try turning off “Click” in the “brushstrokes” section so that your computer is less likely to move the mouse when you release it.
Use a touchpad
If you want to use a touchpad on your laptop or a desktop, it’s likely because you’re used to using a touchpad on a laptop. The easiest way to use a touchpad on a desktop is to keep it on your lap. If you want to use a trackpad, try to place your hand on the bottom of the touchpad to help steady it and prevent it from jumping around.
If you want to use a mouse, try out trackpads instead, as they’re often more accurate, especially when you’re used to moving your hand and seeing the cursor on the screen at the same time.
Download New Drivers
Most modern computers come with updated drivers that fix many touchpad issues. To update your touchpad drivers, go to Control Panel and select “System”, then “Advanced System Settings”, and finally “System devices”. There you’ll find a list of programs that can help with your touchpad driver issues.
Use Only One Finger
One of the most overlooked ways to improve accuracy on a touchpad is to use only one finger. Place your middle finger on the touchpad and gently “pinch” it in between your index and middle finger to get it to move in a straight line. This method is great for image and video editing programs where you have to pinch to zoom in and out, as well as other programs that use a WASD or controlled-pane layout.
There are many reasons why your touchpad may be jumpy or inaccurate. The easiest way to fix it is to use the right tool for the job. If you’ve been struggling with touchpad problems on your computer, try these suggestions to get your touchpad working how you want it to. Even if you don’t fix your touchpad problem, eventually your fingertips will grow tired from using it and you’ll have less frustration when using the computer.