Hardware and software issues mostly arrive out of the blue – and ruin your normal workflow. Touchpad errors are not uncommon, but for some reason, they seem to happen more and more with Dell laptops. Dell Touchpad Not Working leaves you with no option to navigate the laptop. It is a pestering problem, specifically with older models of Dell laptops.
Touchpads are pressure-sensitive devices with intricate circuitry running beneath them. If you are facing the Dell Touchpad Not Working problem and have not found any working fix for the problem, this touchpad troubleshooting guide will help you locate the precise cause. We will list all the common causes, fixes, and deep insights that can help you restore the touchpad to a working state.
Reasons behind Your Dell Touchpad Not Working Problem
There could be multiple reasons behind your Dell touchpad not working problem. These issues are mostly software-related, but sometimes they can emanate due to a hardware defect, cable defects, etc.
Dell Touchpad Not Working Problem is a common issue with Windows 10, mainly due to software incompatibility. This problem could be an older software package that doesn’t sit well with the new operating system.
Most Dell laptops have hotkeys to disable the trackpad, which is a feature that prevents accidental trackpad clicks while typing a document. If the user unintentionally disables the trackpad, it may not work until it is re-enabled again.
Hardware defects can render a laptop touchpad useless. Unfortunately, there is no workaround for this except a professional repair or replacement to solve the Dell touchpad issue.
11 Easy Solutions to solve Dell Touchpad Not Working Problem
These are the 11 possible solutions that may solve your Dell trackpad not working issue. The first few methods will try enabling your touchpad devices, followed by driver fixes and tweaking trackpad settings.
- Enable Touchpad using hotkeys
- Enable Touchpad using the control panel
- Enable Touchpad using Windows Settings
- Enable Touchpad using BIOS settings
- Update touchpad drivers
- Download and Update touchpad drivers manually
- Rollback TouchPad driver
- Reinstalling Trackpad Drivers
- Updating BIOS
- Perform a System Restore
- Hardware Defects
Enable Touchpad using hotkeys
Laptops manufacturers usually include hotkeys for quickly enabling and disabling laptop features and settings. The hotkeys are scattered across the Function Key row of the laptop’s keyboard.
If your Dell laptop has a touchpad hotkey, you can enable the touchpad directly without configuring the computer settings. Firstly, make sure that your laptop has a hotkey for the touchpad(indicated by a touchpad icon).
To enable the touchpad via hotkeys, do as follow:
- Find your hotkey shortcut for your Dell laptop model from here.
- Press the Fn key and simultaneously press the designated F hotkey for the touchpad.
- Check the touchpad to see if it responds now.
If it still doesn’t respond or you don’t have a touchpad hotkey for your laptop, then you need to enable the touchpad using the next three methods.
Enable Touchpad using the control panel
Dell laptops have a dedicated touchpad software pre-installed in the system. It is a GUI program that offers all the controls and precision settings for your touchpad.
This step can be executed using a keyboard but we will recommend using an external mouse instead, for the sake of convenience. To enable the Dell laptop touchpad using the control panel, do as follows:
- Click on the Start button and then type Control Panel in the search box.
- Open the control panel and locate the Dell Touchpad settings from the list. Click on the setting to open the Dell Touchpad manager.
- You will see a Touchpad On/Off toggle listed under the touchpad settings.
- Toggle the touchpad On, and the toggle will turn green to denote that touchpad is enabled now.
- Check to see if the touchpad is usable now and can register your click and swipes.
Alternative Method (Using Mouse Properties Setting)
- Press Windows key + R to open the run box. Here you can input the main.cpl command to open the mouse properties directly.
- The Dell Touchpad tab should open by default. If it doesn’t, then switch to the Dell Touchpad tab.
- Find the option to change Dell Touchpad settings and click on it. The Dell Touchpad application will open.
- You will see the Touchpad On/Off toggle listed under the touchpad settings.
- Toggle the touchpad On, and the toggle will turn green. It indicates that your Dell laptop touchpad hardware is now enabled.
- Now, try to scroll and click on the display using the touchpad.
Enable Touchpad using Windows Settings
Windows introduced a Settings app for Windows 8 and above that provides all the touchpad settings in one place. Navigating the settings app is a lot easier and provides detailed features to micromanage your pointer devices. To enable the Dell laptop touchpad using the Settings app, repeat the following steps:
- Click on the Start button and search for the Settings app, or Press the Win key + I to launch the Settings app.
- Navigate to the right-hand side menu, and locate and open the Bluetooth and Devices option.
- Scroll the Bluetooth and Devices section to find your Touchpad settings and open it.
- The very first setting is to turn the touchpad on/off. Check to see if it is disabled on your laptop.
- Click on the toggle to enable your Dell laptop touchpad, and check if it registers your touch input now.
Enable Touchpad using BIOS settings
You can use the BIOS settings of your Dell laptop to enable your touchpad device. The main advantage of using the BIOS method is that you don’t need an additional USB mouse to navigate through the menu.
You can enter the commands via your keyboard and save the settings, which will reflect when the device boots up. The BIOS menu doesn’t have a GUI, so the settings pane and menus can be navigated using the keyboard buttons only.
- Restart your Dell laptop and look for the prompt which indicates the button for entering the BIOS menu.
- Press the F2 button repeatedly to enter the BIOS menu and then go to the Advanced Settings page.
- Find the Internal Pointing Device option and check whether it is disabled or not.
- If it is disabled, press the arrow key to enable it.
- Now, locate the desired key for saving changes and exiting the menu. Press F10 to save the new changes and exit to the boot menu.
- Log in to Windows and check if the touchpad device works or not.
Update touchpad drivers
After enabling your touchpad device, if it still doesn’t work then the outdated or incompatible drivers could be a reason for the Dell Touchpad not working problem.
You can download the latest drivers for Dell laptop touchpad using the Device Manager or by manually searching for the driver using the Dell Support website. To update drivers automatically, retrace the following steps:
- Click on the Start button and search for Device Manager. Alternatively, press Windows Key + R and type in the devmgmt.msc command. Press Enter to open the device management window.
- Scroll down the list to find the Mice and other pointing device options and click on the arrow icon to expand the list.
- Here, you will see the list of all pointing devices connected to your computer.
- Find the Dell Touchpad option from the list and right-click on it to reveal the Properties option.
- Select the Properties option and view the general tab to see if the Dell Touchpad is enabled or not. If not, enable it, and then switch to the Drivers tab.
- Now, click on the Update driver option present in the Drivers tab to launch the Update Driver window.
- Here, you will notice two options, namely, Search Automatically for Drivers and Browse my computer for Drivers. It is advisable to let the computer search for the latest compatible Dell Touchpad drivers online.
- Let the Update service run for a bit, and install a new version of the touchpad driver if any. If it doesn’t find any new drivers for the touchpad, you will need to manually check and download the latest drivers from the Dell website.
Download and Update touchpad drivers manually
If your device is very old, it is possible that the manufacturers stopped releasing new drivers for it. Nevertheless, you should check for the latest available Dell touchpad drivers for the version of Windows OS that you are running on the laptop. To find your laptop’s touchpad drivers online, do as follows:
- Open the web browser on your laptop and search for Dell “Model name and Number” drivers. You can also search for the Dell Support page on their website and open it.
- Make sure to download drivers only from the support section of the Dell website. Otherwise, you may encounter phony software solution services and pages that are nothing more than adware.
- Locate the Identify your Product option on the main support page and enter your Dell laptop’s “Model Name and Number“. If you don’t know the make and model number, you can try the Product Identifier tool to find the details.
- Once done, search for all the available drivers for your laptop model. You can let the Dell Update tool find all the available driver updates for your computer, or select and view the driver’s release list as per operating systems.
- Download the Dell Touchpad driver executable file and save it to your computer.
- Now, reopen the Device Manager and right-click on your Dell Touchpad device to reveal the menu.
- Select the Browse my Computer for Drivers option and select the appropriate driver from your downloads list.
- Let the Update Driver window finish the installation and then close the window.
- Reboot your laptop and then search for Dell Touchpad in the Start menu or the Control Panel. If present, then try to use the touchpad to see if it works flawlessly or not.
Rollback TouchPad driver
Freshly installed driver updates can be the culprit behind the Dell touchpad not working problem. Rolling back freshly installed drivers can help you to go back to the last version of the drivers, which was perfectly compatible with the system hardware. To rollback Dell touchpad drivers, do as follows:
- Press Win Key + R and type devmgmt.msc in the Run box to launch the Device Manager.
- Scroll down to the Mice and other pointing hardware and expand the option to see all the devices.
- Right-click on the Dell Touchpad and then select the Properties option from the drop-down menu.
- Locate the Roll-back driver option which is beneath the Update Driver button, and click on it.
- Now, select a reason for rolling back your touchpad driver and click on OK.
- Reopen the Properties menu of your touchpad, and you will see that the new updates were uninstalled from your laptop.
Reinstalling Trackpad Drivers
Reinstalling Trackpad Drivers lets you remove all the traces of the existing touchpad drivers from your computer and execute a fresh install. It is the last resort to restore your Dell touchpad in a working condition.
- Click the Start button and find the Control Panel using the search feature.
- Open the Control Panel and navigate to the Programs section. Then select the Uninstall a Program feature under the Programs and Features options.
- Find your Dell Touchpad program from the list of programs installed on your computer.
- Right-click on it and select the Uninstall option from the pop-up menu.
- The dialog box will ask you to confirm your decision. Click on YES and remove all the traces of the Dell Touchpad driver from your laptop.
- Now, reinstall the touchpad driver by downloading the latest version from the Dell website.
Note: Some users may not find the Dell Touchpad program in the Control Panel. To uninstall any version of a touchpad driver, they need to open the device manager and select the Uninstall Driver option from the Properties settings. It is an alternative method to remove touchpad drivers not listed in the Control Panel.
BIOS updates are infrequent but crucial to fix any hardware jitters on your laptops. If you haven’t updated your BIOS for a long time and are experiencing the Dell touchpad not working issue despite trying the driver fixes, then BIOS updates may do the trick. To update your Dell laptop BIOS drivers, do as follows:
- Open the web browser and go to the Dell Support website page.
- Enter your product model number and click on the Search button to find all the available software updates for your computer.
- Select the BIOS option from the Select Operating System option and click on it.
- Scroll down to see the list of available drivers and download and then install it.
Note: When Installing BIOS drivers on a laptop, make sure to connect the external power adapter before beginning the new BIOS flash. Dell advises that the “battery should have a minimum charge of 10% and an AC adapter connected to the system.“
Perform a System Restore
At this point, most of the issues are ruled out which means either a recent software change or a hardware defect is causing the Dell touchpad not working issue. You can try out the Windows System Restore feature to revert to an earlier system state in which your trackpad was working fine.
- Go to the Start menu and search for the Create a restore point setting. Open the app and click on the System Restore button.
- The next window will display the most recently created restore point. You can select that or click the Choose a different restore point option.
- You will see the list of all the available restore points for your system. Pick according to the date before which the touchpad was working fine.
- Perform the System Restore and check to see if your touchpad works or not.
If your trackpad is still not responding, then the problem may lie in the touchpad hardware. Consult a professional repair service that can diagnose and fix/replace your touchpad. Do not pry open the touchpad if you lack prior knowledge because you can unintentionally damage other intricate hardware.
These were all the working fixes for the Dell touchpad not working problem. Perform them in sequence to iron out the software issue first, before moving on to the hardware defects.
Why Is My Dell Laptop Touchpad Not Working?
The reason could be a missing driver, mangled cables or hardware, misconfigured touchpad settings, or driver incompatibility with your system. Try tweaking the touchpad in settings and adjust its sensitivity, speed, and responses.
How Do I Fix My Dell Touchpad?
The best you can do is try out the software side fixes we have mentioned above. Do not attempt to repair a damaged trackpad unless you have proper knowledge of fixing and swapping computer parts.
How Do I Unfreeze My Dell Touchpad?
You can try adjusting the mouse sensitivity settings and reactive multi-finger gestures to unfreeze your Dell touchpad. A recent OS or firmware update can also fix the underlying touchpad freeze issue.
How Do I Turn My Dell Touchpad Back On?
You can enable your touchpad by using the hotkeys, if available. Also, you can do it via the Device Manager, Dell Touchpad application, BIOS settings, and Control Panel. The easiest one is using the Fn + Hotkey combination to enable the touchpad.