If you like using a mouse to get work done on your Mac or Windows laptop, then you might find it useful to disable the trackpad or touchpad on your system. This is really useful if you type a lot and the trackpad is located in a spot on your laptop that causes it to always pick up slight movements from your hand while typing.
It can be really annoying if you are typing something and all of a sudden the cursor jumps to another part of the document! In this article, I’ll show you the different ways to disable the touchpad on OS X, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Disable Trackpad OS X Mountain Lion
If you’re running the latest version of OS X and you have a bluetooth or USB mouse connected, you can have OS X ignore the trackpad by going to System Preferences and then clicking on Accessibility.
Then scroll down to Mouse and Trackpad and check the Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present box.
Disable Trackpad on Windows
In Windows 7 and Windows 8, there are a couple of different ways you can disable the trackpad depending on how your system is configured. The first way you want to check is to see if there is a special button on the keyboard or switch on your laptop to disable the trackpad. For example, this is the key on a Dell laptop. You have to press the Function key and the trackpad button to enable/disable it.
If you don’t have the button or the switch, the next way to disable the touchpad is to go to Mouse properties from Control Panel and check if there is a Device Settings or Touchpad tab.
Click on the Disable button and you’re good to go. If you don’t see the Device Settings tab in Mouse Properties, that means you don’t have the proper drivers installed or the full software for the trackpad. Go to the manufacturers website and download the full driver package.
Lastly, you can open up Device Manager from Control Panel, expand Mouse and other pointing devices and then disable the touchpad if it is listed there.
Everything is the same when disabling the trackpad in Windows 8 also. Of course in Windows 8, your trackpad may not even work unless you have the latest drivers! Synaptics still hasn’t released a Windows 8 generic Touchpad driver yet, so keep an eye out for that if you have a Synaptics touchpad on your laptop. Enjoy!