Whether you use a laptop, a 2-in-1 device or any other kind of mobile computer, you are also probably using a touchpad. And if you're on the go, you might not want to always use the touchscreen or have the time to connect a mouse to make it easier to use your device. It's likely that you'd prefer using the touchpad, so it's quite important that you set it up to work the way you want. With Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, Microsoft brought new configuration options for the touchpad. We now have options for handling simple settings like delaying the touchpad clicks when typing or advanced settings like touchpad gestures that trigger different actions. Of course, these depend on the specific hardware that you have and its drivers. Today, we'll talk about how you can configure the way your touchpad works in Windows 10. Let's get started:
Different Types Of Touchpads
Microsoft divides the the touchpads available on the market into two major categories:
- Precision touchpads - are a new type of touchpads that are designed for newer computers and devices, that run on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. These kinds of touchpads support a variety of touch gestures that can help you to get around your PC more quickly. They offer a great user experience, but the downside is that they are not available on just any computer or device. In order to get all the gestures, features and options a precision touchpad can offer, Microsoft requires touchpad manufacturers to comply with a set of very specific hardware requirements. If you'd like to see these requirements, check this web page: Windows Precision Touchpads - Device Integration.
- Normal touchpads - all the other touchpads that don't fit into Microsoft's standards for precision touchpads. By default, these touchpads don't support Windows gestures and have fewer features and options available than precision touchpads. However, depending on the manufacturer and model of the touchpad, its drivers could include some features that are found on precision touchpads.
As a rule of thumb, more expensive Windows computers and devices tend to have precision touchpads while cheaper ones will always have normal touchpads.
What Kind Of Touchpad Do You Have?
Now that you know there are two types of touchpads, how do you find out what kind of touchpad you have on your Windows device?
To find out, open the Settings app, go to Devices and then click Mouse & touchpad.
Then, on the right side of the window, look for the Touchpad section. If your computer or device has a precision touchpad, Windows 10 will clearly state that: "Your PC has a precision touchpad".
If your computer or device has a normal, old-school touchpad, rather than a precision touchpad, you won't see the statement above.
How To Configure Your "Normal" Touchpad In Windows 10
If your device doesn't have a precision touchpad, then Windows 10 will only let you set the delay for the touchpad clicks when typing. This is useful for all those times when you start typing on your laptop and accidentally touch the touchpad with your hands. In such cases you could find that the cursor moved and you're typing in wrong places. It happens to the best of us. :)
In order to avoid this, Windows 10 allows you to set your touchpad to use a Short delay, Medium delay or a Long delay. Of course, if you don't want to use this feature, you can also disable it by selecting No delay (always on).
How To Configure Your Precision Touchpad In Windows 10
If your Windows 10 computer or device has a precision touchpad, things change a lot. There are many more things to configure. In the next screenshot, you can see all the settings that you can configure for the precision touchpad found on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3:
Let's see what each of these settings means and does:
- Touchpad - enables or disables the touchpad on your Windows 10 computer or device.
- Leave touchpad on when a mouse is connected - leaves the touchpad enabled or automatically disables it whenever you connect a mouse to your Windows 10 computer or device.
- Reverse scrolling direction - this is self-explanatory: if you'd rather use reverse scrolling, enable this option.
- To help prevent the cursor from accidentally moving while you type, turn off taps or change the delay before taps work - this feature is present on non-precision touchpads too and it's useful for all those times when you start typing on your laptop and accidentally touch the touchpad with your hands. In such cases you could find that the cursor moved and you're typing in random places. In order to avoid this, Windows 10 allows you to set your touchpad to use a Short delay, Medium delay or a Long delay. Also, if you don't want to use this feature, you can also disable it by selecting No delay (always on).
- Change the cursor speed - you can use the slider to set how fast your cursor will move on your Desktop.
- Allow taps on the touchpad - you can select items with a tap on the touchpad.
- Allow right-click on the touchpad - if you tap and hold on an item, Windows 10 will open a contextual menu with more options, similar to right-clicking.
- Allow double-tap and drag - if you tap and then quickly tap again and slide your finger on the touchpad, you can drag and drop items or select text.
- Use a two finger tap for right click - if you tap the touchpad with two fingers, or if you press in the lower-right corner of the touchpad, Windows 10 will show contextual menus, similar to right-clicking with a mouse.
- Use a two finger drag to scroll - if you place two fingers on the touchpad and then slide them, you can scroll horizontally or vertically.
- Use a two finger pinch to zoom - if you place two fingers on your touchpad and then pinch in or stretch out, you will zoom in or out.
- Choose what to do with a three finger tap - when you tap the touchpad with three fingers, you can set Windows 10 to do a Search with Cortana, open the Action Center or do Nothing.
- Choose what to use with three finger drags and slides - when you slide three fingers on your touchpad, Windows 10 can be set to switch between apps. Of course, you can also set this action to do Nothing.
Well… this is what you get when you have a precision touchpad on your Windows 10 device. As you can see, it's quite a change from older, traditional touchpads.
Microsoft introduced new features and settings that you can configure for your touchpad. However, the settings available depend a lot on what kind of hardware your Windows 10 computer or device has. If you do have a precision touchpad, we bet you'll be more than pleased with what you get. These new touchpads offer a great user experience and are definitely doing a good job when it comes to getting around your computer or device.