The touchpad provides full mouse functionality to your laptop but there are instances when you may actually feel more productive without the touchpad. For instance, if you have attached an external mouse to your laptop, you may not need an alternate input mechanism which is the built-in touchpad.
Sometimes your thumbs or palm may accidentally touch the touchpad while you’re typing and this may inadvertently move your mouse cursor to a different location in the document. If you were not looking at your screen when the pointer jumped, you may end up typing at the wrong place.
To avoid running into such situations, it may not be a bad to disable the touchpad at least during the time when you are using a mouse or are typing a long document.
Some laptops don’t have dedicated buttons but you can use Function keys (like Fn + F5 on Dell computers) to toggle the state of your touch pad. In the case of HP laptops, you can hold the top-left corner of the touchpad for few seconds and it will disable the touch pad – repeat this to re-activate it.
New laptop computers either have a physical on/off button to easily disable the touch pad or there’s an icon in the system tray that lets you manage the various settings of the touchpad. If you don’t have that icon, you can go to Control Panel – > Mouse Properties – > Touch Pad to enable or disable the touchpad.
The touch pad can also be disabled through the device manager. Type devmgmt.msc in the Windows Run box to start the device manager, expand “Mice and other Pointing devices”, right-click and disable the driver entry that says Touch pad or likewise.
If none of the above solutions work for your brand of laptop, try TouchPad Pal – it’s a free Windows utility that will temporarily disable the touchpad of your laptop as you go into typing mode. The utility runs in the system tray and requires no configuration.
Finally, if you would like to get rid of the touchpad completely, you can consider disabling it through the BIOS itself. The exact path that you need to follow to reach the Pointing Devices section in your BIOS may however vary for different laptops.