Turn Off Touchpad On Surface Pro – Tip Of The Week

Turn Off Touchpad on Surface Pro

This week’s Tip Of The Week – How to Turn Off Touchpad On Surface Pro Tablets:

We’ve had some of our readers ask this question, so I thought I’d write it up as a quick tip.

You may wonder: why in the world, would you want to disable the touchpad?

Well, if you’re using an external mouse, for example, you may not want to have the touchpad enabled at the same time. I personally like the touchpad but I’ve heard others say that they don’t and they just want it off, in lieu of the mouse. I usually leave both on because I find that some things are easier to do with the mouse but others work better with the touchpad – so basically, it’s a personal choice.

In this post, I will cover the following:

  1. How to turn off touchpad on a Surface Pro
  2. What to look for if you’re having a problem with the settings being ignored and touchpad coming back on.

Turn off Touchpad on Surface Pro:

It turns out that disabling the touchpad on Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 is actually pretty easy.

Note: For this procedure to work, you must have one of the newer type 2 or touch 2 covers or a Surface Pro 3 cover. This procedure does not work with the first gen covers or RT devices.

1. Attach keyboard cover to your Surface Pro.

2. Go to Settings – Windows key + I (see my posts about Windows 8.1 Useful Shortcuts).

3. Select Change PC Settings \ PC and devices \ Mouse and touchpad

4. Under Touchpad section, you can turn off touchpad permanently by sliding the Touchpad setting Off or you can turn it off only when a mouse is connected by setting Leave touchpad on when a mouse is connected to Off – the latter is  the one I recommend.

That’s it. If you’d like to turn the touchpad back on, simply repeat these steps and turn the touchpad slider back to On.

Problems with Touchpad turning back on:

If the touchpad keeps coming back on occasionally, even if you turned it off in settings, you may be experiencing a couple of different problems: the keyboard cover may not be attaching properly (and it thinks it’s not attached, when it really is) or the mouse is not being recognized. To troubleshoot try the following:

  • Restart your Surface Pro – that’s always the first step in troubleshooting.
  • Check your keyboard connector as described in our post on Keyboard Problems.
  • Make sure your mouse is properly connected via USB and there are no obstructions in the USB port.
  • If you have a Bluetooth mouse, make sure your mouse is properly paired via Bluetooth and that you do not have interference. We found that when we have our ceiling fans on, the Bluetooth device can be “flaky” and Tim thinks it’s because the fans are old and put out a lot of electromagnetic interference.

Hope you find this helpful. There is a different procedure for turning off the touchpad on the RT Surfaces; I will write that up for you soon.


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