How do I change my Dell Touchpad settings and preferences?
I have a nice new Dell laptop but am a bit frustrated by one thing: it's the first computer I've owned where if I accidentally tap or touch the trackpad surface the computer thinks it's a mouse click. Messes me up left and right. How can I disable this "tap to click" behavior on the Dell trackpad (touchpad? whatever)? Oh, and it's running Windows Vista, if that matters.
I'm not sure when that started to be popular, but just about all trackpads now seem to have the ability to detect taps in addition to sliding fingers, so it's quite common now to find computers - Mac and PC - that have the capability you're talking about. Heck, on the latest Apple MacBook line, there's no button at all: the trackpad is both the dragging and tapping surface. Definitely something you have to get used to, but once you do, it's pretty cool.
So my first thought is that this might be a behavior that you just need to train yourself to work with rather than disable, so as you hop from laptop to laptop in future years you'll be ready for the potential elimination of "mouse" buttons. I can't say for sure that'll happen in the PC world, but I certainly don't expect any future Apple laptops to have discrete buttons to push for button behaviors in the operating system.
Don't want to do that? That's okay. As is typical in Vista, there's a way to tweak what you want, but it involves a couple of steps...
First off, choose Control Panels off the START (uh, Vista logo) menu on the lower left of your computer screen:
You'll now see the many, many different ways you can customize your Vista experience. You want "Mouse" settings (why there's no "Mouse / Touchpad" or similar I don't fully understand, just as it's puzzling that there are Tablet options when my laptop isn't a tablet and doesn't support that functionality. That's another story, though). You'll be dropped here:
Not really what you want, but we're getting there. Click on "Dell Touchpad" on the top left and you'll find that this is all just an elaborate path to get to the special Dell trackpad/touchpad control app:
Click on the huge arrow icon and you'll launch a separate application supplied by Dell that lets you gain complete control over the touchpad:
Almost there. Now click on "Touchpad Settings".
There we go. Finally. See where it shows "Taps" "Tap to Click"? Just uncheck that box and click on "Apply" on the lower right and you've disabled the tap to click capability of your Dell trackpad. Close the windows and you're done.
I'll wrap up by suggesting again, however, that you try to get used to the feature now so you don't fall further and further behind as PCs evolve with their user input devices. Good luck either way, though!
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Written by Dave Taylor
dell laptops, dell trackpad, vista customization, windows vista
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Reader Comments To Date: 37
It might be good to know that before you can get to the Mouse settings dialog, you need to first (at the Control Panel) click on the Hardware and Sound subsection.
I was actually wondering how to disable the wheel myself, since I don't use it. Nice article.
I inadvertantly sent you an email due to the very problem you discuss above regarding the Dell touchpad but one that resides in the Vista version of Windows but not the one I need which is on the Windows XP touchpad (from my hardware invoice is an Alps Touchpad.)
I fououd the Alps driver on my hardrive somewhere in my sound schemes. I know it didn't belong as a sound scheme (the place where you can label a name for your personalized settings if you have extra speakers, etc. The folder that I found is labeled "Apoint". In it are about 21 files that belong somewhere on my computer associated with the mouse driver that only contains one PS2 driver that I don't have. It won't allow me to adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad, the "up/down" areas of the touchpad and the corners which can be set for certain special functions as well. I tracked down the Alps Company and found out that they only supply hardware and found out that the software is designed for their products "elsewhere" (where is the question).
As long as I did manage to find the Apoint folder (and copied it to another place on my hard drive where I know it won't get lost, I would really appreciate it if you could help those of us who are still using Windows XP (not everyone can afford a new wireless laptop) to copy the file to the place where it should reside in order for the Touchpad to be accessed for the settings it was designed to utilize.
By the way, this is my seond email to you on this topic as the first one was sent before I finished it because of the Touchpad's sensitivity.
Perviously, I was working with my Attorney since my Mother passed away last October when somehow my eails were being either sent before I had a chance to edit them down to a concise amount of words or at least 2 or sometimes 3 copies of the same email was sent to my Attorney (at $450/hr.) and I am still trying to catch up to pay for all of the emails that were sent and read by his secretary. I had to stop emailing him and now without any record of what I said or what he said, we are not corresponding.
Unfortunately, I have chronic pain (24/7) and I am also am homebound most of the time unless I have a doctor's appointment. I need a recommendation to get my touchpad working or perhaps someonee to donate a wireless laptop that will work with a Networked Windows XP Dell Dimenson 8200 which needs to be updated with my Windows SP2 and after that, SP3. Due to my illness, I stopped being able to get my hardrive backed up (which still needs to be done which (in part) had to do with Norton Internet Security.
Since I am almost totally self-taught beginning with DOS at lawfirm that wasn't networked.
Everything else I learned was either coached over the phone by a great Tech Support guy at Packard Bell by the name of Shaun Hoadley who I think is now selling his first edition published prints on ebay. My first home computer was a 480 MB hard drive PB with Windows 3.0 which morphed into Windows for Workgroups (Windows 3.3).
I am not fond of what has happened through the years with Microsoft, but I haven't the funds to buy a Mack or learn another way of figuring out a new system (I am a senior citizen as of this year) and the medication I take for pain makes it difficult to retain all of the facts I need to just keep up with what is going on since yesterday with my computer (I'm still trying to figure out how to set up a Network so it will communicate with my Dell Dimension 8200 Desktop
which is even older than this laptop.}
If it weren't for the proliforation of Microsoft based machines and the use of WordPerfect (whichc was preferable) or Word at virtually all Law Firms, I would have probably started off with a Mack since my interests are mostly creative in nature.
As I said before, anything you can do to help me adjust my Windows XP Alps Touchpad (circa 2005) in my Dell Dimension 6000 wireless laptop, I would appreciate your advice.
I have information about the driver which resides in the folder (as part of the "Apont" driver file)
if you need it. I typed up some of the information in my previous email to you regarding this issue which I believe was sent to you under the option "other" -- something like "nothing applies" -- am having a senior moment. I will sign off and hopefully be able to preview and click my Touchpad only once in order to get this to you!
Thank you for your site. I hope this signs me up!
i have a new dell studio laptop and i am envious of the 2 finger scrolling that my mac-using friends have. Is there a way to modify this by installing some software or something to be able to have 2 finger scrolling on my dell?
The Dell Touchpad option does not appear in the Mouse control panel on my Latitude D820. So the above instructions are pretty much useless. What now?
Thank you for informing me that Apoint.exe is the vital software which controls my Dell touchpad.
How do i reactivate the Dell touchpad if i don't have access to a mouse (can't move the cursor)?
My mouse properties does not have a dell touchpad tab. Can I still get to this application?
I use my keyboard and in the middle of typing any slight brush at all against the touchpad messes it up. My cursor is constantly jumping across lines, highlighting and deleting text etc. I read another article yesterday that had an option to disable the touchpad when the keyboard was in use, but that option seems to have disappeared from newer laptops (mine doesn't have this option any more). I will do as you suggest above. But there should be an option to disable the touchpad when using the keyboard. Don't know why they got rid of it.
I also didn't have the dell touchpad tab on my mouse control screen, but after searching for the Apoint application and opening it, i went back to the mouse option on the control panel, and there it was. No more tap clicking for me: Yay! Thanks for the very helpful info.
I have Windows XP /a Dell computer. Where are the Touch Pad Properties?
Hi ive probs with this, as other people have said, the "dell touchpad" didnt show up on my mouse settings. you can fix this by going into "my computer" and searching "apoint.exe" right click and select open file location then click on delltpad. after doing this the tab shows up on the mouse settings.
The apoint.exe file fixed my first problem (getting the touchpad tab) and then I changed the touch sensitivity to "heavy" and my problems are solved.
The Dell Touchpad option does not appear in the Mouse control panel on my Latitude E5510, with Win7.
I found the "C:\Program Files\DellTPad"-folder with all the "Apoint.exe" and the "DellTPad.exe", but nothing happens when I run them. And the ControlPanel is stil without the Touchpad Option.
the inspiron 1300 does not show the mouse pad in the mouse settings - got any idea how to turn the tapping off on this one?
Thank you so very much. I could not find this information anywhere else. Having finally crashed my d600 I upgraded to an e6510. I have been completely frustrated when trying to use it -- bouncing all over every screen and having new windows pop up unexpectedly. Your instructions were perfect! Much appreciated - thanks again!!
Same problem. The touchpad options don't show up in the control panel. But I can't find apoint.exe on my computer, or DellTPad for that matter.
I tried downloading the driver from Dell support, but for some reason that doesn't seem to work either. I keep getting an error message saying that I haven't chosen a driver to download, even though I click on the download button of a particular driver.
Any suggestions? I have a Latitude E6510, W7. Thanks.
I have a E6510. Go to C:ProgramFiles/DellTPad and double click DellTPad. This will bring up the settings for the touch pad. It will also put the Dell Touch Pad in the Mouse settings w/in the Control Panel.
I have been all over the internet trying to get to the touch pad settings for my dell inspiron 1525 with vista. A couple of days ago I inadverntly got to the settings but can no longer get to them. I got to the screens that you show in your article that say dell touch pad but can no longer get to them. If I go to mouse there is no tab that says touch pad. I am at my wits end. Please help. It seems like Dell touch pad was listed in a long lists of files, etc. but cannot get back to it. Help.
I have had most of the issues above, inc not being able to see the Touchpad tab.
I finally resolved this by going to the Dell Support Centre (in the Programs list on the Dell laptop), clicking Drivers and Downloads and then downloading the touchpad driver. Restarted the computer and there was the tab. After that, follow Dave's instructions... thanks Dave!
So I tried everything on this page and I still can't get the settings for my touch pad on my Inspiron 1501 with Vista. I had my computer worked on and when I got it back I only had basic mouse settings. I tried searching for apoint and those do not exist on my computer. I also tried downloading the drivers from Dell but I get the same thing as a previous poster that after attempting to download them an error message comes up saying that there is nothing to download. Somebody please help me, I can't stand this automatically double click and no scroll feature.
I had the same problem not seeing the touchpad option on a dell 1520 laptop.
This is the soloution for Dell Computers.
Go to the Dell main home page and select your particular system in the menus. Download the latest driver for the touchpad. Easy step by step menu process.
Its a straightforward process and as soon as I had downloaded and unzipped/opened the file I had the dell touchpad options in mouse pointers.
Then I was simply able to choose my preferred settings and remove the tap click etc.
This works for Dell models....dont know about other manufactures.
Hope this helps.
What if I don't have the wheel settings in my Laptop at all, I have Dell Inspiron, with windows 7, Enterprise??
I have no "Mouse Settings" as an option in Hardware and Sound.
I have a Dell 1525 Inspiron with Windows 7.
I have the same problem that Janet Nelson at April 29, 2010 had. Very upsetting for a touch typist.
Why did they remove the instructions for the touchpad from Windows 7?
Will try what Martin, January 23 suggests.
Wish me luck.
Hi...I have a dell laptop and the information that you gave above would have helped me greatly, except i don't have on option for the Dell Touchpad when I click on the Mouse setting from the control panel. Mine starts with Buttons and ends with Hardware. The scrolling part of the touchpad is not working. If you can help me, I would be ever so thankful because it's driving me crazy. Thanks in advance, Sandy
Closest I have come to the answer I am seeking. Why is there no right click option for the touchpad buttons? It's a brand new Dell M5030 Laptop w/ Windows 7 OS. Thx to all who I have heard from here
Nice article. I tried HELP for touch pad and got nothing. I looked up touchpad controls and got parental controls. Finally found your article on GOOGLE, pointing me to MOUSE settings -- who figured? My problem was the fixed by disabling the "scrolling" settings which caused me to zoom in, out, and highlight all sorts of pages. Thank you and GOOGLE for understanding the word "touchpad."
Hi there...I have a 2006 model Dell Latitude 820 Laptop. For about the last 3 years, if during a session of "doing anything" I happen to touch the touch-pad just so, or in some kind of quick way, the screen sometimes begins scrolling frantically on the horizontal. The only way to stop it is to hold the on/off button down until the computer shuts off. I there-by lose any document or changes that I'm working on. Google Restore may get me back there but I haven't checked. What''s the problem here? It there some kind of Dell fix for the touch-pad that I need to download?
For the most part I followed everything according to Dave's instructions but had to do some slight modifications since I'm using Windows 7 OS. I went through the following steps to get my touchpad back to working properly:
1)Click on control panel-hardware and sound you should see devices and printer
2)Click on mouse and device settings, you should see the device Synaptics Touchpad V7.4 highlighted. If you want to disable the touchpad click the disable button and apply. However if you wish to enable the Touchapd click enable and your touchpad should start working immediately.
How can I activate the bluetooth in a Dell Latitude E6510?
I have a dell inspiron m5030 and I know how to turn the tap feature on and off on the touch pad but I would like to turn off the scroll feature that is on the right side and across the bottom of the touch pad and still have the rest of the touch pad work
Hi Dave..I too have a problem with the touchpad adjustment on my Dell Inspiron N5010. Windows 7 Prem. 64 bit.
I would appreciate some help ASAP as it's driving me crazy, as I can't find how to get into the Touchpad settings from the "Mouse Properties" window.
Good afternoon sir,
i have one problem in my laptop (Dell Inspiron n5010) which was the mouse pad in my lap. it is working properly but I can't zoom or scroll in my mouse pad .why? please help me. Thank you
Thanks for the info. First site in a long time that i traveled and was not a hike into hell!
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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