How To Use Laptop Touchpad (Like A Pro)

Updated on November 23, 2022

If you’ve just bought your very first laptop. Then chances are your having a hard time adjusting to the sensitivity of its touchpad. That’s why we put together a handy guide on how to get the most out of your laptop’s trackpad.

If you’ve used a mouse for most of your life, then getting used to a touchpad can seem a little daunting. Your probably thinking you can be nowhere near as accurate with a touchpad as can you can with a mouse.

However like all things, if you just give it some time. Using a trackpad for your day to day activities is going to become muscle memory in no time.

So the key thing to take away is no matter how frustrated you get with using your touchpad initially. Don’t just connect a mouse, and call it a day. Keep using it for at least a week, and you’ll be a pro at it in no time.

How To Use Your Laptops Touchpad Properly

  1. To move the cursor, place on finger on the touchpad, and drag it across the surface. The faster you move your finger, the faster the pointer on the screen will move.
  2. If your touchpad has two dedicated buttons, pressing the right button will simulate a “right click”, pressing the left one will simulate a “left click”.
  3. If your touchpad has no dedicated buttons, press the lower left portion of the touchpad inwards, this simulates a “left click”, doing the same on the lower right side simulates a “right click”.
  4. On most modern laptops, if you just quickly tap on the touchpad somewhere near the right mid to lower section, it will simulate a left click.
  5. On most MacBooks you can tap two fingers on the trackpad at the same time to simulate a “right click”. You can have clicking the right side of the touchpad simulate a “right click” by going into the settings and enabling this.

The left button/click of your laptops touchpad is used to primarily interact with your operating system. A double left click, most commonly known as a double click is used to access files, and folders.

However most tasks such as clicking buttons, and navigating web pages, and links can be accomplished by a single left click.

Your probably not going to use the right mouse button/click even 10% as often as your left click. Though it’s still important to know what its main functionality is. 

Right clicking an object often brings up a list of options or properties. It allows you to change certain things about what your interacting with. It also gives options to interact with the object in a less direct way.

Other Main Touchpad Functions & How To Control Them:

Scrolling On A Trackpad

Scrolling is something you probably do a lot on your computer if your on the internet a lot. On most windows mice there is a dedicated scroll wheel that makes scrolling a lot easier and more intuitive.

..To scroll with your laptop touchpad, find the scroll bar that is most often located on the right edge of your window…

To scroll with your laptop touchpad, find the scroll bar that is most often located on the right edge of your window. Left click and hold the bar, and move your finger up or down on the touchpad to make your window scroll up or down.

Some older laptops have a dedicated vertical strip on the touchpad, where if you run your finger up or down on it. Your windows will scroll in the direction of your fingers movements.

This might seem like a pretty tedious task compared to just having a scroll wheel. However most modern day Windows laptops also have gesture support on their touchpads.

To simulate scrolling, use two fingers and move them up or down on the trackpad at the same time to scroll either up or down. On some laptops you might need to exert more force with your two fingers than others to get it to work.

But if it’s a relatively modern laptop, then chances are it has windows touchpad gestures built in by default.

Clicking & Dragging On Trackpad

You can drag and drop items using your touchpad as well. To drag an item left click on it, and hold. Then you can move you finger on the trackpad, and the item will move along with your cursor on the screen.

To select items follow the same process, left click, and hold. Then use your finger to move your cursor and select however many items that you want.

Perform Gestures On Trackpad

Now gestures aren’t available on all Windows laptop. If your laptop is high end then it almost definitely has support for Windows gestures.

However if you’ve got a budget laptop or an older laptop. Then it might not support gestures, or at least not all of the ones that we are about to discuss.

We’ve already discussed the scrolling gestures where you can use two fingers to scroll up, and down. Here are all the rest of them.

  1. Zoom in or out: Place two fingers on the touchpad and pinch in or stretch out.
  2. Show more commands (similar to right-clicking): Tap the touchpad with two fingers, or press in the lower-right corner.
  3. Drag windows: Double-tap and drag the menu bar (top of app window)
  4. See all open windows: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe them away from you.
  5. Show Task view: If you’re viewing all open windows (from the step above), swipe up again with three fingers.
  6. Show the desktop: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe them towards yourself.
  7. Switch between open windows: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe right or left.
  8. Cortana/Action Center: Tap the touchpad with three fingers.

Altering Your Touchpads Sensitivity Within Your OS

If you feel that the sensitivity of your laptops touchpad is too high or even too low. Then you can easily adjust it within your operating system settings.

Step 1: Click on Search Section next to Start Menu button, and type in “Control Panel”.

Step 2: Click on the Control Panel icon that shows up within the search results

Step 3: Click on the Hardware and Sound option

Step 4: Click on the Mouse suboption within the Devices and Printers section at the top of the window.

Step 5: Within the Mouse Properties menu that shows up, click on Pointer Options within the top menu

Step 6: Experiment around with the Point Speed slider, until you find the best settings suited to your needs

Step 7: Once you’ve found the best setting for you click Apply to save the new settings.

Step 8: To Adjust the Scrolling speed, click on Wheel option right next the Pointer Options within the top menu. Over here you can adjust the Vertical Scrolling Speed of your touchpad. The higher the number, the higher the scrolling speed.

Step 9: Horizontal Scrolling Speed can also be adjusted from this menu if you so choose too.

Once you’ve found the best settings for you click Apply to save the new settings.

Disable touch pad when using external mouse & keyboard

You can disable touchpad fairly easy following this step by step guide.

Different Trackpad Shapes, Sizes, Placements & Textures

..Almost every touchpad that your going to find in a laptop is going to be different from another laptops touchpad…

Almost every touchpad that your going to find in a laptop is going to be different from another laptops touchpad. They come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and textures.

Some laptops like MacBooks come with trackpads that are simply enormous compared to the physical size of the laptop. Other devices like chromebooks often have small, and compact touchpads.

There’s also different textures that touchpads are made out of. On cheap laptops you’re mostly going to find hard plastic as the surface material of choice.

However, once you step up to the premium category of laptops, they mostly have trackpads made of glass for a smoother, more accurate,  and more premium experience.

Then come the quirky laptops like ASUS Zephyrus lineup of gaming laptops, that have their trackpads placed on the far right side of the keyboard, in a vertical orientation.

So the gist of this is that if your used to a touchpad of one particular laptop, it doesn’t mean you’ll be an expert on another touchpad.

All of them have different sensitivities, and their own little quirks that makes each of their tracking experiences fairly unique from another touchpads.


So after reading this article you should be fully up to speed on how to use a touchpad on your laptop. If there is anything that you feel we missed that is important, be sure to leave that in a comment down below!

Article by:
Hassaan Ahmed
Hassaan has been passionate about technology for as long as he remembers, and aims to provide you with all the information you need to find the right laptop for you.

3 thoughts on “How To Use Laptop Touchpad (Like A Pro)”

  1. This was my exact situation.
    I just googled how to use a touchpad like a pro!
    Thanks! this is going to be a lot more enjoyable now!

  2. Thank you for the information. I’m an editor, so had a few issues with your writing (use of your/you’re and sentence structure), but loaned my optical mouse so needed a refresher on touchpads. You don’t mention how to highlight phrases to cut and paste, which I would have found helpful.


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