How To Adjust Laptop Touchpad Responsiveness - Windows XP

Using laptop touchpad

The advantage of using a laptop's touchpad is that it takes away the requirement of additional desk or table space. Attaching a mouse to your laptop sort of defeats the purpose of its design, that is, being able to put it literally on top of your lap and type away. For those who are still getting to know their Windows XP-based mobile computer, here is how to adjust the responsiveness of your touchpad.

1. Open the Mouse Properties window.

As with most hardware setting and configuration adjustments, you will find the guides and options pertaining to your touchpad in the Control Panel. Click 'Start' then 'Control Panel' and then double-click on the icon labeled 'Mouse'. Take note that this navigation path works when your windows display is in Classic View mode. In Category View mode, you will have to click on the item 'Printers and Other Hardware' after opening the Control Panel. The succeeding window will have two sections: 'Pick a task…' and 'or pick a Control Panel icon'. The Mouse icon would be in the second section. In either case double-clicking on the Mouse icon will display the Mouse Properties window.

2. Adjust touch sensitivity.

The Mouse Properties window contains all the features and options you can tweak regarding any installed pointer devices including touchpads. Pull up the Touch Pad tab to access this device's options. Look for the button called 'Touch Sensitivity' and click on it. A bar will appear on which you can drag a slider either towards Low or High to control sensitivity. Simply click on OK after you've made the adjustment.

3. Adjust tapping speed.

Another section on the Touch Pad tab that can affect your device's responsiveness is tapping speed. Basically tapping speed affects how quickly you need to successively tap twice on the touchpad, an action equivalent to the double-left click done with a mouse. Again, as with touch sensitivity, you'll see a bar with a slider that can be moved from Slow to Fast and some degrees in between. To find out if you've actually made the right adjustment without having to exit this properties window, you can use the Test Area section. Move the pointer to the box and tap twice to see how quickly the system registers that action.

Take note that with certain laptops you might need to first check if tapping is enabled. In the Hardware tab you'll find a Properties or Hardware Settings button. Click on this button to pull up the Properties window for your touchpad. Look for the item labeled Tapping on the left pane of this window, double-click it and see if the 'Enable Tapping' option is checked.

4. Check if the device driver is updated.

It can happen that after you've adjusted these touchpad settings, you are still not able to get the desired responsiveness or worse perhaps your pointer may start showing some erratic behavior. These problems are usually due to some driver issues. The quick solution is to update the driver for your touchpad. The option for this is found in the Hardware or Device Settings tab in the Mouse Properties window.

Laptop manufacturers more or less follow the same general design for touchpads. You can observe a difference or two in specific features once you access the device's properties but these won't greatly affect how you can modify its responsiveness.


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