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Disable Your Laptop's Touchpad When Typing

Few experiences in life are more infuriating than finding that you've typed four kinds of gibberish because you brushed your touchpad, moving the cursor as you worked. You have a few options:
  1. Toss your laptop through a nearby window.
  2. Learn to type so you deftly avoid the touchpad.
  3. Disable the touchpad when you type.
You can handle the first two options on your own. I'll help you out with number three.

Unfortunately, there's no one guaranteed way to get you touchpad to stop bothering you when you type. Every laptop, it seems, has its own quirks, and your touchpad controls are dictated by your hardware and drivers. Nonetheless, here are a few things to try, starting with the easiest:

1. Turn off the touchpad using a switch on the laptop. Some laptops -- especially newer ones just hitting the streets -- have a control right on the laptop case which disables the touchpad. If you've got it, use it.

2. Disable the touchpad using its Control Panel applet. If your laptop manufacturer doesn't hate you, it might have made this fairly easy. Open the Control Panel, find the controls for the Mouse, and then see if there's a setting to disable the touchpad when a mouse (or "USB pointing device") is connected. Unfortunately, if you're the sort of person that likes to wipe away all the extra software that comes with your PC by reformatting and re-installing Windows, then you might not have any touchpad software.

3. Install a utility that disables the touchpad. Because touchpads vary so much, this isn't guaranteed to work, either. But you might try installing TouchFreeze, a free utility that disables the touchpad when you're typing. Stop typing, and the touchpad instantly comes back to life.

Photo by Taylor