How To Disable The Touchpad While You Are Typing

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During my initial days as a laptop user, I had discovered a mysterious phenomenon of sorts. I would be typing thick and fast, trusting my skills without paying too much attention and then when I would look back at the screen, I found the lines of text mysteriously intertwined!

It was a mystery because at first I didn’t realize that the erratic cursor movement is caused when your hand touches the touchpad while you are typing. It can get annoying pretty quickly when all of a sudden you find that you are typing the password in the username box all because the touchpad mistook the accidental contact as tap.

If you want to know how to disable the touchpad while typing, here are the steps:

On Windows

It is pretty straightforward to disable the touchpad in Windows. The settings can be generally accessed via the control panel. Open up Mouse Settings from the control panel, move over to the Device Settings tab and you can access touchpad settings in there.

Depending on the make and model of your laptop you will find options such as ‘disable touchpad when an external USB pointing device is connected‘ which is helpful if you use a USB mouse and want to disable the touchpad when a USB mouse is connected. You can also disable the touchpad entirely from here, or you can choose to disable only the buttons.

how to disable touchpad

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how to disable touchpad

If enabling/disabling every time you are in for a bit of typing feels like too much work, you can look into the sensitivity settings for the touchpad and lower the sensitivity a bit. Although this doesn’t solve the problem in its entirety it helps to reduce it.

On Linux

Things get a bit more involved on the Linux side. You need to make sure that xorg.conf located at (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) contains the line: SHMConfig true under the input section.

  • Fire up your preferred text editor and open up /etc/x11/xorg.conf. Look for a section like:

    Section “Input Device”
    Identifier “Synaptics Touchpad”

    End Section

how to disable touchpad on windows

  • This needs to contain the line Option “SHMConfig” “true”. Note that if you are using Jaunty Jackalope you would have to create a file /etc/hal/fdi/policy/shmconfig.fdi with contents as under

how to disable touchpad on laptop

  • If you added it to the file you need to restart the GUI. You can use Ctrl + Alt + Backspace. If that doesn’t work, just restart the system.
  • Next open up the sessions manager. System > Preferences > Sessions and add an entry for syndaemon -i 1 -d. You can use man syndaemon to check out additional options like.

disable touchpad on linux

That should just about do it.  Syndaemon monitors the keyboard and as soon as you start typing it disables the tapping and scrolling action (according to the options you choose) on the touchpad. This means that you can still move the cursor, only you wouldn’t be able to accidentally tap it and thus wander off to another line.

I really like the Linux solution. You don’t have to do anything, it detects that you are typing and disables the tapping and scrolling while still letting you to move around the cursor and use the touchpad buttons to click. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a similar solution for Windows.

Maybe you are aware of one? Let us know in the comments how do you tackle the problem.

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14 Comments - Write a Comment



Of cource Windows is easier than Linux.
But Linux is more safe and confortable if you’re profi.



Hey Varun

Thanks for the tip, I really hate it when my cursor jumps somewhere else when typing an email or something.


Iman Diaz

Thanks for the tip, I have seen a few people with this problem. A while ago a friend of mine cut out a piece of something I forget to cover her mouse pad


Jack Cola

You forgot to mention that some laptops have a button that you can press on the keyboard to turn the touchpad off. For my laptop, there is an FN key combination FN+F3 to turn it off. I am using an Medion E1210.

Hope this helps!


Paul Wright

My previous Presario laptop had a physical button above the touch pad to disable it. That was perfect. Some laptops have Fn combinations to turn it off. My Gateway apparently has none of those. Under Vista I created an AutoIt script to turn it off but it was pretty slow. (As is the rest of my laptop.) Win7 is worse.



Tony Cutty

Nice tip, simple to do – BUT my Mouse control panel doesn’t have the Device Settings tab, it only goes as far as ‘Hardware’. Running XP-SP2, btw. Is this a Vista-only trick?


Pam Snyder

Bless you. I’ve been meaning to look at disabling my touchpad, but I always seem to be doing something more important than figuring out how to disable it. It’s been difficult keeping my thumbs tucked while I type.

Like Tony my control panel didn’t have Device settings, but the first tab was Dell Touchpad. I clicked on that tab, then the touchpad icon, then device select. After I had done all that, I noticed the touchpad icon in the system tray has a red X through it. Apparently I could have double-clicked on the icon to get to the same place.



Hmmmm…I guess my old laptop ain’t haunted after all.



Thanks for the tip, I really hate it when my cursor jumps somewhere else when typing an email or something.



after readed this article , i opened my xorg.conf
but i found that no Section “Input Device” in it. my system is kubuntu 9.04. which packages i would install to solve this question ?





i can’t download this prog i need it



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