How to customise the touchpad in Windowson May 3, 2023 at 11:27 Tech Advisor


A trackpad is a fundamental part of any laptop, allowing you to easily navigate without connecting an external mouse. It’s been around for decades, but in recent years we’ve seen the rise of the touchpad, which can also respond to different pressures and specific gestures. 

The latter is capable of far more than just moving a cursor around a screen, something Microsoft and laptop makers have recognised. On both Windows 10 and Windows 11, you’ll find plenty of customisation options within Settings, but only if you have what’s known as a ‘Precision Touchpad’. 

But how do you figure out if that includes your laptop? And which options are available? In this article, we’ll fully answer both these questions. 

How to check if you have a Precision Touchpad in Windows

There’s no point in proceeding until you know that your device has a precision touchpad. Here’s how to find out on Windows 11: 

Open Settings 

In the search bar in the top-right corner, type ‘precision’ 

If you see ‘Precision touchpad settings’ appear, you’re all set. If it just says ‘Touchpad settings’, though, it’s bad news

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

To make sure, head to Bluetooth & devices > Touchpad 

If ‘Cursor speed’ and ‘Touchpad sensitivity’ are your only options, you have a regular touchpad. If you see more (starting with ‘Taps’), it’s a precision one

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

On Windows 10, it’s even easier to check: 

Head to Settings > Devices > Touchpad 

Under the main heading, look for a message saying ‘Your PC has a precision touchpad’. If you don’t see it, you’re out of luck 

How to customise Windows touchpad taps

Tapping the touchpad is something many of us will do every day. But it’s worth making sure these settings are optimised for you: 

Head to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Touchpad 

Select the ‘Taps’ section to expand it 

Click the drop-down box next to ‘Touchpad sensitivity’ and choose one of the four options. It’s worth experimenting with each of these

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Look at the list of four tap gestures that are all enabled by default. If you don’t want to use any of these, simply click the box next to it to disable it 

How to customise Windows touchpad scroll and zoom

There are a couple of options here that are worth exploring, too. Staying within Touchpad settings, here’s what to do: 

Select the ‘Scroll & zoom’ section to expand it 

Decide if you’d like to keep the two-finger scrolling on (uncheck the box if not), then choose the direction. The default downward for upwards is the most common, but you can go for the opposite instead

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Decide if you’d like to keep pinch to zoom on (uncheck the box if not) 

How to customise Windows touchpad gestures

Gestures are where you’ll find the most wide-ranging customisation. Choosing from the preset options for three- and four-finger swipes and taps is your first option. 

From within Touchpad settings: 

Select the ‘Three-finger gestures’ section to expand it 

Next to ‘Swipes’, click the drop-down box and choose one of the four options. If you’re not sure, experiment with a few different one 

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Next to ‘Taps’, click the drop-down box and choose one of the five options. Again, it’s worth experimenting to see which suit you

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Select the ‘Four-finger gestures’ section to expand it, then repeat steps 2 and 3

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

But if you’re looking for a specific combination of gestures, head to the advanced page: 

Under ‘Related settings’, select ‘Advanced gestures’ 

Use the drop-down menus next to ‘Tap’, ‘Swipe up’, ‘Swipe down’, ‘Swipe left’ and ‘Swipe right’ to choose what each does. There are lots of options, particularly for the swipes

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

If you select ‘Custom shortcut’, click ‘Start recording’ and then perform the action you’d like to trigger. Once complete, click ‘Stop recording’ and it’ll be saved

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

For even more touchpad customisation options, go back to the ‘Related settings’ section and select ‘More touchpad settings’. From the menu that appears, you can fine-tune the touchpad buttons, pointer and scrolling speed.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

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