How to Change Touchpad Gestures in Windows 11

Windows 11 supports several useful touchpad gestures. Here is a simple way to customize and change touchpad gestures in Windows 11.

On a laptop, the touchpad acts as a mouse. Sliding your finger on the touchpad moves the mouse cursor on the screen. Generally, you would single-click to select and double-click to execute the mouse cursor’s target. For example, you can single-click on a folder in File Explorer to select it and double-click to open it. Of course, the single-click and double-click functionality will differ depending on the application and what you are doing.

Other than the regular single and double-clicks, the touchpad also supports common gestures. For instance, you can scroll vertically or horizontally with two-finger swipes. In addition to that, you also have three-finger and four-finger gestures. You can use the three-finger and four-finger swipes and taps to perform additional actions and improve workflow. For example, you can open the notification center, switch between applications, switch between virtual desktops, change volume, and more with touchpad gestures.

In older Windows versions, you are forced to use third-party drivers and software to use touchpad gestures. However, Windows 11 now supports several touchpad gestures out of the box, as long as your laptop has a precision touchpad. You don’t have to use third-party touchpad drivers or software to configure and change gestures.

In fact, Windows 11 auto-configures the touchpad gestures to most common actions. For a vast majority of users, the default gesture actions work fine. However, if they are not to your liking, you can change touchpad gestures in Windows 11 to match your workflow. All you have to do is find the appropriate gesture you want to change and select a pre-defined action from the dropdown menu.

So, without further ado, this easy how-to guide will show you the steps to customize or change the touchpad gestures in Windows 11.

Jump to:

Supported touchpad gestures in Windows 11

When it comes to touchpad gestures, Windows 11 supports two-finger, three-finger, and four-finger gestures. You can customize all these gestures with just a few clicks directly from the Settings app. It is pretty easy to do.

Following are the supported touchpad gestures in Windows 11:

  • Scrolling
  • Pinch to zoom
  • Open the Notifications panel
  • Switch between virtual desktops
  • Switch applications
  • Minimize to desktop
  • Maximize a window
  • Minimize a window
  • Open task view
  • Hide everything other than the app in focus
  • Create desktop Remove desktop
  • Forward navigation
  • Backward navigation
  • Snap window to left or right
  • Next and previous track
  • Volume up and down
  • Mute
  • A custom shortcut with macro recording

To make things easy and a bit more organized, I divided the guide into three specific sections. i.e., two-finger gestures, three-finger gestures, and four-finger gestures. Follow the appropriate section to customize gestures.

Change two-finger gestures in Windows 11

In Windows 11, two-finger gestures are reserved for scrolling and zooming. As such, you can only enable or disable these gestures and change the scroll direction. You cannot reconfigure them to do other tasks. This is because scrolling and zooming are considered essential features.

  1. Open Windows 11 Settings.
  2. Select the “Bluetooth & devices” tab on the sidebar.
  3. Click on “Touchpad” on the main panel.
  4. Expand the “Scroll & Zoom” option.
  5. Uncheck or select the “Drag two fingers to scroll” to disable or enable scrolling with the touchpad.
  6. Change scroll direction from the “Scrolling direction” dropdown menu.
  7. Uncheck or select the “Pinch to zoom” to disable or enable pitch to zoom with the touchpad.

Detailed steps:

As always, open the Windows 11 Settings app. The easiest way to do that is to press the “Win + I” keyboard shortcut. You can also right-click on the taskbar Start icon and select the “Settings” option to open it. After opening the Settings app, click on the “Bluetooth & devices” option on the sidebar. Next, find and click on the “Touchpad” option.

open touchpad settings in Windows 11

On the Touchpad page, find and click on the “Scroll & Zoom” option. This action will expand the menu. You can only disable or enable the scroll and zoom functionality for two-finger gestures, as I said earlier. You cannot reassign them.

To enable the touchpad two-finger scrolling gesture, select the “Drag two fingers to scroll” option. Uncheck the “Drag two fingers to scroll” option to disable the touchpad two-finger scrolling gesture.

change touchpad scroll gesture in Windows 11

Selecting an option from the “Scrolling direction” dropdown menu will change the scrolling direction. The options are pretty self-explanatory. That being said, if you want the touchpad scrolling to feel like scrolling on a phone’s touch screen, select the “Down motion scrolls up” option.

change touchpad scroll direction in Windows 11

To enable the touchpad two-finger pinch to zoom gesture, select the “Pinch to zoom” option. Uncheck the “Pinch to zoom” option to disable the touchpad two-finger zooming gesture.

change touchpad pinch to zoom gesture in Windows 11

Change three-finger gestures in Windows 11

You can change the three-finger swipe gestures in Windows 11 via the Advanced Touchpad Gestures page. Here is where to find it and change the swipe gesture functionality.

  1. Press “Start + I” to open Settings.
  2. Go to the “Bluetooth & devices > Touchpad” page.
  3. Scroll down and click on the “Advanced gestures” option.
  4. Find the “Configure three-finger gestures” section.
  5. Select the gestures of your choice from the dropdown menus next to swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, and swipe right.
  6. Settings are saved and applied automatically.
  7. From now, you can start using the new three-finger gestures immediately.

Related: Add touchpad middle-click in Windows 11

Let’s see the steps in a bit more detail:

Open the Windows 11 Settings app by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting the “Settings” app. You can also use the “Start + I” key binding. After opening Settings, go to the “Bluetooth & devices > Touchpad” page. Here, scroll and click on the “Advanced gestures” option under the Related Settings section.

Now, find the “Configure three-finger gestures” section and click on it to expand the menu. Usually, it will be at the top of the Advanced Gestures page. Now, go through the Swipe Up, Swipe Down, Swipe Left, and Swipe Right dropdown menus and set them as needed to change the three-finger gestures in Windows 11. If you don’t want to use a specific gesture, select “Nothing” from the appropriate dropdown menu.

change three finger touchpad gestures in Windows 11

After selecting an option from the dropdown menu, the changes are saved automatically and applied immediately. You can start using the three-finger gestures right away.

Change four-finger gestures in Windows 11

You can change the four-finger touchpad gestures from the Windows 11 Settings app. Here is how to do it in simple steps.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select the “Settings” option.
  3. Select “Bluetooth & device” on the sidebar.
  4. Click on “Touchpad” on the main panel.
  5. Scroll down and click on the “Advanced gestures” option.
  6. Click on the “Configure four-finger gestures” option.
  7. Select the gestures of your choice from the dropdown menus next to swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, and swipe right.
  8. Settings are saved and applied automatically.
  9. From now, you can start using the new four-finger gestures immediately.

Detailed steps:

As always, open the Start menu, search for “Settings,” and open it. You can also use the “Windows + I” shortcut to open the Settings app. After that, go to the “Bluetooth & devices” page. Here, click on the “Touchpad” option and then click the “Advanced gestures” option under the “Related settings” section.

Now, click on the “Configure four-finger gestures” menu to expand. After that, go through each gesture’s dropdown menu and set them as needed to change the four-finger gestures in Windows 11. Select “Nothing” from the dropdown menu if you don’t want to use a specific gesture.

change four finger touchpad gestures in Windows 11

That is it. With that, the changes are saved automatically, and you can start using the four-finger gestures immediately.

Can I use custom shortcuts or actions with touchpad gestures?

Yes, you can. While changing a gesture, select “Custom shortcut” from the gesture dropdown menu and record the macro as instructed by the Settings app. After that, Windows 11 will execute the macro whenever you use the target touchpad gesture.

If you want to create custom gestures other than the default swipe up, down, left, or right, you must use third-party software like AutoHotKey or MultiSwipe. However, functionality added with third-party software is not that good and may sometimes break the core touchpad gestures. That being said, give the mentioned software a try and see how it works for you.

I cannot see the touchpad gesture option in Windows 11

If your laptop doesn’t have a precision touchpad, then Windows will not show the gesture options. In that case, you have to use software like Synaptics or ELAN to configure touchpad gestures. Generally, you will get these software from your laptop manufacturer’s website.

That is all. It is that simple to change touchpad gestures in Windows 11.

I hope this straightforward Windows 11 how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Scroll to Top