If you are using the touchscreen functionality of your laptop frequently, you can take it to the next level by enabling the virtual touchpad in Windows 11.
As the name implies, once enabled, Windows 11 shows an on-screen virtual touchpad that functions just like the physical touchpad on your laptop. It allows you to navigate the entire screen without having to move your hand across the touchscreen awkwardly.
In this article, let me show the steps to enable the on-screen virtual touchpad in Windows 11, how to use it, and disable it when not needed.
Table of contents:
- How to enable virtual touchpad in Windows 11
- How to use the virtual touchpad in Windows 11
- How to disable virtual touchpad in Windows 11
- Limitations of virtual touchpad
How to enable virtual touchpad in Windows 11
You can enable the virtual touchpad in Windows 11 using the taskbar settings page in the Settings app.
Here’s how to enable the virtual touchpad in Windows 11:
- Select the “Start icon” on the taskbar.
- Search and open “Settings.”
- Click on “Personalization” on the sidebar.
- Scroll down and click on “Taskbar” on the main page.
- Expand the “System tray icons” section.
- Turn on the “Virtual touchpad” option.
- With that, the virtual touchpad is enabled in Windows 11.
How to use the virtual touchpad in Windows 11
As soon as you enable the virtual touchpad in Windows 11, you will see a new touchpad icon on the taskbar. Touch or click on it to launch the on-screen touchpad.
Once you see the on-screen touchpad, you can use it like a physical touchpad and perform all the familiar gestures. To move the cursor, place your finger on the virtual touchpad and move. To left-click, tap once. To right-click, tap once with two fingers. To scroll, place two-finger on the touchpad and move up, down, or sideways. The same is true for three and four-finger gestures. Of course, you can also use the virtual buttons to perform left and right clicks.
To close the virtual touchpad, either close the on-screen touchpad window or click/touch on the touchpad icon on the taskbar.
It might take a little practice, but you’ll find that the virtual touchpad in Windows 11 is a convenient and efficient way to navigate.
How to disable virtual touchpad in Windows 11
If you no longer need the on-screen touchpad, you can disable it. Here’s how to do it.
- Right-click on the taskbar.
- Select the “Taskbar settings” option.
- Expand the “System tray icons” section.
- Turn off the “Virtual touchpad” option.
- With that, the virtual touchpad is disabled in Windows 11.
Limitations of virtual touchpad
The virtual touchpad feature in Windows 11, although convenient and efficient for many users, does have some limitations.
One of the main limitations is that it may not work well with certain applications that require using a physical touchpad or an external mouse. This can be a problem if you frequently use such applications, as you might have to switch to a physical touchpad or an external mouse.
Another limitation is that the virtual touchpad may not be as responsive as a physical touchpad. This can be due to the touchscreen not being calibrated properly. As you might expect, this will make it harder to perform precise actions, such as fine cursor movement and gestures.
Additionally, some of you may find it difficult to use the virtual touchpad compared to the physical touchpad. There may be any number of reasons for this, like the lack of support for custom gestures, different touch feel, and more.
Enabling virtual touchpad — Conclusion
All in all, if you ever need it, the built-in virtual touchpad helps you navigate the screen just like using a physical touchpad. This is convenient if you often use Windows 11 in touch mode, as it eliminates the need to move your hand all over the touchscreen.
Of course, there are a few limitations, but the benefits outweigh the cons. So, give it a try and see how it works for you.
That is all. It is that simple to enable the virtual touchpad in Windows 11.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.