How to customize the touchpad on Windows 11

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 16, 2022
Updated • Oct 16, 2022
Windows 11 Help

Most laptops come with a touchpad that many computer users see as a simple mouse replacement. Most touchpads support more than just left-clicking, right-clicking and scrolling. While it depends to a degree on the touchpad and its driver, many allow users to use two, three or four-finger actions, and other actions besides the basics.

windows 11 touchpad

Take the touchpad of my ASUS Zenbook on Windows 11 as an example. It comes with a toggle to turn it into a numpad, supports zooming, multi-taps, and three- and four-finger gestures among other things. You may configure these options in the Windows 11 Settings, and disable those that you don't require.

Configuring your laptop's touchpad on Windows 11

Select Start and then Settings to get started. You may also use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings app quicker. Switch to Bluetooth & Devices, and select Touchpad on the page that opens.

The Touchpad page in the Settings lists all available options, including one to turn the touchpad off completely. The touchpad may not be needed if a mouse is connected to the device, and turning it off may prevent accidental activity of the touchpad.

You find an option to change the cursor speed at the top. If it is too slow or fast for your liking, you may use the slider to speed it up or slow it down,

The remaining four options define actions, and they need to be expanded for configuration.

touchpad taps configure

Taps is the first and all of its options are enabled by default. The four main actions are:

  • Tap with a single finger to single-click.
  • Press the bottom right corner of the touchpad to right-click.
  • Tap with two fingers to right-click.
  • Tap twice and drag to multi-select.

Left and right-click functionality are essential, but there are two options to perform a right-click. Uncheck any of the actions to disable them and avoid accidental activation. There is also an option to change the sensitivity of the touchpad from medium to low, high or most. The first reduces the sensitivity, the two others increase it.

touchpad scroll zoom

Scroll & Zoom is the second group of settings. All options are enabled as well by default. The two main options configure pinch to zoom and two-finger dragging to scroll functionality. These may be disabled if they are not needed.

Considering that zooming is quite difficult without mouse otherwise, most users may want to keep the zoom option enabled.

The third and final option under Scroll & Zoom defines the scrolling direction. By default, a downwards motion scrolls up, but this can be changed to scrolling down instead.

touchpad three four finger gestures

Three- and four-finger gestures define five actions each that are executed when moving three- or four-fingers on the touchpad, or when tapping with the right number of fingers.

Both options are enabled by default and very similar. Upward and downward swipes with three or four fingers open the multitasking view or show the desktop. Left or right swipes with three fingers let users switch apps, while the four finger gesture lets them switch desktops instead.

A three-finger tap opens the search, a four-finger tap the notification center. Windows 11 includes options to customize the functionality to a degree. Besides turning off the actions entirely, it is possible to switch one set of actions to controlling the volume on the device. This allows users to increase or decrease the volume, or play the previous or next track.

The tap actions include options to map a middle mouse button or play/pause functionality to them.

advanced gestures

Options to change the gestures are also available. Just select the Advanced Gestures link in Settings to change tap and swipe actions for three- and four-finger gestures. For tap, for example, options to emulate mouse back and forward actions, or to set a custom keyboard shortcut are provided. Some new actions are available for gestures as well.

Main actions

The main actions for touchpads on Windows 11 go beyond replicating basic mouse functionality. Left-clicking and right-clicking are essential, but other actions, including two-finger dragging to scroll, pinching to zoom, or mapping a three-finger tap to a middle-mouse button action are all useful.

Closing Words

The configuration options give users some control over the touchpad's functionality. Actions that are not required may be disabled to avoid accidental activation.

Now You: touchpad or mouse, which do you prefer?

How to customize the touchpad on Windows 11
Article Name
How to customize the touchpad on Windows 11
A detailed guide on the available touchpad configuration options and actions on devices that run Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    There is not still W11 23H2 and these instructions are nonsense by now. :[

    1. James said on August 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      It worked for me just fine. You’re probably not following the instructions clearly.

      1. Katrina Thompson said on August 30, 2023 at 3:25 am

        Just tried the password option and the OOBE option and didnt work.

    2. Anonymous said on September 7, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Worked perfectly. Thank OP.

    3. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Worked perfectly for me just now. Specifically, the regedit option.

  2. 45 RPM said on August 22, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Is this cut and paste from a Microsoft PR paper, because it 1000% BS:

    “By listening to user insights, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to refining the Windows experience based on real-world needs.”

    Windows 11 is proof they don’t give a s*it.

    1. elong45 said on August 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

      Worked for me just now

    2. Robert N said on August 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      I agree! Windows 11 was a downgrade to me and I kept all 8 computers in our family on Windows 10 as a result. They didn’t listen to any customers. The taskbar was THE main reason I stayed away from Windows 11. With 6 monitors, it is impossible to navigate so many browser tabs, without the feature. I will try the new version in the virtual box to see if it is worth it yet.

  3. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Microsoft did a terrible job with this implementation.

    They simply need to employ the creator of StartAllBack to fix Windows. He is smarter and more talented than the entire campus of Microsoft employees.

    1. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm


  4. Joe Mama said on August 24, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! I work in IT and this is extremely useful information!

  5. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks man. The second method worked great!

  6. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I used the second method, and i got exactly what i expected.

  7. adrian said on September 1, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Using the Bypass 2: Use a banned email address email worked fantastically as I had gone to far to use the bypass 1.
    I will be back when I next have a problem.
    Keep you the great work

  8. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    W11 File Explorer is the worst crap ever done. W11 is the biggest shame ever.

  9. MarineRecon said on September 4, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Just one more reason for me to go to Linux when Windows 10 ages out.

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

      @ MarineRecon,

      Be careful which Linux distro you choose. Some of them don’t include the Wayland protocol which is a security issue i.e. apps can copy, paste and inject data without user interaction.

      It’s included in Fedora:

  10. Dustyn said on September 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    How about a DARK MODE for your website? That would be oh so nice.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 5, 2023 at 12:55 am

      Something like this : [] maybe?
      Done with ‘Dark Reader Extension for ? Firefox’ []

      This comment was written on [}

    2. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Definitely NOT! Once you get older and your eyesight starts to fail you’ll positively loathe dark mode.

      1. Mycroft1325 said on September 25, 2023 at 11:48 pm

        Not sure what eye problems *you’re* having, but for me the exact opposite is true. Dark Mode is MUCH easier on my Eyes.

        BTW- I’m 52, and have worked in IT all my life. Been staring at monitors for hours each day, most days of the week since the late 1980’s.

  11. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Microsoft completely ruined File Explorer by converting to XAML/WinUI/whatever new bloated modern garbage. Its worse than it ever was.

  12. Invoker said on September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    i tested it on win10 current edition. speeds up explorer like a charm

  13. LOEL LARZELERE said on September 13, 2023 at 8:07 am

    SO what is the priority numbers to give preference to ethernet over wireless?

  14. christop_bader said on September 14, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Worked very well happy to have Windows Photo Viewer back in action in Windows-11

  15. Anonymous said on September 16, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Worked for me (registry option) thank god, I can use the search option to find things on my computer again. Thank you so much!

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Install Everything Search and dispense with Microsoft’s crappy search tool.

      Martin wrote an article on it:

  16. said on September 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I presume the text “WindowsCopilot,,” is a typographical error (2023/09/17/how-to-disable-windows-copilot-in-windows/). The broken comment system unfortunately looks like it is populating itself via AI autopilot.

  17. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Hopefully, this Windows Copilot nonsense fails even more spectacularly than Cortana. Who requested this? We want all of the UX features removed back in 11, not this copilot nonsense.

  18. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I really don’t mind all of these Windows enhancement but Microsoft get one thing very wrong. ‘Opt in’, is far better than seek information and work to disable.

  19. ilev said on September 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Turn off Windows Copilot entirely is not good enough.

    How to uninstall Copilot entirely ?

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      @ ilev,

      Use Gpedit or the registry. Explained in this article:

  20. WilliamGatesTheight said on September 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    With that snake oil salesman Panos gone, hopefully Windows can return to a normal desktop operating system without all the insanity it has right now in Windows 11.

  21. Tachy said on September 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Can we please stop being ‘politically correct’ (lying) and call them ads again instead of ‘suggestions’?

  22. TelV said on September 25, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    @ Martin,

    Does your gpedit hack also turn off all the other “subscribed content” shown in the registry screenshot? Do you happen to know what all those are?

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