One of the biggest improvements in Windows 10 is the touchpad gestures. Touchpad gestures make it easier to perform tasks quickly using the touchpad. For example, right-click, area selection, scroll and zoom, change audio and volume etc. all without using the traditional mouse buttons.
If your computer comes with a precision touchpad, Windows 10 will let you customize and configure two, three and four finger touchpad gestures even with basic touchpad drivers from the vendors.
In this article, we will discuss how to check if your laptop supports precision touchpad and how to configure the touchpad settings.
What is a precision touchpad?
Precision touchpad is Microsoft’s implementation of the laptop touchpad with multi-gesture support. With precision touchpad support, there is no need to install specialized touchpad drivers to function properly.
Instead, Windows 10 comes with built-in support to implement touchpad gestures. The only requirement is that the hardware should support precision touchpads. You can read more about precision touchpad implementation here.
How do you check if your device has a precision touchpad?
You can easily identify if your laptop has a precision touchpad or not. Follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app
- Go to Devices
- Open the Touchpad tab from the left hand menu.
- If you have a precision touchpad, right underneath the Touchpad heading, you will find Your PC has a precision touchpad written on it.
- However, if you don’t have a precision touchpad, you will just see the option of adjusting touchpad sensitivity and you won’t be able to to configure gestures
What to do if you don’t have a precision touchpad?
Most modern laptops come with multi-touch support for their touchpads. The only requirement for these laptops is that you need to install their latest drivers to be able to configure advanced touchpad properties but these settings are usually under the legacy mouse properties.
For example, I have a Dell laptop which does not have a precision touchpad but when I install the appropriate drivers, I can configure advanced touchpad options by going to:
Settings –> Devices –> Mouse –> Additional Mouse Options
There is a separate section to change Dell Touchpad settings.
Touchpad sensitivity settings
Under the “Taps” section, change touchpad sensitivity drop-down menu to adjust the sensitivity level of the touchpad. Options available include:
- Most sensitive.
- High sensitivity.
- Medium sensitivity (default, enabled by Windows and optimal).
- Low sensitivity.
How to configure the precision touchpad?
You can configure two types of actions on precision touchpad:
- Multi-finger gestures
You can configure the action performed if you tap one finger, two fingers, three fingers or four fingers on the touchpad.
You can configure the action performed if you slide one finger, two fingers, three fingers or four fingers on the four sides of the touchpad i.e., slide right, left, up or down.
One finger gestures are the same for every touchpad. A single finger tap will act as a single left mouse click. A single finger swipe in any direction will move the cursor in the same direction on screen.
Let’s begin with two finger gestures.
Configure two-finger gestures
Two finger taps let you emulate the right-click on the mouse.
Two finger swipes in any direction lets you emulate the scrolling behavior.
Two finger pinches will emulate zoom behavior on screen.
To configure these gestures, follow the steps below:
- Open Settings (Windows key + i)
- Go to Devices
- Go to Touchpad
- Under Taps, check the following:
- Tap with two fingers to right-click
- Tap twice and drag to multi-select
- Under Scroll and Zoom, check the following:
- Drag two fingers to scroll
You can also configure the scrolling direction under this option.
- Pinch to zoom
- Drag two fingers to scroll
Configure three-finger gestures
Under the three-finger gestures section, you can use the Swipes drop-down menu to customize gestures using three fingers. The available options are:
- Nothing: Turns off three-finger gestures on Windows 10.
- Switch apps and show desktop: Enables three-finger swipe up to open Task View, down to show the desktop, and left and right to switch between apps.
- Switch desktop and show desktop: Enables three-finger swipe up to open Task View, down to show the desktop, and swipe left and right to switch between virtual desktops.
- Change audio and volume: Allows you to swipe up to turn the system volume up, down to turn the volume down, and left and right to skip to the previous or next song using a music app.
- Custom: Turn on the custom gestures configured in the advanced settings page.
Under these settings, you will also find the option of Taps and how to configure them. Use the Taps drop-down menu to customize the three-finger tapping action. You will find the following options:
- Share with Cortana.
- Action Center.
- Middle mouse button.
Select whatever tapping settings you want.
Configure four-finger gestures
Four finger gesture settings are very similar to the above-mentioned three-finger gestures.
Under swipes, you can select and configure the following options:
- Switch apps and show Desktop
- Switch desktops and show Desktop
- Change audio and volume
Under taps, you can select one of the following options:
- Launch Windows Search
- Action Center
- Middle Mouse button
How do I reset the touchpad settings?
If you want to reset your touchpad settings, you can easily do so by following these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Open Devices
- Open Touchpad
- Scroll down to locate the Reset your touchpad option
- If you want to reset, simply click the reset button under this section and all your touchpad settings and gestures will go back to default
Do you use advanced gestures supported by precision touchpad settings in Windows 10? Please share your experience in the comments below.