How to Fix: Touchpad Scroll Not Working in Windows 7, 8 and 10

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Ready Sally G. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just bought a new Windows 10 laptop and the touchpad scroll does not appear to be working. On my old Vista laptop, I had a scroll bar on the touchpad (on the far right), but the new Windows 10 laptop doesn't have this feature. Normally when I open a PDF file I need to zoom in and out. I would do this on the old laptop by pressing CTRL on my keyboard and using the scroll bar on the touchpad. On this laptop, I am at a complete loss. Can you tell me how I can fix my touchpad scroll? "

My response:

Each laptop manufacturer has their own way of scrolling using a touchpad. I'll explain more about that below - note that these methods work for Windows 7, 8 and 10:

How to Fix: Touchpad Scroll Not Working in Windows 7, 8 and 10

  1. First, make sure that your touchpad is enabled.

    If you can move the mouse with the touchpad, then it is enabled. If it is not enabled, you will need to plug in a USB mouse, wait for that to become active, then enable the touchpad using Windows settings.

    To enable the touchpad in Windows 8 and 10: click Start, then click "PC Settings" -> "Devices" -> "Mouse and Touchpad", then click "Additional mouse options". The Mouse Properties window will open; click the tab that lists your touchpad (for example: Synaptics Touchpad). If you don't see the tab, try looking for a tab labeled "ELAN" or "Device Settings" - after that, look for your touchpad listed under "Devices". Once you see it, left click the touchpad and select "Enable".

    To enable the touchpad in Windows 7: click Start, then go to Control Panel, then double click on "Mouse". The touchpad settings are usually on their own tab, perhaps labeled as "Device Settings", or such. Click that tab, then make sure that the touchpad is enabled.
     
  2. To test the scroll feature in an older laptop, the scroll feature is typically located on the far right of the touchpad (pic).

    To scroll a browser page (for example): open a web browser, then click in the middle of the browser window to make sure the window is active. Then, press on the scroll section of the touchpad (on the far right) and slide your finger up and down. This should scroll the page up and down. If it does not, then you can try Step #3 below.
     
  3. Most newer laptops don't have a designated scroll feature on the far right of the touchpad, as it tends to get in the way. Instead, new laptops have no markings on the touchpad and rely on a "gesture" to make the scroll work. In this case, either Windows 7 / 8 / 10 or the touchpad driver defines how scroll works - these settings may or may not be changeable.

    In this case, the scroll is usually defined using what is called a "two finger scroll" on the touchpad, as this gesture has become universal (even on smartphones and tablets). To do so: open a web browser, then click in the middle of the browser window to make sure the window is active. Using two fingers slightly spaced across from each other: tap and hold down on the touchpad, then drag your two fingers up or down at the same time. If successful, the screen should move up or down.

    You can scroll horizontally by placing the same two fingers and moving them horizontal.

    Refer to this image as an example.

Zoom in and Out of a Document using CTRL + Laptop Touchpad Scroll

If you need to zoom in and out on a PDF, you simply hold down the CTRL key on the keyboard, then scroll up or down, or left to right.

Increase or Decrease Desktop Icon Size using CTRL + Laptop Touchpad Scroll

You can also increase or decrease the size of the desktop icons on your desktop using this method. To do so: left click an empty area on your Windows 10 desktop, then press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard, then use the scroll feature on your touchpad (or mouse wheel). The icons should increase or decrease in size. When you have the size you want, let go of the CTRL key.

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If you've read this article and your touchpad scroll still isn't working, then there may be something misconfigured on your system. In that case, I would be more than happy to look at the problem using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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Comments

petershaw's picture

While the title of the article says "how to fix", it is actually a usage guide. My scroll does not work, all the settings say it should including the Synaptics software but it does not. I hoped the article would offer a bit of magic but no such luck.

Dennis Faas's picture

It is the correct title. Those are the steps you need to make to ensure that (a) scroll is enabled, and (b) you are engaging it properly. If you still can't get it to work then there might be something else wrong - I can look at your computer via remote desktop if you like - 15 minutes free to go over the issue; beyond that I will provide a quote.