Q: My main computer is a laptop, and it has a built-in touchpad. However, I prefer my wireless mouse, and the touchpad has become a major nuisance. Every time my hand accidentally brushes over the pad, my cursor moves abruptly. Can I disable the pad, and, if so, how?
A: If you have an HP computer, you probably have a button to disable the touchpad, but chances are you probably never noticed it because it’s a very tiny depression along the black upper rim of the touchpad. You can feel it if you run a finger along the rim. If you press the depression, it toggles the pad on (indicated by a red light) and off (indicated by a blue light).
Most other laptops lack that convenience, but you may be able to disable their touchpads by going into Control Panel and checking the Mouse and Keyboard options. If there is no specific touchpad control, you can experiment by clicking on the Hardware tab under Mouse Properties and disabling the touchpad by clicking on Properties then turning off one driver at a time and trying various combinations.
However, you can make your task easier if you invest $4.95 in a program that lets you turn the touchpad on and off. Check it out at notouchpad.com. The company offers a free trial of the program.