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Quick Tip #103: Simple Tweaks to Fix a Touchy Touchpad

by Team Sony 06/17/2011

 

Editor’s Note: Premium Services Technicians are here to help and in this ongoing series, they’ll offer me their favorite tips and provide answers to some of the most common service related questions they hear at both the call center and in Sony Stores.


I actually sat down to write on another tip for this post when a few accidental bumps of my touchpad changed my mind about today’s topic. There’s nothing more annoying than a temperamental touchpad.  Accidentally tapping your touchpad while typing can scatter your thoughts all over the word doc or comment box you’re working in – leaving you with the ominous task of putting all the pieces back together as you had originally intended.

So in today’s quick tip, I’ve compiled a simple change to your touchpad’s settings that can go a long way in making your life a lot less frustrating – and your touchpad a lot less touchy.

UPDATE 1: (Step-by-step instructions for VAIO models using the Synaptics Touchpad Driver)

  1. In Windows 7 click Start then Control Panel
  2. Within the Control Panel click Hardware and Sound
  3. In the window that appears, under the “Devices and Printers” catagory, select Mouse
  4. In the setting window that appears, click the Device Settings tab
  5. From the Device Settings tab, click the Settings button that appears halfway down
  6. In the new window that appears, examine the index of settings that appears in the left panel and expand the option labeled Pointing
  7. Click Touch Sensitivity (A)
  8. Reduce the touch sensitivity setting by moving the slide to the right, towards the Heavy Touch label.
    • Experiment with different levels of sensitivity until you find one suited for to your needs and how you type
  9. You can also reduce touch sensitivity by adjusting the Palm Check (A) setting towards Maximum (B)
    • This feature guards against operating the touch pad with your palm, as you might do while typing
    • This option will increase or decrease this feature’s ability to detect when you palm is touching the touch pad (vs. your finger)

*If the Device Settings tab is missing from your mouse settings window, you’ll need to re-install the touch pad driver from eSupport here.

Have a better tip?  Be sure to share yours in the comment section below.

UPDATE 2: After reading many of your comments, I realized I forgot to include step-by-step instructions for the alternate touchpad driver used on many other VAIO models.  You can find instructions below.  I hope this helps!  Please be sure to leave any additional feedback or follow up questions below.

(Step-by-step instructions for VAIO models using the Alps Pointing Device Driver)

  1. In Windows 7 click Start then Control Panel
  2. Within the Control Panel click Hardware and Sound
  3. In the window that appears, under the “Devices and Printers” catagory, select Mouse
  4. In the setting window that appears, click the Tapping tab
  5. From the Tapping tab, select Tap off when typing (A) and move the Delay after last key is hit sliderall the way to the right towards Long (B)
    • Note: if you prefer, you could also turn off the tapping feature of the touchpad; relegating the “click” function of the touchpad to just the left and right buttons hardware buttons found directly below the touchpad.
    • To do this, simply “deselect” the Tapping option (C) found at the top left-hand corner of the Tapping Tab then click Apply
  6. You can also reduce touch sensitivity by enabling the Palm Detection feature (similar to the Palm Check setting describe above)
    • This feature guards against operating the touch pad with your palm, as you might do while typing
    • To toggle on or off, navigate to the Palm and Typing tab within the same Mouse Properties window
    • Select or deselect the Enable palm rejection setting (A)
  7. You can also experiment with Invalidating Multi-touch Gestures While Typing and Invalidating Mouse Cursor Movement While Typing settings (B).
    • These settings can be found within the same tab outlined in Line 6

 

 

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Add Comment

  1. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 4:58am

    thank you

    Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 7:39am

    You offer a quick tip to adjust the touchpad setting so the computer will stop jumping to other pages. However, when I follow your instructions, I get to the section under “Harware and Sound”, go to “Mouse” and the box does not display “Device Setting” as the instructions promises. I cannot find anywhere within the box that allows me to adjust the touchpad to minimize the jumping. Can you explain???

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:26pm

      Hi there! Thanks for your comment. I’ve updated the tip to include our alternate driver. Please checkout update 2 above – this should help. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 8:10am

    I would like to use Quick Tip #103: Simple Tweaks but the instructions didn’t seem to apply to my 1.5year old S series laptop. tried to work around it but couldn’t find a way to access “touch sensitivity.” I also checked to see if my driver was up to date and it was. Any Suggestions? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:27pm

      This is my fault. I didn’t include a tip for our alternate touchpad driver. Checkout update 2 and let me know if this works for you. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 8:57am

    Useless. I’ve tried to fix the touchpad and my solution is taping a piece of cardboard over it. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the touchpad on this computer. So… followed your instructions but there is no settings tab and when I enable the button there it does not show what you mention. I took a screen shot. Anyhow… your method DOES NOT WORK. SO I TAPED THE PIECE OF CARDBOARD OVER THE TOUCH PAD. THAT WORKS.

    regards from Butch in Vancouver
    ButchNews.com

    YouTube.com/ButchNews

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:30pm

      Hi There – I’m sorry to hear about your frustration. Please refer to update 2 above. This should help – I accidentally omitted instructions for our alternate touchpad driver. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 10:14am

    hi i downloaded touch pad driver from this site but i can not see Device Settings tab yet

    Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 11:41am

    I selected MOUSE and there is no DEVICE SETTINGS, POINTING, or TOUCH SENSITIVITY. Weird.

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:31pm

      Checkout update 2 above – this should help. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 11:42am

    It was as if you read my mind. Thank you. It drove me nuts but I didn’t know exactly how to fix it.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 2:09pm

    “If the Device Settings tab is missing from your mouse settings window, you’ll need to re-install the touch pad driver from eSupport here.”
    No Device settings tab and can find nothing on eSupport. What now?

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:32pm

      Checkout update 2 above. I had accidentally omitted instructions for our alternate touchpad driver. This should help. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  9. Cloyd Subol wrote: June 18, 2011 7:12pm

    Pls help me solve my problem regarding my sony laptop regarding my desktop background cause i cannot change it. it stock on solid colors hope you could find a way to help me…

    Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 8:54pm

    Thanks for addressing this. A hypersensitive touch-pad is intolerable, and it was my only real performance complaint I had about my Vaio until I was able to tone the crazy thing down. When the base of both thumbs brushes the pad and blows your magnification on your document or web page up or pinches it down 25%, it makes you wish for a different machine…

    Thanks again -

    Reply
  11. Josh Ramos wrote: June 18, 2011 10:14pm

    :)

    Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 11:24pm

    Very good information, looking for others

    Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote: June 18, 2011 11:53pm

    This is ludicrous! After selecting ‘Mouse’ (step 3) the small window that comes up has no ‘Device Settings’ tab; so I’m stuck and cannot even proceed to steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

    The tabs that are on there (after selecting ‘Mouse’) are: Buttons, Pointers, pointer Options, Wheel, Hardware, Tapping, Function, Multitouch Gestures and Miscellaneous.

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:33pm

      Checkout update 2 above. I had accidentally omitted instructions for our alternate touchpad driver. This should help. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 2:39am

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank youThank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank youThank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank youThank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank youThank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank youThank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

    Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 4:03am

    can the touch pad be shut off altogether?

    Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 9:35am

    I just sent an email to support. Your fix would be great if it applied to my model (VPC-EB33FM/BJ) Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. Please post an alternative “fix” for people like me.

    Reply
    1. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:33pm

      You got it! Check out udpate 2 above. Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 9:57am

    I only have an option for Sound, no option for Hardware and Sound.

    Reply
  18. Thierry Nightbird wrote: June 19, 2011 10:03am

    What about the ‘tap off when typing’ feature?

    Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 10:09am

    Recently purchased my Sony Vaio F Series and I love it!!! Also really appreciate these helpful tips to improve use. Thank much. W

    Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 11:22am

    You lost me at step 4–I can’t find a “device settings tab.” More help with this irritating would be much appreciated.
    Caryn

    Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote: June 19, 2011 11:44am

    In Windows 7,there is NO Device Settings tab when I select Mouse under Devices and Printers. Is there another way to de-activate the crazy touchpad? Thanks for your help. Mani

    Reply
  22. Anonymous wrote: June 20, 2011 11:55am

    They’re right! My Windows 7 doesn’t have a Device Settings tab either!

    Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote: June 20, 2011 12:12pm

    Caryn,

    If you follow the directions EXACTLY, you will find everything. I did so on Windows 7. It’s not under ‘Devices and Printers’. The directions state ‘Hardware and Sound’. Slow down and follow exactly. I have been looking for this fix ever since I purchased my Vaio as my mouse flies all over the place. The fix was not intuitive as with other laptops.

    Sony Support: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote: June 20, 2011 5:45pm

    There is NO option to select a devise setting from a menu after I have selected Mouse under Devices and Printers. The touch pad sensitivity is driving me nuts.

    Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote: June 20, 2011 6:46pm

    My Device Settings tab is missing from your mouse settings window, I re-installed it twice the touch pad driver from eSupport, but it doesn’t work whatsoever. What should I do?

    Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote: June 20, 2011 9:31pm

    GIVE ME A PRINT BUTTON FOR THE DIRECTIONS SO I CAN READ THEM

    Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote: June 21, 2011 4:22am

    There is no “mouse” under hardware & sound. How do I get there?

    Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote: June 21, 2011 8:15am

    I just read and did try quick tip 103 but could not do. After step 3 and selecting “Mouse” the pop up box did not have a “Device Settings” so that’s as far as I could go. No more advice from “Michael”. I am not seeing any improvement over Vista except my new computer is faster.

    Reply
    1. Emilio III wrote: June 22, 2011 8:01am

      Like “anonymous” I am unable to do this as no “Device Settings” tab appears. The available tabs are: Buttons;Pointers;Pointer Options;Wheel;Hardware. None of them allow touchpad sensitivity adjustment, of course.

      This is getting to be a real pain, as my new VPCSB1BGX is practically useless without an external keyboard, which defeats my purpose in getting it in the first place.

      Reply
      1. Emilio III wrote: June 22, 2011 12:50pm

        Installing the ALDOTH-00241860-0042.EXE driver seems to correct the problem in my unit, although there is no “Pointing” tab (the relevant one is “Palm and Typing” which perfectly describes the problem).

        However, although the website description describes this as “the originally shipped driver”, this is not correct. The driver was not originally installed in my unit. I can be sure of this because the first thing I install in a new PC is JP Software’s “Take Command”, which thinks that “C:Program FilesApointApntex.exe” is a console application which it can put in a tab. This has been an annoyance on my last three (non-Sony) laptops, so it was great not to have to deal with it anymore.

        Now it looks like I will have to deal with it again.

        I mention this because some of the other people here may also have PCs without the “original” driver, so “re-”installing it would fix their problem.

        Reply
    2. Michael wrote: June 22, 2011 3:35pm

      Sorry guys. I accidentally omitted instructions for our alternate touchpad driver. Checkout update 2 above. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote: June 21, 2011 12:18pm

    Followed directions and it worked perfectly. Very easy.

    Reply
  30. Anonymous wrote: June 21, 2011 9:45pm

    In Mouse Properties where is the “Pointing” option? There is “Pointers” and “Pointer Options” but no “Pointing.” I have looked through all the tabs in Mouse Properties and I can find no aspect entitled “Touch Sensitivity.” What OS are you using? It is Windows 7?

    Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote: June 22, 2011 10:12am

    There is a known issue of the Sony Vaio Z mouse pad acting erratically that has nothing to do with touch sensitivity. The mouse will suddenly freeze — not move in the direction desired, and start jumping around all on its own with no hand, finger or palm anywhere near the touch pad.

    There is nothing to but hard shut it off, open into safe mode. There the mouse pad works just fine. Hopefully a restart to normal Windows will restore the mouse pad to proper functioning. It does 80% of the time. The other 20% you have to just keep on shutting down and restarting the Vaio until the mouse pad works OK.

    The fact that the mouse pad works fine in Safe mode but not in normal windows suggests a SONY software problem. SONY has already created a patch to fix this problem — but it doesn’t fix it.

    Who knows how many other SONY laptops have this problem. so if you are not finding changing the sensitivity working, it might be a problem in your laptop that only SONY can fix — that is, if they can.

    Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote: June 22, 2011 1:02pm

    I have been waiting for this from the day that I got my Sony!

    Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote: June 22, 2011 1:04pm

    I have been waiting for this from Day one. Thanks

    Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote: June 22, 2011 5:49pm

    I was so annoyed by my touchpad! Thanks so much for posting this, I can finally move the mouse around without it doing crazy thing.

    Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote: June 22, 2011 7:59pm

    No palm and typing tab at my mouse properties

    Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 5:39am

    Thank you! I use both hands at the same time and have been having real trouble with this touch pad. Can’t wait to try out your tip.

    Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 8:56am

    Have new Sony VPEC490X whose pad drives me crazy. I have to cover it with cardboard & use an external mouse. Your tip doesn’t cover its mouse. No DEVICE SETTINGS tab. No POINTING tab, No PALM CHECK tab. Help!
    Gary Brown

    Reply
  38. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 10:54am

    I had to disable my touchpad because I was accidentally sending e-mails before they were finished. It seemed like the touchpad would respond to the slightest tap of the pad of my hand while I was typing. I love the external mouse, but I worry that I might get stranded one day. Problem–can’t figure out how to turn the touchpad BACK ON! Please help!!!

    Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 11:40am

    I don’t know if it is going to work but if it does I will apreciate it so much. Thank you

    Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 11:51am

    Please giv me an Up date for Windows 10

    Reply
  41. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 11:53am

    please ud date for Windows 10, thanks Ana

    Reply
  42. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 2:39pm

    when i go into the device and printers catagory there is no mouse to click on

    Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote: June 23, 2011 3:12pm

    There was no device settings tab. So since my mouse is a pain in the ass and I was eager to help it… Now I feel terribly let down.

    Reply
  44. Abdelhalim Abdelhalim M wrote: June 24, 2011 2:05am

    very nice

    Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote: June 24, 2011 2:48am

    I have a Microsoft wireless mobile 4000mouse installed on my Vaio. On other computers I use I have been able to turn off the touchpad if the wireless mouse is detected so that I don’t have the problem of bumping the touchpad and messing up what I’m working on. It’s a simple process whereby all I need to do is check the box which deactivates the touchpad. I can’t find this option anywhere. Is there anyway, I can turn off the touchpad? I appreciate your help.

    Reply
  46. Kristin Steele wrote: June 24, 2011 6:22am

    thank you! This has been very frustrating for me…

    Reply
  47. Anonymous wrote: June 24, 2011 6:41am

    This was very helpful. A lot of it I already have done.

    Reply
  48. Anonymous wrote: June 24, 2011 11:34am

    Thankyou… I have been getting around this problem until now by installing an external mouse and disabling the touchpad all together. It would be a great improvement if we could program the s1 button to disable/enable the touchpad as a quick shortcut similar to other laptop manufacturers.

    Reply
  49. Anonymous wrote: June 24, 2011 1:57pm

    Thank you VERY much that was driving me crazy! I recently bought my laptop and was considering bringing it back because of the sensitivity, but all is well now

    Reply
  50. Anonymous wrote: June 25, 2011 12:50pm

    when i go to the control panel and then mouse i cant find this tab , and nothing about touch pad , my vaio only know my Bluetooth mouse..

    what can i do?

    Reply

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