Within a couple of days of its release, I purchased the new Surface 3 (the I5 / 8GB RAM / 256GB SDD model) and quickly attached my Surface Wedge mouse. Much to my annoyance, I discovered there is no option to disable the touchpad only when another pointing device is connected, resulting in multiple interruptions per day as my palm hits the touchpad during typing. There was no app I could find to reliably add this capability, so I quickly setting about determining how to disable the touchpad (also called trackpad) on the Surface Type Cover, as well as how to re-enable quickly if I wanted.
Here are the steps for each operation.
NOTE: The Windows interface presents “touch pad” as two words. I have typed it as a single word “touchpad” for benefit of the search engines, as that seems to be how many on the Internet spell it.
To disable the Surface 3 touchpad
Go to Control Panel –> Devices and Printers. You can also get here by searching for Devices and Printers on the Start screen.
Right click on the Surface Type Cover and select Properties.
On the Surface Type Cover Properties screen (shown below), select the HID-compliant touch pad item. Then click the Properties button.
This opens the HID-compliant touch pad Properties screen. Click the Change Settings button.
Select the Driver tab. Then click the Disable button to disable the touchpad driver.
You will receive one last prompt. Click Yes to disable the touchpad.
In order to get back to this menu more quickly in the future, I created a desktop shortcut to Surface Type Cover icon and also pinned it to the Start screen.
To quickly re-enable your Surface 3 touchpad
Re-enabling on the same menu where you disabled the touchpad is an option, but perhaps not the easiest option. To quickly re-enable the touchpad, simply detach and re-attach the keyboard, which automatically re-enables the touchpad.
This seems to be an unintended result, as on my next visit to the properties screen above, I was presented with the Enable button, as though the device was still enabled. I simply clicked Enable, followed by Disable to re-disable the touchpad.
Other Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Tips
Here are a few other tips you may find useful:
Windows 8 User Interface
- Introducing the Windows 8 Metro Start Screen
- How to Get the Classic Start Menu Back in Windows 8
- Start Screen – Resize Metro App Tiles Smaller or Larger in Windows 8
- Start Screen – Name or Rename a Group of Apps in Windows 8
- Start Screen Apps – Organize into Groups
- Zoom View – In Start and Apps Screen in Windows 8
- How to see hidden files in Windows 8
- Administrative Tools – Hide or Show on the “Start” Screen in Windows 8
Working with Modern Apps
- How to uninstall a Metro App in Windows 8
- Metro Multitasking – Run Two Metro Apps at the Same Time
- How to resize and move Metro App tiles in Windows 8
- Adding and removing apps and programs from the Windows 8 Metro Start Screen
- Apps – Close in Windows 8
- Apps – Pin or Unpin – Metro “Start” Screen in Windows 8
Dual Boot and Disk Configurations
- Windows 8 VHD – Create at Boot to Dual Boot with Windows 7
- Advanced Boot Options Menu – Boot to in Windows 8
- SFC /SCANNOW Command – Run in Windows 8
- ISO Images – Mount or Unmount
Authentication and Account Management