Linux Mint: How to Configure a Laptop Touchpad
When you use a computer, you usually control it with a keyboard and mouse. However, if you are using a laptop, you can use the touchpad to control the mouse cursor instead. The touchpad is designed to be versatile, allowing you to configure the sensitivity so you can move the cursor at a speed that feels natural to you. Laptop touchpads also often offer the ability to register tap and swipe actions, but not everyone likes these features, so you may want to disable them or change how they work.
In Linux Mint, you can control all of these options using the touchpad settings. To open these settings, press the Super key, type “Mouse and touchpad” and press Enter.
Tip: The “Super” key is the name many Linux distributions use to refer to the Windows key or the Apple “Command” key, avoiding any risk of trademark issues.
Press the Super key, type “Mouse and touchpad” and press Enter.
Once you’re in the mouse and touchpad settings, switch to the “Touchpad” tab. The top slider labeled “Enable Touchpad” allows you to disable the touchpad entirely if you prefer to use a standard mouse only.
Tip: Be very careful when disabling this option if you do not have a standard mouse connected or available. If you turn off the touchpad, the touchpad re-enable buttons will not work and you will not be able to navigate through the menu using the keyboard.
By default, you can tap the touchpad to make a click instead of having to click the physical touchpad button. you can disable it by switching “Tap Tap” to “Off”. By clicking “Disable touchpad when mouse is connected” to “On”, you can choose to automatically disable the touchpad when a mouse is connected.
To prevent accidental mouse button presses or cursor movement while typing, the “Disable touchpad while typing” option is automatically enabled. You can also configure the click actions of the touchpad itself using the “Click Actions” dropdown box. For example, you can choose whether the mouse pad has areas that are used to emulate left, middle, and right mouse clicks, or whether you can use double and triple finger taps for right and middle clicks.
You can configure what to do when some click actions are performed when the touchpad is tapped, as well as when the touchpad is disabled.
By default, in Linux Mint you can scroll by either double-swiping or swiping down the right side of the touchpad. People have different preferences for how the screen should scroll when scrolling with a touchpad. By default, Mint has reverse scrolling, where swiping up scrolls the page down, similar to swiping on a touchscreen. Many users prefer to have the screen scroll up when you drag up, as if you were dragging the slider on the right side of the window. To disable reverse scrolling, toggle the “Reverse scrolling direction” slider to “Off”.
The “Scrolling Method” drop-down box allows you to choose which scrolling method you want to use, or if you want to disable touchpad scrolling altogether. You can also enable horizontal scrolling by switching “Horizontal Scrolling” to “On”.
In the “Scrolling” section, you can configure how scrolling works on the touchpad.
If you feel that your touchpad is not moving the cursor fast enough or is moving it too fast, you can change the sensitivity setting. To decrease the speed of the touchpad, activate the “Custom sensitivity” slider, then decrease the larger “Sensitivity” slider.
Unfortunately, the sensitivity of the touchpad starts at the highest value, so the speed of the pointer cannot be increased anyway. To increase the cursor movement speed, you need to enable “Custom Acceleration” and then adjust the larger “Acceleration” slider.
Tip: Touchpad acceleration does not make the touchpad smoother. Instead, it adds a cursor movement multiplier based on how fast you move your finger across the touchpad. This way, fast swipes make longer movements, while slower swipes don’t move the cursor as far.
You can increase or decrease the cursor movement speed by adjusting the “Pointer Speed” options.