What is touchpad sensitivity?

A touchpad is a touch-sensitive surface used in place of a traditional computer mouse to control cursor movement. Touching a finger on the touchpad will direct the screen cursor accordingly. Touchpad sensitivity refers to how much finger pressure must be applied before the pad responds. The touchpad sensitivity can be adjusted up or down to make the pad more or less touch sensitive.

A touchpad’s sensitivity determines how much finger pressure is needed.

Most mobile computers have a touchpad built into the grip. The touchpad may have two or three buttons below or above the pad to act as mouse buttons. Alternatively, you can tap the pad surface to initiate a click. Finding a personally satisfying setting for the touchpad sensitivity will make using the touchpad easier and more comfortable.

The sensitivity of computer touchpads can be adjusted so that they require more or less finger pressure.

On Windows® and Mac® systems, the software settings for the mouse or touchpad must be found in the Control Panel. Some touchpad software also carries a touchpad icon in the system tray for quick access.

There may be more than one setting for the touchpad sensitivity. Some software allows you to set the overall sensitivity of the pad and also adjust the “palm sensitivity” or the touchpad’s ability to ignore accidental taps that may occur while typing.

The overall sensitivity adjusts how lightly you can brush the pad while still getting a response. A touchpad set to a light touch is more comfortable to use, but taken to an extreme, this setting can cause unpredictable cursor movements. If the humidity is high and the cursor is acting erratically, it may be helpful to adjust the sensitivity to a heavier touch. If touchpad taps and taps are missing, try adjusting the sensitivity to a lighter touch.

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Palm sensitivity is intended to help prevent unintended cursor movement caused by palms. Adjusting this setting higher narrows the usable area of ​​the touchpad inwards towards the center. Taken to an extreme, this reduces the touchpad’s usefulness, causing it to miss swipes or touches that aren’t centered enough. Leaving this setting off or setting it too low, however, can result in erratic cursor movements.

In addition to sensitivity, you can define how close taps should occur to emulate a double click. If the cursor misses double taps, it could be that the taps are too close together or too far away for the touchpad to register them as double taps, according to the current configuration. When testing this touchpad configuration, an animated icon will respond to illustrate a successful double-click. Adjust the slider up or down to ensure the touchpad responds to your natural tapping style.

By adjusting the touchpad sensitivity, you can also enable touch zones, a feature available on many touchpads. Tap zones can be assigned special functions, so tapping a zone will perform the assigned function. Up to four touch zones are available, one occupying each corner of the pad. Tapping the top left corner, for example, can mute/unmute, maximize/minimize the screen, or act as a third mouse button. Enabling touch zones can be very useful, saving keystrokes and improving efficiency.

Most laptops have an integrated touchpad.

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