How to Fix It When Your Chromebook Touchpad Is Not Working

When your Chromebook touchpad stops responding, it can feel like your digital workflow has come to a screeching halt. This issue is common enough, but there are many possible causes and solutions. Whether it’s a hardware glitch, software hiccup, or something else entirely, troubleshooting can often lead you back to a fully functional touchpad. Below you’ll find a step-by-step guide crafted to help you diagnose and fix the problem. Each solution is detailed, yet easy to understand, ensuring you can get back to seamless scrolling and clicking as soon as possible.

how to fix it when your chromebook touchpad is not working

Check for Updates

Occasionally, the touchpad issues can be resolved by updating the operating system of your Chromebook. Manufacturers often release updates to fix bugs, including those related to the touchpad.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Connect your Chromebook to Wi-Fi.
  2. Click on the status area, where your account picture appears.
  3. Select the “Settings” gear icon.
  4. At the bottom of the settings page, look for “About Chrome OS.”
  5. Click on “Check for updates.” If updates are available, install them.
  6. Once the update is complete, restart your Chromebook.


Updating your Chromebook can resolve many issues, including touchpad problems. It’s easy to do and usually doesn’t take long, but remember that you need an internet connection, and you may not be able to use your device while the update installs.

Restart Your Chromebook

Sometimes, the simplest solution is to restart the machine. This can clear temporary glitches causing the touchpad to malfunction.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Press and hold the power button until the Chromebook turns off.
  2. Wait a few seconds, then press the power button to turn it back on.


Restarting is quick and often effective, without any real downsides. It can refresh your system’s resources and fix transient issues with your touchpad.

Check for Physical Obstructions

Dirt, debris, or even moisture can cause touchpad issues. A routine check for physical blockages can resolve this.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook and unplug it.
  2. Clean the touchpad with a soft, slightly damp cloth. Avoid excessive moisture.
  3. Check to see if the touchpad works after cleaning.


Cleaning the touchpad not only potentially fixes the issue but also helps maintain the Chromebook. However, one must be cautious not to use too much liquid, as this might damage the touchpad.

Adjust Touchpad Settings

Misconfigured settings might cause the touchpad to behave unexpectedly. Adjusting these settings could resolve the problem.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Click on the status area with your account picture.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Scroll to “Device” and choose “Touchpad settings.”
  4. Adjust the settings as needed, such as sensitivity, scroll direction, or tap-to-click.


This solution tailors the touchpad response to your preference and might fix sensitivity issues. However, if you’re not careful, you might set the touchpad to a configuration that feels less natural to you.

Perform a Hard Reset

A hard reset can resolve deeper system issues.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Press and hold the refresh key (usually above the 3 and 4 keys) and then press the power button.
  3. Release both buttons.
  4. Once the Chromebook starts, release the Refresh key.


A hard reset may fix persistent touchpad issues that a normal restart doesn’t solve. However, it may cause you to lose any unsaved work, so use this step with caution.

Check External Devices

External devices like USB mice or flash drives could conflict with your touchpad.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Remove any external devices connected to your Chromebook.
  2. Restart the Chromebook to see if the touchpad works without them.


This is a simple check with no real downside unless you rely on those external devices for your current tasks.

Update Touchpad Drivers

Outdated touchpad drivers might be causing issues.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Under “About Chrome OS,” select “Detailed build information.”
  3. In the new window, click on “Update firmware for input devices.”
  4. Follow any on-screen instructions to update drivers.


This could potentially resolve the issue, but be aware that sometimes new drivers may introduce new bugs.

Powerwash Your Chromebook

Resetting your Chromebook to factory settings (known as “Powerwash”) can fix persistent issues but will erase all local data.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Back up any important data.
  2. Open “Settings.”
  3. Click on “Advanced” and then “Reset settings.”
  4. Select “Powerwash” and then “Restart.”
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset your Chromebook.


This is a robust solution but comes with the downside of losing all data stored on the device.

Inspect for Hardware Damage

Inspect the touchpad for cracks or other signs of damage that may cause issues.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Turn off the Chromebook and examine the touchpad carefully.
  2. Look for any noticeable signs of damage.
  3. If you find damage, contact a professional for repairs.


Identifying hardware damage can explain functionality issues but requires a professional repair, which might incur costs.

Seek Professional Help

If none of the above steps work, the problem may require expert attention.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Contact the manufacturer’s customer service for guidance.
  2. If your Chromebook is under warranty, discuss the possibility of a repair or replacement.


Professional help is likely to resolve your issue but can be inconvenient and potentially costly if out of warranty.

In conclusion, a malfunctioning Chromebook touchpad can stem from various issues, ranging from simple software glitches to more complex hardware faults. Our comprehensive list of solutions provides a graduated approach, starting from the simplest fixes like cleaning the touchpad and progressing to more intricate steps such as a Powerwash or seeking professional help. By following these steps, you’re well-equipped to handle the issue at hand and minimize downtime, ensuring that you can get back to your tasks with minimal disruption.


Q: Will performing a Powerwash erase everything on my Chromebook?
A: Yes, a Powerwash will reset your Chromebook to factory settings, removing all personal data, extensions, and apps from your device. It’s crucial to back up your data before performing a Powerwash.

Q: Can a Chromebook touchpad be fixed if it’s physically damaged?
A: If the touchpad is physically damaged, such as cracked, it is unlikely that the above solutions will resolve the issue. You’ll need to consult a professional for a possible repair or replacement.

Q: How can I prevent touchpad issues in the future?
A: To prevent future touchpad issues, keep the touchpad clean, avoid spilling liquids, and ensure your Chromebook’s software is regularly updated. Additionally, try not to apply excessive force to the touchpad while using it.

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