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How to fix a Chromebook touchpad that's not working

Get back to scrolling and clicking with these quick fixes.

Published onAugust 20, 2023

Unless you use an external mouse with your Chromebook, the laptop’s built-in touchpad will be your primary navigation tool. While it’s possible to manage without the touchpad if you have a touchscreen Chromebook, it can still be a massive problem if the touchpad stops working. Here’s what to do if your Chromebook touchpad stops working.


To fix a Chromebook touchpad that is not working, first, clean the touchpad to wipe away smudges and dislodge any dust or debris. Check the touchpad settings to ensure you haven't accidentally turned off any features or the touchpad itself. You can also try restarting the system or performing a factory reset in extreme cases. If all else fails, it's best to contact an authorized repair center to fix the touchpad.

How to fix a Chromebook touchpad that is not working

Use an external mouse or the device’s touchscreen

lenovo ideapad slim 3 chromebook both colors
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Some Chromebooks have a touchscreen, so you aren’t entirely dead in the water if you need to navigate around Chrome OS while trying to fix the problem with the touchpad. If your Chromebook doesn’t have a touchscreen, or if you find it easier to navigate with a mouse, a good external mouse is a great temporary (or even permanent) replacement. Using an external mouse is also a good test to know whether it’s a software issue or a hardware problem. If the mouse works as expected, the problem is with the touchpad.

Clean the touchpad

You may need to clean the touchpad to ensure that dust or debris isn’t causing a malfunction. You can use a soft cloth to wipe the touchpad and compressed air to dislodge any debris that might be under or around its sides. Another way to try and remove debris is to use your fingers and drumroll across the touchpad. The vibration may be enough to remove or loosen any dust or debris that may have settled under the touchpad.

Check touchpad settings

If you use an external mouse, you might have turned off the touchpad or changed some settings. You should also check the settings if you’re having problems with the click function not working, touchpad lag, or scrolling problems.

Click the status bar at the bottom right corner and go to Settings (gear icon) > Device > Mouse and touchpad. Toggle features like Enable tap-to-clickEnable tap dragging, Enable touchpad acceleration, and Enable reverse scrolling. You can adjust the touchpad speed if you find it slow or laggy.

Restart the Chromebook or perform a hard reset

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook 14 at CES 2023 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Restarting the device may be enough to fix any problems with the touchpad not working. Press the power button until the screen turns off, wait for a minute or so, and press the power button to restart the Chromebook. You can also perform a hard reset in case the system is frozen.

To hard reset your Chromebook, press and hold the back, refresh, and power buttons simultaneously for at least ten seconds. If the computer is off, press and hold the refresh button and tap the power button. Continue holding the refresh button until the Chromebook starts up.

Disconnect any peripheral USB devices

Unplug any peripheral USB devices plugged into your Chromebook, like headphones, speakers, external drives, USB hubs, and others. Restart the Chromebook and see if the touchpad starts working again.

Press the Esc key continuously

Press the Esc key rapidly for twenty to thirty seconds. This will stop loading the current page, which might have caused the system to freeze and make it seem like the touchpad isn’t working.

Factory reset your Chromebook

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook 14 at CES 2023 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Factory resetting your Chromebook is a last resort that may help fix any problems with the touchpad not working. Remember that a factory reset will erase everything, so don’t forget to back up any important files and data.

To factory reset the Chromebook, sign out, press the Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r keys, click Restart, and select Reset. You can also do so through the Settings app by going to Settings > Advanced > Reset settings and selecting Reset in the Powerwash section.


Yes, you can turn off the touchpad on a Chromebook. First, you need to enable the feature. Go to chrome://flags/#ash-debug-shortcuts, toggle on Debugging keyboard shortcuts, and restart the device. You can now use the Search + Shift + P shortcut to turn the touchpad on and off.

The touchpad acceleration on a Chromebook is a helpful feature that lets you increase the speed of the cursor movement and scroll through pages quicker. It’s an excellent feature to enable if your touchpad seems slow or laggy. Go to Settings > Device > Mouse and touchpad and toggle on Enable touchpad acceleration.

While it’s possible to replace your Chromebook touchpad with DIY instructions, it’s best to contact an authorized repair center to fix any problems if your touchpad is not working at all.

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