Unfreezing a laptop mouse, or trackpad, is making you rip your hair out—you aren’t alone. It isn’t like a desktop where you can unplug it and reinsert it. Oh no, it’s built into the laptop, which makes it twice as bad. What do you do then?
Thankfully, you aren’t without options. In fact, you can even maneuver around the operating system with a few keyboard shortcuts. Use a combination of the Tab key and the Directional Arrow keys.
How to Unfreeze Laptop Mouse
Getting around to unfreezing your laptop mouse, or the trackpad, is going to be twice as hard without a mouse. You may want to grab an external mouse if you have one. Don’t have one? That’s okay! You can still navigate; it’s just annoying to do so without a mouse.
Check the Function Keys
You wouldn’t know it by looking at them, but the Function keys can disable your laptop’s trackpad. You may have pressed them by accident, but that’s okay. It’s just a matter of pressing them again.
1. Locate the FN key on your keyboard. Press and hold the FN key.
2. Because each laptop has a different combination to lock the trackpad, press F5, F7, F8, or F9, while still holding the FN key. One of the Functions key is bound to unlock the trackpad.
Reboot Your Laptop
After checking the Function keys, the next step is to give your laptop a reboot. This might fix the problem, but its main purpose is to recreate the problem. If the trackpad is still frozen when you reboot, that means the issue isn’t just random freezing.
Was it Disabled in Mouse Properties?
Maybe it was a friend playing a prank or perhaps something happened that disabled the trackpad altogether. The obvious step is to enable it again and regain control over the trackpad. Using an external mouse is going to be helpful, but not necessary.
1. On your keyboard, tap the Windows key. It’s got the Windows logo printed on it. This will open the Windows Start menu.
2. With it opened, type “Run” and press Enter when the Run app is revealed.
3. In the ‘Open:’ field, type: main.cpl and hit the Enter key.
4. Now, you need to maneuver over to the Device Settings page. To do this, press the Tab key until one of the tabs is highlighted by a dotted rectangle. It doesn’t matter which tab is highlighted.
5. Use the Arrow keys to move over to Device Settings.
6. See the touchpad listed? Use the Tab key to highlight Enable and select it with the Enter key.
7. Highlight Apply and select it with the Enter key.
Update the Laptop’s Mouse Driver
Most components installed onto your computer have a driver associated with it, a file or group of files that allows for a device—like the laptop’s trackpad—to communicate with a computer. An outdated driver or one that’s nonexistent will result in an unresponsive device.
1. Open the Windows Start menu by tapping the Windows key. It looks like the Windows logo.
2. While the Windows Start menu is still open, search Mouse Settings and tap the Enter key when it appears in the search results.
3. Use the Tab key until Additional Mouse Options is highlighted. Open it by hitting the Enter key.
4. Use the Tab key to once again, but this time highlight Update Driver. Press Enter to confirm.
5. Choose “Search automatically for update driver software.”
6. Restart your laptop.
Run an SFC Scan
Your last ditch effort is to run an SFC scan. This will comb through your computer for any damaged or missing system files and repairs or reinstalls them. In the event that the trackpad’s associated files were damaged or missing, an SFC scan can repair and or retrieve them, providing function to the trackpad once again.
1. Open the Windows Start menu by tapping the Windows key.
2. Once opened, search for CMD and launch it.
3. If CMD asks for administrative permission, allow it.
4. Now, type this command: sfc /scannow
5. Press the Enter key to initiate the SFC scan.
6. Restart your laptop.
And there you have it! There’s no shortage of methods that unfreeze laptop mice. However, after giving every possible solution a try and you’re still plagued by a frozen mousepad, then a professional’s doorstep is your next destination.