Mouse pointer jumps around as you type



Document ID: 98082642

 

Posted Date: 2009-03-25

 

Last Updated: 2009-03-25

 

Distribution: View Public Website

 

Applicable Models
Satellite All
Qosmio All
Portege All
Tecra All
Satellite Pro All
libretto All

 

Issue

This Support Bulletin is applicable to Toshiba laptop computer models that have a built-in TouchPadTM pointing device.

While you are typing, the mouse pointer (cursor) may seem to move or jump around 'by itself' to random locations on the screen.

The mouse pointer may also seem to automatically select text, click buttons, and activate other user interface elements within your software.

When you use the TouchPad, the mouse pointer may sometimes behave as if the left TouchPad button has been clicked.

Resolution

As you type, you may find yourself resting your hands on the palmrest area below the keyboard. In this position, your hands may sometimes lightly brush across the surface of the TouchPad, without you noticing. The mouse pointer may then appear to occasionally move 'on it's own', when the actual cause is the heel of your hand or the base of your thumb grazing the surface of the TouchPad.

If the Tapping feature of the TouchPad is enabled, then it may seem that the left TouchPad button is being clicked automatically -- as the Tapping feature translates purposeful taps -- and also accidental light touches -- on the TouchPad as clicks of the left TouchPad button. This may result in arbitrary selection of text in documents -- and to its accidental deletion, when it is replaced by the next character you type.

These unsolicited pointer movements and button taps tend to occur especially with smaller laptop computer models -- which have the TouchPad set relatively close to the keyboard -- and more especially if you make the transition from using a larger laptop model to using a smaller one.

With some practice, you may be able to adjust your typing technique to avoid accidental contact with the TouchPad. There are several other solutions you can pursue, detailed below, which involve modifying the settings of the TouchPad software to suit your personal preferences and work habits. The features and controls of the TouchPad software varies considerably among Toshiba computer models, though we have attempted to summarize this variety in the two feature set examples, below.

We recommend that you first skim-read through one of the two feature set examples below for an overview of the various options available to you.

Toshiba uses the trademarked term 'TouchPad' for its built-in pointing device, though some computer manufacturers use the term 'TrackPad' for a similar device.


  • PalmCheck / Disable tapping during key input 

You may find that the most effective and easiest solution is to adjust the PalmCheck feature (see Feature set 1, below, for more information). For some computer models, a similar feature is labeled Disable tapping during key input (see Feature set 2, below, for more information). Both of these features inhibit tapping while you're typing.

  • Disable the TouchPad (Fn + F9)
For all Toshiba models with a TouchPad, you can quickly disable and re-enable it by pressing the Fn + F9 key combination.


  • Select a matching feature set 

Access to TouchPad settings is through the Mouse Properties page of the Windows Control Panel. The selection of settings varies from one computer model to another. The two 'screen shots' below represent two typical Mouse Properties pages. Select the one which most resembles the appearance of the Mouse Properties page of your computer, and then read through the corresponding Feature set example (both are below) -- which will at least roughly correspond to those available on your computer.

To view the Mouse Properties page, click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel, then click Mouse (under Hardware and Sound, or under Printers and Other Hardware).

On the Mouse Properties page, click the rightmost tab -- labeled either Device Settings or Advanced, or TouchPad, or Tapping, or Hardware.

You will see a Mouse properties page similar to one of the two examples below.

1a-Mouse-DeviceSettings.PNG   

Feature set 1 Mouse Properties page

2a-Advanced.PNG

 Feature set 2 Mouse Properties page

Depending upon which properties page most resembles the one displayed by your own computer, read through the suggestions in either Feature set 1 or Feature set 2 below. Experiment with the various settings to find the ones that provide you with the best balance of functionality and predictable behaviour.

 


Feature set 1  

  • Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel 

1. Click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel, then click Mouse (under Hardware and Sound, or under Printers and Other Hardware).

2. On the Mouse Properties page, click the rightmost tab -- labeled either Device Settings or Advanced, or TouchPad, or Tapping, or Hardware.

3. Click the Settings button (figure 1). This button may also be labeled Advanced Settings, or TouchPad Settings.

A Properties for Synaptics TouchPad page will appear.

1a-Mouse-DeviceSettings.PNG

Figure 1

  • Disable Tapping
The TouchPad's Tapping feature is described in figure 2, below. Tapping the surface of the TouchPad is a very convenient alternative to clicking the TouchPad's left button. The TouchPad may, however, respond to accidental light touches as well as deliberate taps. This may result in unexpected selection of text in documents -- and to its accidental deletion, when it is replaced by the next character you type. Disabling tapping entirely will completely eliminate the occurrence of accidental TouchPad clicks, but has no effect on the mouse pointer moving 'on its own'.
 
The Tapping feature is enabled by default, but you can easily disable it by following the steps below. It's just as easy to re-enable this setting later.
1. Follow the steps in the Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel section (above).
 
2. Double-click Tapping at the left side of the page to expand the category.

3. Click the Enable Tapping checkmark. The checkbox will be cleared, and tapping will be disabled.
1b-Tapping.PNG
Figure 2
  • Increase the PalmCheck setting
The PalmCheck setting adjusts the size of the contact area that the TouchPad software considers significant for detecting gestures and taps. Moving the slider toward Maximum increases the 'PalmCheck' factor -- by decreasing the size of the significant contact area. This makes it more likely that the TouchPad will ignore accidental contact -- but also somewhat more likely that it will ignore intentional gestures and taps.  
 
Some laptop models don't have the PalmCheck feature, but instead have a feature to disable tapping during typing or using the keyboard (see Feature set 2).

1. Follow the steps in Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel (above) which should open the Properties for Synaptics TouchPad page.

2. Click the plus (+) sign next to Sensitivity to expand it. 

3. Click PalmCheck to select that feature (see figure 3, below).

4. Move the PalmCheck slider towards Maximum. If you find, after changing this setting, that the TouchPad is less responsive to your intentional gestures and taps, try re-adjusting the PalmCheck slider slightly leftward.

1c-PalmCheck.PNG
Figure 3

  • Decrease the Touch Sensitivity 
When you brush the TouchPad accidentally, you probably do so very lightly. The Touch Sensitivity setting can be adjusted to ignore lighter touches.
1. Follow the steps in Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel (above) which should open the Properties for Synaptics TouchPad page.
 
2. Click on the plus (+) sign next to Sensitivity to expand it.
 
3. Click on Touch Sensitivity to select that feature (see figure 4, below).
 
4. Move the slider towards Heavy Touch to decrease the sensitivity of the TouchPad to lighter touches.
1d-TouchSensitivity.PNG
Figure 4
  • Other Settings
When you follow the steps in Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel (above) the Properties for Synaptics TouchPad page will appear. At the left of this window are several categories (displayed in figure 4 above), each of which can be expanded by clicking its plus sign, at left. If you explore these categories you will find many other useful settings for improving the usability of the TouchPad.  For example, you can enable, disable, or change the sizes of the vertical and horizontal scrolling areas along the right edge and the bottom edge of the TouchPad. There are also settings that govern Tap-and-Drag(-and-drop) operations.
 
Depending on your computer's TouchPad software, the features you discover (and their names) may differ from those shown in the figures above.


Feature set 2 

  • Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel

1. Click the Windows Start button, then click Control Panel, then click Mouse (under Hardware and Sound, or under Printers and Other Hardware).

2. On the Mouse Properties page, click the Advanced tab, which may also be called Device Settings or Advanced, or TouchPad, or Tapping, or Hardware (figure 5). 

3. Click the Advanced feature settings... button (figure 5). The properties page shown in figure 6 will appear.

2a-Advanced.PNG
Figure 5

2b-Advanced.PNG
Figure 6

  • Disable Tapping
Tapping the surface of the TouchPad is a very convenient alternative to clicking the TouchPad's left button. The TouchPad may, however, respond to accidental light touches as well as deliberate taps. This may result in unexpected selection of text in documents -- and to its accidental deletion, when it is replaced by the next character you type. Disabling tapping entirely will completely eliminate the occurrence of accidental TouchPad clicks, but has no effect on the mouse pointer moving 'on its own'.
 
The Tapping feature is enabled by default, but you can easily disable it by following the steps below. It's just as easy to re-enable this setting later.
1. Follow the steps in the Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel section (above).
 
2. Under Pointer speed and tapping settings click the Settings button. The page shown below (figure 7) will appear.

3. Click the Enable tapping checkmark. The checkbox will be cleared, and tapping will be disabled.
 
2c-Detailed.PNG
Figure 7
  • Disable Tapping while typing
An alternative to entirely disabling the tapping feature is to disable it only while you're typing --  when you are most likely to accidentally brush the TouchPad. You can also adjust the delay before tapping is re-enabled.
 
These settings are only available when the Enable Tapping checkbox is checked (figure 7, above).

1. Follow the steps in Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel (above).

2. Under Pointer speed and tapping settings click the Settings button. The page shown above (figure 7) will appear.

3. Click the Tapping settings button.The page shown below (figure 8, below) will appear.

4. Check the Disable tapping during key input checkbox, if it's not already checked. Click OK, and see how the default Delay after last key is hit setting suits your typing and TouchPad preferences. Optionally, return to this Tapping Settings page later, and adjust the Delay after last key is hit slider to change the time interval between when you stop typing and when the tapping feature is re-enabled.

2d-TappingSettings.PNG
Figure 8

  • Touch Sensitivity
When you brush the TouchPad accidentally, you probably do so very lightly. The Touch Sensitivity setting can be adjusted to ignore lighter touches.
1. Follow the steps in Opening the TouchPad settings in Control Panel (above).
 
2. Under Pointer speed and tapping settings click the Settings button. The page shown above (figure 7) will appear.
 
3. Move the Touch Sensitivity slider leftward to decrease the sensitivity of the TouchPad to lighter touches. (figure 9, below)
 
2c-Detailed.PNG
Figure 9

  • Install the latest TouchPad driver
If you're experiencing a TouchPad-related problem other than those addressed in this Support Bulletin, you may be able to fix it by re-installing the TouchPad driver. To do so...
1. If you are not already viewing the Toshiba support website, browse to support.toshiba.com.
 
2. Click the Download tab.
 
3. Select a category, family, and model from the lists, then click the GO button.
 
4. In the All Categories box, select TouchPad.
 
5. Download and install the newest TouchPad driver for your computer's operating system.
 
If only one driver is listed for your computer's operating system, then it is probably the driver that was factory-installed on your computer. If more than one TouchPad driver is listed for your computer's operating system, then download and install the newest one. Newer versions of the driver may include additional or updated features.
For general assistance with downloads, see Support Bulletin 98081213 Obtaining downloads and support docs from the Toshiba Support website.
- km/wa
Export Control and EULA
Use of any software made available for download from this system constitutes your acceptance of the Export Control Terms and the terms in the Toshiba end-user license agreement both of which you can view before downloading any such software.