How to Enable or Disable Touchpad in Ubuntu Linux

This article describes steps one can take to disable or enable touchpad on laptops running Ubuntu Linux.

Laptops and other devices have touchpad that add same functionalities as a mouse without the need for an external mouse. If you have a mouse and you don’t need the touchpad enabled, you can simply disable it with few clicks in Ubuntu Linux.

One reason users might want to disable the touchpad is accidental movement of the mouse pointer or cursor with their palm while typing. You may want the touchpad disabled when using the internal keyboard on your laptop.

Some devices have a button near the top of the touchpad that allows you to quickly enable and disable the touchpad. You can toggle the touchpad off and on with that button.

On Dell laptops, there’s an amble light at the top left corner that one can double tab to quickly enable or disable the touchpad.

How to turn off laptop touchpad when using Ubuntu Linux

As described above, users can enable or disable the touchpad on their devices with ease in Ubuntu Linux.

Below is how to do that.

Ubuntu Linux has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating, all can be done from the System Settings panel.

To get to System Settings, open the Activities overview and start typing Settings.

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below.

In the Settings app, click on Mouse & Touchpad tile.

On the System Settings -> Mouse & Touchpad settings panel, under Touchpad, toggle the switch button for Touchpad to On position to enable it.

To disable, simply toggle back to the Off position.

Alternatively, you may install a third-party app called Touchpad Indicator that allows you to enable or disable Touchpad on your device.

Touchpad Indicator allows you to disable touchpad on demand, automatically disables touchpad while typing and when a mouse is plugged in.

To install, run the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt update
sudo apt install touchpad-indicator

Once installed, search and open the app from the Activities overview, then click on the Top bar and select the app’s icon.

On the Actions tab, you can choose different settings to control the Touchpad on your device.

That should do it! You can now close the Settings app.


This post showed you how to disable or enable the touchpad when using Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use our comment form below.