How do I use Precision Touchpad gestures in Windows 10?

Windows 10 laptops that use Precision Touchpads have a bunch of handy shortcuts you should know about. Here's how to check if your laptop is using a Precision Touchpad, a list of default touchpad gestures, and how to configure touchpad gestures to your preference.

How to check if your laptop has a Precision Touchpad

Prominent Windows 10 laptops, including the Dell XPS 13, the Microsoft Surface Book, and the Microsoft Surface Pro 2, 3, and 4, use Precision Touchpads. Plenty of other laptops have a Precision Touchpad as well — here's how to find out if your device has one:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the Settings button — it looks like a gear.

    Click the Start button. Click the Settings button.

  3. Click Devices.
  4. Click Mouse & touchpad.

    Click Devices. Click Mouse & touchpad.

Beneath the Touchpad header there will be a line that says Your PC has a Precision Touchpad if you in fact have a Precision Touchpad. Those of you without the notification may be able to use some of the following gestures — test and find out!

Precision laptop notification

Default touchpad gestures

Here's a great video by Mark Guim that details how to use Precision gestures in Windows 10:

Here is a quick-reference list to help you get acquainted with precision gestures:

  • Select an item: Tap the touchpad with one finger — similar to a standard left click on a mouse.
  • Scroll: Touch with two fingers and swipe vertically or horizontally to scroll through a window.
  • Zoom: Touch with two fingers and pinch together or stretch apart to zoom in and out.
  • More commands: Tap with two fingers or click the lower-right corner of the touchpad to show more commands — similar to right-clicking on a mouse.
  • Drag window: Double-tap the top of the window and slide your finger around to drag the window.
  • Show task view: Touch with three fingers and swipe away from you to display all open windows. Slide three fingers away from you again to return to normal view.
  • Show the desktop: Touch with three fingers and swipe toward yourself to show the desktop.
  • Switch between windows: Touch with three fingers and swipe right or left — similar to the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut.
  • Open Cortana/Search Windows: Tap with three fingers.
  • Open Action Center: Tap with four fingers.

How to configure touchpad gestures

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the Settings button — it looks like a gear.

    Click the Start button. Click the Settings button.

  3. Click Devices.
  4. Click Mouse & touchpad.

    Click Devices. Click Mouse & touchpad.

Here you will find plenty of options to configure, including what three- and four-finger taps open, as well as changing drag, right-click, and two-finger scroll options.

Tap options

Tap options

  • Use taps: Keep enabled to allow tap function.
  • Press the lower right corner of the touchpad to right-click: Keep enabled to allow this secondary method of right-clicking.
  • Use a two finger tap for right click: Keep enabled to allow this secondary method of right-clicking.
  • Tap twice and drag to multi-select: Keep enabled to allow easy highlighting of text or selection of files.

Scroll and zoom options

Scroll and zoom options

  • Use a two finger drag to scroll: Keep enabled to allow for easy scrolling with two fingers.
  • Scrolling direction: Change this to your liking — either swipe down to scroll up or swipe down to scroll down.
  • Pinch two fingers together to zoom out: Keep enabled to allow for easy in-and-out zoom with two fingers.

Other gesture options

Other gesture options

  • Choose what to do with a three finger tap: Either search with Cortana, open Action Center, or disable completely.
  • Choose what to use with a four finger tap: Either search with Cortana, open Action Center, or disable completely.
  • Choose what to use with three finger drags and slides: Either switch apps or disable completely.
  • Choose what to use with four finger drags and slides: Either switch between virtual desktops or disable completely.

Found this helpful? Great! We've got many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips and tricks page.