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How to disable the touch screen on your Windows 8.1 laptop

Windows 8.1

Here's a super quick tip. I'm going to quickly show you how to disable the touch screen on your Windows 8.1 machine. It will only take a minute to quickly turn off the touch screen capabilities on your monitor. Doesn't matter if it's a tablet, Ultrabook or desktop, this will work.

Why do this?

Honestly, that's a good question, but I've seen some people wondering how to actually do this for a variety of reasons.

Turning off the touch screen on a tablet, like the Surface 2, would be a little silly since that's your primary mode of input, though this little tip does work on devices like that one. This tip probably makes more sense if you're using an Ultrabook. And for whatever, don't care to ever use the touch capabilities of your machine. Believe it or not people like that do still exist. Mary Jo Foley isn't the biggest fan of touch on her Ultrabook, though lately it sounds like she's been warming up to touching the screen.

I'm actually curious if disabling the touch screen will give you a slight bump in battery life on something like an Ultrabook. That's something to test later out, but for now let's just show you how to actually do it.

How to disable the touch screen in Windows 8.1

Please, please have a mouse and keyboard nearby. Those two accessories will be your mode of input after disabling the touch screen.

  • Right click the Start button and click Device Manager OR search for 'Device Manager' from the Windows 8.1 Start screen
  • Select Human Interface Devices
  • Look for a device with the words 'touch screen. In my case, it said 'HID-compliant touch screen'
  • Right-click and select disable

disable touch screen

That's it! You've now turned off your touch screen in Windows 8.1. To turn it back on, just do the same steps above, but select enable vs. disable for the touch screen.

Again, I personally won't ever need to use this, but I have seen some people curious on how to actually do it.

Do you ever disable the touch screen on your Windows 8.1 machine? Why? Sound off below.

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Reader comments

How to disable the touch screen on your Windows 8.1 laptop

147 Comments

I don't have any PC or tablet with windows 8, I use Ubuntu, but I think it could be for the people who prefer using the mouse and the keyboard only

I use Ubuntu, and it's the 2007 version xd, I also have windows 7 in a partition. I use that on the PC but in the smartphones I love windows more than Ubuntu on PC, more than R2D2

What's the difference? Are people that use mouse/keyboard accidently touching their screens? Somebody should test that longer battery life theory. That'd be a great reason.

I have a client that points to her screen all the time on google earth in meetings and it zooms in driving her nuts so I did this awhile back.

I guess that did happen to me teaching my dad how to use his new touch screen laptop. I kept accidently clicking on stuff lol

That's relative. You don't need to be dumb to make such mistakes, specially after years of touching screens without having any effects.

No, I'm going with dumb. I have a touchscreen desktop (yeah, I'm the one)

And I never "mistakingly" touch it. I know its touch, so I only touch when I need to touch it.

After 5 minutes, she should have got it into her noggin.

Yep because everyone in the world is just like you...

I hate how people always try to use "well it isn't that because I never experienced that." It is just the word kind of proof.. It isn't even proof. It's close mindedness.

no, because smart people learn from their mistakes. She should have learned that it will zoom the first few times she touched the monitor. a smart person would stop touchig the monitor instead of turning off a function of the device. 

If she's in a meeting I guess everyone is crowded around her 13-15.1 laptop screen. If its being projected to a screen or tv then she should be using a laser pointer to point out specific land marks, etc to her colleagues.

Yes, actually.

I have a touchscreen 15.6" Dell laptop on which I never use the touchscreen (I hate fingerprints on my screen, they drive me insane). However, when I collaborate with classmates in school and we're all looking at an Excel sheet on my computer, they keep pointing at certain cells in the middle of an explanation or question. This happens during editing which ruins some of the editing work, or worse, wipes out some of the data. Nothing that can't be brought back with an undo, but annoying nevertheless.

The touchscreen needs to go on my laptop so I'll make sure to do this the next chance I get.

I have a touchscreen laptop. So I have a physical keyboard. The onscreen one just takes up useless space when it appears.

who uses the onscreen keyboard on a laptop? you use the screen to scroll, zoom, and occasionally select items. people keep talking about how great the touchpad is on the macbook. well using the gestures on a touchscreen is better than on the touchscreen. i have a macbook pro and touchscreen laptop. Both me and my daughter will touch the screen on the macbook out of habit because it does improve the user experience with laptops.

If you use Ubuntu then turn yourself off and don't comment on something that doesn't apply to you.

It does apply, since the question was 'why disable touch screen on a laptop', and he responded nicely. So what if he's using another os.

My surface pro screen cracked, so I had to disable the touch screen because it was unusable without it being disabled.. So another example..

That's fair enough if one got a crack screen. But with a perfectly brand new SP3 (which I intended to get once it landed in Australian shore), why disable the touch screen as suggested by some WPC readers. Thx for your reply.

Send it in for repair out user Microsoft buy back program to get the next generation surface pro.

Let me get this, so just because it won't happen on yours—that means it shouldn't happen in others' computers? Your level of mind capacity is oustanding!

 

/s

Depends on your screen, and on most screens this won't be a problem Only screens with IR seem to exhibit this problem, like HP touchsmart.

Shouldn't happen on a decent device like a Surface ;) So he is correct, only crap touch screens have this issue ;)

I ignored that about, thanks for the info. I own a Sony VAIO all-in-one, it was first and last one. I appreciate your input, the other guy was just attacking my comment, that was my issue with him.

Artists who use Paint Tool SAI to draw or paint.

Some of old programs aren't optimized for touchscreen and palm block but those aren't out of date yet.

i love touch screens but i've found times where i needed to disable it, like today when my wife was trying show me certain things (design related) on her screen, it kept moving it, kind of a first world problem lol

I would definitely do this in meetings - I demo stuff a lot on my own PC, and people feel the need to touch my screen when pointing at things. I already scream bloody murder when it happens, there's no way I want them able to control things too!

>2014 not still using stylus
On my Venue 8 Pro I go between the Bluetooth Sculpt Mouse, the pen and the actual touch screen. Just depends on where I'm at.

I seldom use my touch screen on my laptop, the keyboard is kind of in the way, it just makes things awkward. I use it here and there, but not really often at all.

My laptop is a non-touch and I do like being able to point at things with my fingers without selecting stuff... My housemate has an Envy with touch and there's times I'm jealous. It'd be great to have a hard switch to toggle touch on and off so I could point to things without selecting them and other times to touch and navigate.

^^^^^^^^^^

Re: " It'd be great to have a hard switch to toggle touch on and off so I could point to things without selecting them and other times to touch and navigate"

You can do exactly that with 'TouchMousePointer' onscreen virtual mouse/touchpad. Plus you get the convenience of a virtual onscreen mouse when you're out and about and don't have your hard-copy mouse with you...or don't have/want one at all.

TouchMousePointer

Use the 'Full Screen' (transparent) mode and select settings for one finger to none....or configure to your taste. With the Taskbar icon, you can toggle on-off the virtual mouse/touchpad at your usage choices.

Easy breezy.

Sorry, I disabled the touch screen in my Nokia, and I can't use a keyboard. Then I'm writing this with... My cock?

Kind of , hell I'm not even going to take a shot at how effed up that comment was. I mean, you made me picture it, you sicko

You are further supporting people's stereotypes about those who feel it is necessary to inform others they use Ubuntu.

I'm more interested in finding out if there's a way to modify the touch screen settings. Is there a way to disable the "mouse over" and "right click" functionality via press-&-hold?

I can't wait to see all the complaints.
And the biased.. Incoherent.. Unfair.. Prejudging comments too xD

On a side note.. If I tried this on my surface... I know for a fact that right after my type cover will fail/break... Lol

I think the best use of this function is just when you have a touch screen laptop with broken screen. In that cases sensitivity of screen does not let you use your laptop properly, even with mouse, so turning screen off would give you ability to work for some time, untit you can replace it.

Sam!!! This picture of your laptop was taken the day of Build 2014,, wasn't it???
...........
Edit: Nevermind, its just that Bing image of the day... It was the one they used that day... I always thought they used that imagine for Bing,, the day of Build, because it reassembled Cortana... Didn't you think so?

Actually that is an old image, I had that as a wallpaper on my laptop on my work account last year. The company IT department were useless and wouldn't defrag the damn machines, God they were slow.. Constantly getting timeouts from the Cloud based CRM couldn't get any work done so I had to bring in my own laptop to do any work, after twisting their arm in setting up a local remote connection to my laptop so I could access the servers via my now then allocated pc.

Very useful actually I used this method on my surface rt that had a touch screen glitch, now its a ARM powered netbook with great battery life

Sometimes when typing on my surface2 using the snap on kb I accidently touch the screen. Actually easy to do the way I type. I never use the on screen kb anyway and always use a mouse so I'm going to give this a whirl. Easy enough to re-enable anyway. Who knows maybe battery life which has never been great will improve.

I work on 100's of touch screen tablets and notebooks, these days I get severely frustrated when I reach out to the screen and its NOT a touch screen!

I have a surface pro, and 95% NEVER use touch. I always have a mouse and keyboard for input.

good to know though.

 

i don't use TOUCH on any of my devices (phone), etc. it's just not good enough, or precise enough for graphics, games, or inputting any kind of text. that's why i prefer physical hardware over touch.

later

-1

O.M.G. Keep your grimy fingers off the screen. Here's a tip. Don't want a touch screen. Don't buy one. Frankly I am seeing it takes all types who are stuck in a 1995 time warp. Windows 8 is bad. Give me a Start button. Boot to desktop. Yadayada. I'm dying for the day I'll be able to make the jump to touch screen. Every other device I have uses one from my phone to the atm.

You're disabling a driver, but in theory the digitizer is still active, so I don't think you'll notice any battery life improvements. The PC is still getting an input from the touch screen, but none of that's reaching Windows

not sure you would gain any battery life this way.  Disabeling a driver in device manager is not the same as disconecting the device or turning it off... unless it is USB, though I dobut it is USB.

Hey guys , i have tested this a couple if weeks ago , the battery life for my asus ultrabook jumped from 5h to 7h.
I can assure you that in case you don't need touch and you want some extra battery life, just disable the touch input.

First, I'd smack the daylights out of someone who wanted to do that.  Second, if they worked for me, I'd fire them.

I would :p and whole a lot of people would too if they tried it ,  because touch simply feels more modern and inituitive , especially on windows 8.1 and metro apps ( and I wanted  it since windows 7 but I'm finally buying a touch laptop soon :) ) and it's a whole lot more fun :p

It depends on what you do. Like when I draw 3D stuff, you know how cool it is to actual touch your screen and rotate the object with your finger instead of your mouse.

What idiot would buy a Touchscreen laptop that they knew they wouldn't use and then went our of their way to turn off the touch capabilities?

I find it absolutely annoying when people touch my screens (I use desktops and laptops) so using the "I/he/she point(s) at the screen..." seems like a silly excuse and more of a bad habit akin to chewing with your mouth open.

It is cool that there is an option to turn it off, but this is one of those things that I group with "I hate metro and miss the start button" argument often heard from those who don't understand what the start screen really is.

Thanks for this. Best news ever. I'm a Draughtsman, so ye, can be a bit annoying you know when you draw something and this person next to you just can't keep their finger off your laptop's screen. :)
But then I would enable this for when I'm relaxing on the couch browsing my social apps via the touch. I will test this on the battery life.

I did on my asus t100, screen is cracked and it would register touches that never happened. Well replaced asus t100 with dell venue 11 pro core i3 and I like it. Is a bit buggy but been using it more than old 2010 13 inch macbook pro.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Cracked surface screen is a great reason to do this if your wondering. Was given a "broken RT" that was unusable because of a cracked screen. Disabled works great now, minus the touch of course.

Would the surface stylus still be active? So for artists, maybe this could limit accidental touch events when pen is away from screen?

one reason for doing that (although not really crucial for most of the users) is:

if sou are an artist or designer and try to paint over some kind of a sillhouette or form (experimental formgenerating for example) and want to do it with the "traditional" way, you can disable the touch input on your tablet, put a sheet on it and draw on the paper with the actual form shining through the paper. thats why i used it for on my surface quite a few times. of course you will need some other kind of an input device to control your tablet.

 

as I said: not the most normal way to use this, but still a very useful trick!

Can't see the point in this at all. Zooming in on maps and photos for example is a pinch on the screen. If you're on the laptop on the bed, leaning on one elbow, that's my scroll arm, on the edge of the screen.

I've got an xps15 with a qhd display and I don't want greasy fingerprints on it. It's a shame there isn't an option for no touchscreen.

I'll touch the screen if it's a tablet (I own the sp2 and sp3) but a laptop: No. I think msft are beginning to understand this, hence the backtracking on w8.1. The touchpad suffices, and is rather good. I want to look at the screen, not clean it.

I think going forward threshold may be on the right track with an OS that detects the device format and configured itself accordingly.

And this is only anecdotal but I think I get at least twenty minutes extra - I have the large battery/ssd configuration. The battery does seem to last longer. Or it's just me. Dunno. Either way, good post Sam!

I needed this information time ago when on my sony vaio duo sometimes the touch went crazy and it opened and closed windows like someone fastly touched the X  on the top and bar on the bottom. It happened with excel, probably an update fixed it because it doesn't happen so far. Anymore I'll try this tip to see if the battery will last more, it should be so, I hope.

Touch PCs cost more. Why would you pay more money for a PC with that functionality and then disable it? Makes no sense.

My son's Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 lost its touch input a few weeks ago. I guess this may be it. Will look at it right away. Thanks for the tip!!!

I am currently using a Satellite NB15t and there are times that the touchscreen goes erratic like Ghost Clicks. I investigated on this issue and it turns out that a lot of Windows 8 machines are suffering from this behaviour (especially after updating to 8.1).

Hence, one of the solutions was to disable the touch functionality in order to have the machine useable.

It kind of takes some effort to pick one out with a touch screen, so why would you then not want it?

Also, anyone who touches their screen without meaning to use it for input (oh I'm pointing out something on Google Maps) and can't figure out how to hover half an inch away from the screen, should be electrocuted upon contact with screen.

/runs off to patent that

I'll sponsor you patenting that - gets me riled up! How hard can it be to keep your finger off the screen? My rule? Finger on my screen: My finger in your eye. Yessir! Lol

As for choice, well sometimes there isn't any - especially with top end screen/device combos. Shame that.

I'd rather have a way to disable the capacitive button on my laptop. It makes using it in tablet mode almost impossible.

I want my work to upgrade, I keep touching the screen and nothing happen. I want to move a project from one screen to the next, and it doesn't work, I have to use the mouse. But it still gets fingerprints on it. LOL

Ok so I have a dell venue 8 pro, I disabled the touch screen because I usually use the stylus for note taking via one note, so yeah this option was really helpful, plus I think it can be done for the surface pro series using the wacom stylus or the ntrig

I did disable the touch screen using this method a couple of month ago on my son's Surface RT which fell on the ground and the touch screen behave erratically.

I really need help here. My laptop's screen cracked, and since then the touch screen has gone haywire. It does what it wants to do, right clicking left clicking all by itself, and moving all over by itself. I disabled it. But EVERYTIME I log back into the computer after it shuts down or hibernates, it re- enables itself again. So I uninstalled the driver. I restarted the computer thinking this would solve the problem, but not only was it re-installed, it was re-enabled! What can I do?

I use my touchscreen rarely, but I turned it off because my friends think it is funny to keep touching it while I am working. They continually close things out, etc haha. I don't want that anymore, so that's why I disabled it.

 

For those who want to know why some one would want to turn off touch screen, here is a scenario. I set my laptop to be awake when the lid is closed and plugged in so I can access it by remote desktop. When the lid is closed the keybord comes in contact or near contact with the screen enough to register as touches making it imposible to use. it also randomly opens aplications on the task bar. Today I opened my laptop and the screen was all green because the video drive applet was selected and changed the brightness of the green channel.

Another scenario I had was playing a FPS game and touched the screen to point at something and the view went crazy. Since the game was not designed to work with a touch screen, so it should not have been recognized as an input. In this scenario there isn't so much of a need to disable it manualy, but automaticaly by the game software, OS or Driver 

Thanks, I use a ThinkPad S440 Ultrabook for school and the ammount of other people that keep touching the screen (sometimes accidently) and closing programs, messing up my work etc is amazingly annoying so this is usfeful

Thanks for the tutorial i guess, really needed it because when i got my computer, the screw next to the power surge plug in was shot or damaged or whatever and it kept opening the computer and that cracked my screen, soo it kept like clicking all over the screen while i'm in the middle of things xD 

Please, I would like to know if u followed the same steps as mentioned above? I did the same as it is mentioned but I can not find the the HID_ complaint device touch screen but rather HID complaint device. What should I do next.?

THANK YOU for this!! I'm a professional resume writer. With almost every resume, I prefer to visually and physically ensure that the margins are aligned (sometimes tabs don't line up between two different computers). I do this by holding the edge of a piece of paper up to the monitor at the tab point, and then scroll through the entire document. Some CVs (professors, lawyers, doctors, researchers, etc...) can be be six pages and some government resumes can be even longer.
I've had this new laptop for a few months now; I can't believe it took me so long to look up these instructions. You have taken away a HUGE stress. Thank you!
 

THANK YOU!! I just did it on my surface pro 3 and it turns off the touch feature BUT the pen still works. This is great for using the surface at the university to take notes. It happened to me frequently that I accidently touch the screen before the pen is close enough to auto turn it off. Not a big deal at home, but pretty annoying during lecture when I need to hurry. 

Now ... to make this even more convenient, is there a way to create a shortcut on the desktop or something to turn it on and off?

OMG Thank you so much and it was so easy.  So "why" a week ago I dropped my nearly brand new Surface 2 :'(

And the cracks don't bother me but it is possesed with thinking it is being touched in certain areas and then not able to sense touch in others. It will load apps randomly and keeps maximizing the size. I can do just about everything with a mouse so I will until I can afford to buy another new one. So that is why and you were a HUGE help!!!

I use this because my touchscreven computer fell and now it has a Big Crack in it so every time I restart my computer it starts acting up like if I'm touching the computer all over the place when I'm really not... So yeah maybe that's why some people decides to turn off the touchscreen.

Thanks. I seem to have developed some phantom 'touches' to my Surface which randomly thinks im taping at random points on the screen periodicly and would like to just use my bluetooth keyboard I got for it instead of having to keep loging in and ou which momentarily fixes the problem.