Synaptics touchpad drivers are commonly used on desktops and laptops. Windows can, and does install its own touchpad drivers however if a Synaptics driver is available for your system, it’s a good idea to install it instead of using the generic one that Windows installs. The drivers are great for the most part but they have a feature called SmartSense that not too many people like. SmartSense basically makes it so that you cannot move the mouse pointer when you’re typing. If you don’t like the feature and find it slows you down when you’re working, you can disable it.

If you do not use Synaptics drivers, you don’t have SmartSense on your system. To check if Synaptics drivers are installed on your system, open Control Panel and go to Hardware and Sound. Here, click on Mouse. If you see a dedicated tab for Synaptics settings, usually called Clickpad settings, then you have Synaptics drivers installed. If you don’t see the tab, you’re using generic touchpad drivers.

Disable SmartSense

Once you’ve determined which touchpad drivers you use, it’s time to disable SmartSense. Again, open Control Panel. On Windows 10, the easiest way to open Control Panel is to just type Control Panel in File Explorer. Go to Hardware and SoundMouse. On the Mouse settings screen, go to the Synaptics settings tab and click the ‘Clickpad Settings’ button.

Alternatively, you might see a dedicated settings panel for Synaptics on the Hardware and Sound screen in Control Panel. If you do, click it instead of going through the Mouse settings.

On the Synaptics settings window, look for SmartSense. It should be under Pointing and it ought to be there so long as you’re running version 17 or above of the driver. Double-click it.


This will expand the SmartSense settings. You can manage how long the touchpad remains disabled after a single keystroke or, if you’re just really annoyed with the feature, you can set all three sliders to Off and disable SmartSense.

Users mostly want to disable SmartSense because it interferes with browsing and when playing games. The ‘Smart’ in the feature’s name doesn’t really live up to it. It’s supposed to prevent users from accidentally clicking or moving the cursor to a button or a different field while they type but users aren’t that keen to use it. Maybe it’s because the feature isn’t very well documented and users don’t know how to customize it to suit themselves that they feel it’s useless but that’s just how it is.