How to use virtual touchpad on Windows 10

Microsoft brings Continuum's virtual touchpad feature to the desktop version of Windows 10 — Here's how to use it.

Virtual touchpad on Windows 10 Creators Update

While you can use a tablet as a device to consume content, if it’s running Windows 10, you can also connect it to an external display with a keyboard and mouse to transform it into a PC like experience. 

However, there will be times when you may not have a keyboard and mouse near you to control a PowerPoint presentation or slideshow, but you’ll still have your tablet. For this and other scenarios, Microsoft has borrowed the touchpad functionality in Continuum for phone, and it’s bringing it to the desktop version of Windows 10.

The new virtual touchpad when enabled appears in the lower-right corner and allows you to use your tablet or other touch-enabled device to control content on an external monitor without the need of a physical touchpad or mouse.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to enable and customize the virtual touchpad feature on the Windows 10 Creators Update.

How to enable virtual touchpad on Windows 10

The touchpad isn’t enabled by default, but you can quickly enable the feature from the Taskbar using the following steps:

  1. Open the Taskbar context menu.

  2. Tap the Show touchpad button option.

    Show touchpad button on Windows 10
    Show touchpad button on Windows 10
  3. Tap the touchpad button that now appears in the system notification area.

    Windows 10 virtual touchpad
    Windows 10 virtual touchpad

The virtual touchpad on Windows 10 works exactly the same way as a physical touchpad, and it even includes a left and right click button.

If you want to move the touchpad around the screen, you only need to press and hold the top, next to the close button, and drag the touchpad pad around as you would do with any other app.

How to customize virtual touchpad on Windows 10

The best part is that you can also customize the virtual touchpad with the same settings available for a physical touchpad. The feature even supports gestures, such as three-finger and four-finger gestures to switch apps, show desktop, and multitasking view. You can tap, swipe, pinch to zoom, control sensitivity and more.

To customize the virtual touchpad, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Devices.

  3. Click on Touchpad.

    Virtual touchpad settings on Windows 10
    Virtual touchpad settings on Windows 10
  4. Customize your settings, including enable or disable the touchpad, taps, scroll and zoom, and gestures.

If you don’t see the “Show touchpad button” option it’s probably because you’re not running the Windows 10 Creators Update. If you’re an Insider, you can use this feature starting build 14965 and later.

What do you think about the new virtual touchpad feature on Windows 10? Tell us in the comments below.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].