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My laptop (a Sony Vaio on Windows 8) disables my touchpad when I "type". This means actually typing, or just holding down a key like say, W, A, S or D. The touchpad stays disabled for a short period (<1s), after releasing all keys. Naturally, I want to turn this feature off.
The touchpad uses a Synaptics driver, but I can't find a setting anywhere to enable the touchpad when typing.
I found values that allude to this functionality in the registry (e.g. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Synaptics\SynTP\TouchPadPS2\ZoneManager\TPTyping - Enabled), but their value is always 0, so I reckon it must be coming from somewhere else.
I've tried reducing the touchpad's sensitivity, as I read somewhere that there that certain values might secretly activate the "palm detection" functionality, which in turn secretly activates the "disable then you type" functionality, but to no avail. (Yes, I already went quite deep into the rabbit hole.)

Edit 14-11-12: I've updated the Synaptics driver using the one from the Synaptics site, but I still don't have a setting to enable the touchpad whilst typing. (Neither do I have the "PalmCheck" settings.)

Edit 27-11-12: I've gone back to the original driver, as the generic one had too many issues for my liking. This version doesn't have PalmCheck either, but like the generic one, it does have something called "SmartSense". Apart from the name, it looks like PalmCheck. Turning it off however, did not solve the problem.

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4 Answers

This is called PalmCheck. To disable this, go to Mouse Properties in Control Panel, select the Device Settings tab, select the Synaptics Clickpad or similar device in the list and click Settings, and under PalmCheck in PalmCheck-Enhanced, drag the slider down towards Off.

Synaptics Touchpad settings in Mouse Properties PalmCheck menu in Synaptics settings dialog

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I've looked for this setting as well, but my Synaptics properties window doesn't have it. It does say "V1.4" instead of "V7.4", but according to Windows my driver is up to date. :/ –  Protector one Nov 12 '12 at 13:16
Check Synaptics' website (or your computer manufacturer's) for updated drivers. Windows only concerns itself with drivers that are available at Windows Update. –  Јοеу Nov 12 '12 at 13:21
The manufacturer's website provided me with an installer that resulted in the exact same driver. (Did require a reboot first, though. O_O) I'll try the generic touchpad driver from Synaptics if no one else has other suggestions. –  Protector one Nov 12 '12 at 13:43
@Protectorone: As Synaptics suggests, set a restore point before installing the reference driver. –  DragonLord Nov 13 '12 at 4:51
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Since disabling SmartSense didn't solve the problem for me, I had to go all Morpheus on this hole. (Popped both blue and red.)
After much toil and bickering with various forms of Sony's Support, I gave up and tried messing with the Registry. After some failed attempts to disable the Synaptics filter driver that's attached to the keyboard, I found something that worked.

In the Registry, go to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Synaptics\SynTP\Defaults, and set the value of all string entries of the form PalmKms…, to 0. (Of course, they probably don't all need to be 0, but have fun finding out which one(s) you actually need!)
These values determine the amount of ms that the touchpad stays disabled after keyboard input has been detected.

I think Sony will probably issue an update to the VAIO Control Center where you can simply disable this functionality, but until that day, this fixes the issue.

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Thanks! This worked! I never accidentally touch the touchpad while typing anyways, so I need the touchpad to work for things like Gimp where you scroll the canvas around by holding spacebar and moving the mouse pointer at the same time. –  trusktr Dec 13 '13 at 21:40
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I have the exact same problem. had. I cannot seem to find the PalmCheck function mentioned above, neither can I find the PalmKms string entries in the Registry, I did find an easier way though.

Simply go to the properties window for your Synaptics Touch Pad Device Settings (instructions above) go to: Pointing->Sensitivity->Touch Checkng

The setting in this determines how long it disables the touchpad after using the keyboard. If set to the minimum (full left), it will disable the delay.

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hey andrew, the delay was gone, but some other type of delay persist, try this and tell me if it happens to you too: Press "1" on keyboard then do left click on touchpad button, there is a delay for you?? (( for me, there is a 1 second delay to get left click working, it doesn't happen to right click ))... i have windows 8.1 –  iim.hlk Nov 12 '13 at 9:00
i solved this, there is a windows 8 setting that you should disable: press WIN + W, the type "mouse", search for a option named "mouse and touch panel config", then search a setting related to touchpad delay and deactivate –  iim.hlk Nov 12 '13 at 9:31
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In Windows 8 the option is called SmartSense. Disabling this worked for me.

  1. Press Win+W to bring up Settings Search
  2. Type "synaptic"
  3. Double Click "SmartSense"
  4. Slide the Slider all the way to "Off"
  5. Click "Close" and then "OK"

This will Disable the Anti-Palm detection which prevents simultaneous Keyboard and Mouse use. I recommend you re-enable this feature when you're not gaming as otherwise you risk problems while typing.

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protected by Community Aug 29 '13 at 15:34

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