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I have a Dell XPS 15 (9530) that has a Synaptics clickpad. I've tried tinkering with many settings and different Dell/Synaptics drivers, but there's always some aspects that don't work well (two finger scrolling, or palm rejection, etc).

After looking at the Synaptics website (http://www.synaptics.com/en/clickpad.php) it mentions that "All Synaptics TouchPads can interface with Microsoft's Precision TouchPad driver or can be powered by the industry leading Synaptics Gesture Suite."

Is there a way to force the touchpad to use the Precision drivers? Are the precision touchpad drivers available for download at some location?

Any help would be great, thanks!

  • Just install the Precision drivers instead? You can use Device Manager to do this. – Ramhound May 29 '15 at 15:00
  • @Ramhound - I've tried going to Device Manager & manually looking for a new driver - I couldn't find the Precision Touchpad drivers listed. Is there a location to download them, or are they located somewhere locally I can reference? Thanks! – codechinchilla May 29 '15 at 15:04
  • For windows 10, the driver itself has to be windows certified. It's not that that the Synaptics hardware is precision cabable or not. The vendor, like MSI needs to release a driver that is windows certified in order to display as a precision driver in windows 10. – P.Brian.Mackey Nov 13 '16 at 19:42
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I found a way to do this and I have posted a quick tutorial here: The Verge Forums. This works on my HP Spectre X360 (2017) that has a synaptics touchpad. I cannot guarantee this will work for everyone, but it is worth a shot. My tutorial is based on the findings from here (reddit post).

UPDATE

So I noticed that with this hack, the driver would break after the system woke from a sleep state. By "break" I mean the touchpad would work, but none of the touchpad settings / precision functionality would be present. Interestingly enough, this issue did not happen when the machine would wake from hibernate, only when waking from sleep. To fix this, you need to create a windows task that restarts the driver on system wake.

To begin, first you need to grab a copy of devcon.exe for your particular operating system install. See this other superuser post for that. After you have devcon.exe on your machine (in my case, I put it under C:\Program Files\DevCon) you need to identify the driver you need restarted.

Shift+Left-Click in the folder that contains devcon.exe and select the "Open CMD/PowerShell" context menu item. From here we can determine the ID of the driver we need to restart.

devcon.exe /find ROOT*

This command will bring up a list of different items. Look for the one with the description of "Synaptics HID-Compliant Touch pad Device" or something similar. For me, this maps to "ROOT\SYNHIDMINI\0000" which is the ID I am interested in for restarting purposes.

Once you have your ID, you need to create a scheduled task (as administrator!) to reset this device by ID. To do this, open Task Scheduler (you can search for this in the start menu) as an administrative user. Within the task scheduler window, create a new task:

Creating a new task in Task Scheduler

Fill out the task's name (such as "Restart TouchPad On Wake") and description. Be sure to set it to run as a user with administrative privileges and to tick the "run with highest privileges" box. Also be sure to select the radio button for "Run whether user is logged in or not."

Filling out the task.

Next, click the triggers tab and create a new trigger. The trigger should begin the task on an event with the log being System and Source being Power-Troubleshooter. Event ID should be 1 (this stands for system wake).

Filling out task details.

Next, under the actions tab, create a new action. The action should be "start a program" and the Program/Script field should point to your full install path of devcon.exe. The arguments should be something like

/restart "@FULL_ID_THAT_YOU_FOUND_EARLIER_HERE"

Filling out the action.

The "@" symbol preceding your ID is important as well as the quotes!

Finally, be sure to open the conditions tab for the task and un-tick the box under the power heading that states "Start the task only if the computer is on AC power." This ensures the task still runs even when you are not plugged in.

Finally click ok and ensure that your task has been created. Now every time your system is woken up from sleep, this task will run devcon.exe and tell it to restart the synaptics driver as an administrative user. This should ensure that the driver is properly initialized for use and that you will have all of your Microsoft Precision goodness at all times.

  • The Verge tutorial worked well for me, but I didn't have a problem with updates. When I updated the driver manually the original Synaptics driver (version 19.3.31.31, date 16/8/2017) got installed again, but the touchpad is still recognized as Precision Touchpad with all features and advanced gestures available. See my post in the HP forum. – Frank Breitling Feb 24 '18 at 22:49
  • Thank you. This is a productivity savior. My cursor was jumping all over with a single tap while using the Synaptics driver. I thought it was a hardware issue but decided to search before going down that path. Glad I did! With the Precision driver it the touchpad works exactly as expected. 💪 Thanks! 🙌 – GollyJer Jul 24 '18 at 21:19
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Firstly go to `PC Settings>PC and Devices>Mouse and Touchpad to check if the Precision Touchpad is turned off (or not present).

enter image description here

Turn it on if it is currently off.

If it's not present then it will look like this:

enter image description here

Since the touchpad should be compatible with Precision, make sure your Windows Update is up to date. For the Precision settings to be shown you will need Update KB2975719.

For your model (XPS-15 9530), the Synaptics touchpad driver removes some gesture functions of the touchpad but may improve your touchpad experience overall (more info). Therefore you'll have to choose which touchpad drivers to use by toggling it on or off.

  • Thanks Rsya - I wasn't able to get the Precision drivers enabled, but I did try the Alienware 17 drivers in the link you posted, and that did help things, so am marking this as the answer. – codechinchilla May 30 '15 at 1:20
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My Acer S7-392 has a Synaptics clickpad as well and originally didn't support the Windows 10 multitouch gestures (no precision trackpad). As I still wanted to have those multitouch features I tried a couple of different drivers hoping they would work - one did!

Let me run you through the steps that I made:

  1. I ran the installer (dpinst.exe) of this driver: Synaptics Precision Touchpad Driver for Windows 10 (64-bit) - ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Machine types: 20HQ, 20HR). (The ThinkPad X1 has a Synaptics touchpad that is a precision touchpad.)
  2. Then I manually changed the driver of the touchpad in device manager to this newly installed driver (Update Driver Software > Browse my computer... > Let me pick from a list... > uncheck show compatible hardware > Synaptics > "Thinkpad Pointing Device").
  3. After a restart of my laptop (touchpad didn't work at all at that point) it showed two mice in device mangager: a new "HID-compliant mouse" and the touchpad (now named "Thinkpad Pointing Device")
  4. As the touchpad didn't work, I changed the driver of the "Thinkpad Pointing Device" back to the original driver "Synaptics PS/2 Port TouchPad", restarted Windows again - and suddenly noticed that my touchpad now supported Windows multitouch gestures! It does show the "Your PC has a precision touchpad." in PC Settings as well (what it didn't before).
  5. I noticed that the Synaptics gestures were still activated at the same time which led to confusion as Windows didn't know what action to perform. After deactivating all possible options in the Synaptics Control Panel everything worked perfectly fine. (Exept one thing: It doesn't perform a right click when pressing in bottom-right area of the touchpad. But I still can perform right clicks using 2 fingers)

Maybe this does work for someone else as well :)

  • I'm wondering if I can somehow deactivate the Synaptics driver completly. My impression is that currently there are 2 mice running at the same time: the HID-compliant mouse (as the precision touchpad) and the Synaptics PS/2 Port Touch pad (as non precision touchpad)... Any ideas? – Peter Aug 6 '17 at 16:17
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All Synaptics TouchPads can interface with Microsoft's Precision TouchPad driver or can be powered by the industry leading Synaptics Gesture Suite.

The hardware and interface for a Precision Touchpad is different than from a traditional/"Modern" touchpad.

What this statement means is that every touchpad is either one or the other, not that you can switch between them.

  • 1
    Do you have a source for this claim? – George Dec 27 '16 at 8:52
  • I agree with @GeorgeH here. This claim needs to be backed up, as there are already solutions that exist that show Synaptics Touchpads running with precision drivers after tinkering. – James Manes Sep 7 '17 at 13:44
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If you are Synaptic/Elan touchpad user, it can be successfully changed to the version of Elan driver which is compatible to precision touchpad and it's feature. Google "Elan WDF driver" and you will get it.

Notice that there are some critical steps you should follow to complete your installation. First, modify the file called "ETD.inf" with notepad and replace Hardware ID to your device's touchpad id (ACPI\ETDXXXX), then restart your computer with driver signature enforcement overrider disabled. after all installation finished and computer restarted, you will see the precision touchpad features at settings.

enter image description here

  • Welcome to Super User! Provide information as image if they can't be posted as text (readable, searchable, etc). – Karl Richter Apr 1 '17 at 13:00

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