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Windows 10 - Synaptics Touchpad - Solution for Left-Click not working

by Philipp Stiefel, originally published December 28th, 2018
last updated December 28th, 2018

I own a rather old Sony Vaio notebook (Model: VGN-BZ12VN), which is now a family notebook mostly used by my daughter. Originally there was Windows 7 installed on it. Then I upgraded it to Windows 8.1 and finally to Windows 10.

It has a built-in Synaptics Touchpad (Shows as “Synaptics PS/2 Port TouchPad” in Windows Device Manager). This touchpad was working fine in Windows 7. It was also working fine in Windows 8.1. But once I upgraded to Windows 10, the left mouse button stopped working. I.e. there was no left-click possible, neither by tapping the touchpad nor by pressing the built-in, physical left mouse button below.

I tried quite a lot to make it work again, like uninstalling/reinstalling the driver, manually updating the driver to the most recent version, removing and re-adding the device in Device Manager. Nothing worked. – Finally, I gave up. There was an external mouse attached to the computer most of the time anyway.

Just yesterday, I replaced the hard disk of that notebook with an SSD to speed up the old laptop. I reinstalled Windows 10 on that SSD from scratch. – The problem with the left-click of the Synaptics Touchpad still persisted as before.

I though, I give it one more try to get it to work. Just to make sure it’s not the buttons being physical broken, I tried to swap the mouse buttons to check this.

I went to the “Mouse & touchpad” settings in Windows 10 and opened the “Additional mouse options”.

Additional Mouse Options in Windows 10 Settings

There I switched the buttons in the Mouse Properties configuration dialog and clicked Apply.

Button configuration in Mouse Properties for Synaptics Touchpad

Instantly, all the buttons of the touchpad were working (with reversed functionality of course). So, at least, I could be sure it was not a hardware failure. This was great for diagnosis, but it was no long-term solution. So, I switched back to the standard right-hand-buttons.

After a short while, I noticed the buttons were both still working. Now with the desired right-hand-configuration. The touchpad continued to work even after restarting the computer multiple times.

I was speechless. This silly one-minute operation fixed an annoying problem that persisted despite dozen other tries, consuming hours, to fix it. – And, just to be clear, I did nothing else regarding this problem after reinstalling Windows 10!

Well, maybe this was just some sort of freak (mis-)configuration issue. However, my research revealed quite a lot of people having similar problems with the Synaptics Touchpad on Windows 10 and there seems to be no reliable fix around. Hence, I though, I publish this weird experience here. Maybe it will help someone.

If you suffer from this problem, just give it a try. It will cost you only a minute of your time and it can hardly mess anything up with your computer.

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