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How to Toggle the Touchscreen in Windows 10

Yes, you can turn your touchscreen on and off in Windows 10! Here’s how it’s done and how to set up a shortcut for convenience.

toggle-touchscreen

If you have a touch-enabled device for Windows 10, you might be wondering how you can enable and disable the touchscreen on your system. While it’s not immediately obvious, it is possible to toggle this feature within the Device Manager.

Plus, you can even toggle your touchscreen by creating a handy shortcut, which will let you enable and disable it within seconds.

How to Toggle the Touchscreen on Windows 10

Windows 10 doesn’t have a convenient method to turn your touchscreen on and off—you won’t find anything in Settings, for example. Windows 10 is constantly changing and evolving, so hopefully, this option will become available in the future.

Though uncommon, your system manufacturer (like Dell, HP, or Acer) may have included its own software to help you manage the touchscreen. Please refer to the guide that came with your system or contact the manufacturer to see if this is possible.

For most people, you will need to use Device Manager to disable and enable your touchscreen:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open the quick access menu.
  2. Select Device Manager. A new window will open, which lists all the devices detected on your system.
  3. Double-click the Human Interface Devices heading to expand the list of devices within.
  4. Right-click on HID-compliant touch screen and select Disable device.
  5. You will then receive a warning message telling you that disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. As this is exactly what you want, click Yes to proceed. The touchscreen will instantly be disabled, and no further action is required.
windows disable touch device

Want to turn the touchscreen back on? Simply repeat the above process, but select Enable device instead. You may need to restart your system for the change to take effect.

Related: Essential Touch Gestures in Windows 10

How to Automate the Touchscreen Toggle

If you constantly need to enable and disable your touchscreen, it’s a bit of a hassle to keep going into Device Manager. To combat this, you can create a shortcut that will automate the process. It’s a bit complicated, so ensure to follow the instructions carefully.

1. Install Windows Device Console

First, you need to download software called Windows Device Console, or Devcon for short. Normally this comes bundled with Visual Studio Express, but that download is far too bloated for our purposes.

Handily, joequery.me has separated the software into a standalone download. The site is also where this process came from, so many thanks to them.

  1. Download the standalone Devcon software.
  2. Once downloaded, extract the ZIP file.
  3. Navigate inside the windows8.1 folder (it works perfectly for Windows 10, don’t worry) and then into the folder for your operating system version: 32bit or 64bit. If you’re not sure which you have, check out our guide on discovering your bit version.
  4. Press Windows Key + R to open Run, input C:WindowsSystem32 (replace the drive letter if necessary), and press OK.
  5. Move devcon.exe into the System32 folder.
  6. Right-click on devcon.exe and select Properties.
  7. Switch to the Compatibility tab.
  8. Check Run this program as an administrator.
windows devcon properties

2. Find the Hardware ID

Before you create the automated shortcut, you need to find out the ID of your touchscreen.

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select Device Manager.
  2. Double-click the Human Interface Devices heading.
  3. Right-click the HID-compliant touch screen device listing, then select Properties.
  4. With the Properties window now open, switch to the Details tab.
  5. Using the Property dropdown, select Hardware Ids. The value of interest to you will be in the following format:
HIDVID_####&PID_####&COL##
windows touch screen device properties

Leave this window open for now. We’ll come back to it in a moment.

3. Create a Batch File

Now you’re going to create a simple batch file to automate a system process. In this case, the process is toggling the touch screen.

Open Notepad and paste in the following:

set "touchscreenid=ID_HERE"
devcon status "%touchscreenid%" | findstr "running"
if %errorlevel% == 0 (
    devcon disable "%touchscreenid%"
) else (
    devcon enable "%touchscreenid%"
)
  1. Switch back to the Properties window that you kept open in the previous step.
  2. Right-click the relevant Hardware Id and select Copy.
  3. Replace ID_HERE in Notepad with the value that you just copied to your clipboard.
  4. In Notepad, go to File > Save As and name the file touchscreen.bat. Save this anywhere you like; somewhere like your Documents would be a good place.

4. Create a Shortcut

Now, it’s time to turn this automated batch process into a handy shortcut.

  1. Navigate to the file you just saved, then right-click it and select Create shortcut.
  2. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
  3. Within the Target field, place double quotation marks around the path. Then prefix it with cmd.exe /C. An example Target would be: cmd.exe /C «C:UsersJoeDesktoptouchscreen.bat»
  4. From the Run dropdown, select Minimized so that Command Prompt doesn’t open each time you select the shortcut.
  5. Click Advanced and check Run as administrator. Click OK.
  6. Finally, click OK.
touchscreen shortcut properties

You can also set up a keyboard shortcut that will run the batch file. Within the Properties window, click the Shortcut key file field and enter a key combination that isn’t already in use. Maybe something like CTRL + ALT + T.

And it’s done! Place this shortcut wherever you like, perhaps on your desktop or on your Taskbar (you can drag a shortcut directly onto the Taskbar to pin it there). Then, simply open the shortcut, the batch file will run, and it’ll enable or disable your touchscreen automatically.

Related: How to Clean Up Your Windows Desktop Once and For All

Troubleshoot a Faulty Windows 10 Touchscreen

If you use Continuum, the feature that allows you to switch between desktop and tablet modes on Windows 10, then you might have wanted to disable your touchscreen when in desktop mode. Or perhaps your system comes with touch abilities that you just don’t want to use. Whatever the situation, hopefully, this guide has helped.

Alternatively, perhaps you are turning the touchscreen off and on in an attempt to fix it. That’s a good troubleshooting step, but you should also try other steps like updating drivers and running the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

windows-10-touchscreen-fix

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