The Ultimate Guide to the Touchpad Gestures in Windows 11

Windows 11 includes a slew of useful touchpad gestures that you may configure to perform certain tasks.

It’s fairly common for laptop users to utilise an external mouse in lieu of the touchpad on their computer. Apart from familiarity, many individuals assert that the mouse is more precise and convenient to operate. The majority of laptops, however, now include precision trackpads that support complex touchpad motions.

Windows includes a slew of strong touchpad motions, yet they are among the most underutilised. While some users are aware of the motions but have not customised them, others are utterly unaware of their existence.

This post will demonstrate the many touchpad gestures available in Windows 11 and how to adapt them to meet your specific requirements.

In Windows 11, there are several different types of touchpad gestures.
Three distinct types of touchpad gestures are supported in Windows 11. These include the following:

Tap gestures: This is the most often used gesture for detecting one or more fingers briefly pressing the touchpad. Simple tap motions allow you to pick certain items on your computer.
Zoom and scroll gestures: These are self-explanatory gestures. The scrolling gesture enables convenient page or document navigation without using the Windows scroll bar. By contrast, the Zoom gesture enables you to zoom in and out of a specific item. Pinch or expand two fingers on your touchpad to accomplish this.
Three-finger gestures: In Windows 11, these are the customizable touchpad gestures that enable you to generate bespoke movements such as swipes or taps to complete a task on your computer.
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Related: Windows 10’s Essential Touch Gestures

How to Enable or Disable Windows 11 Touchpad Gestures
If you’re interested in learning how to enable and customise touchpad gestures in Windows 11, here’s how.

How to Enable or Disable Windows 11 Tap Gestures
On a Windows computer, tap gestures are often enabled by default, especially when a compatible precision touchpad is installed. However, if these gestures are not functioning properly or you wish to disable them, use the instructions below:

To launch the Settings menu on your Windows 11 computer, press and hold the Win + I keys. Alternatively, you can use the Start menu to launch it.
Then, on the left panel of the Settings window, click the Bluetooth & devices option.
Following that, select Touchpad from the list.
Click Taps on the Touchpad page to reveal all motions. Here you’ll find a variety of various touch motions.

Then, using the checkboxes to the left, enable or disable the motion.

Additionally, you can alter the touchpad’s sensitivity in this setting. To do so, click the dropdown menu beneath the Touchpad sensitivity option and choose your chosen level of sensitivity.
Nota bene: Occasionally, the ‘Most Sensitive’ setting incorrectly interprets accidental palm contact as taps. If this occurs, it is recommended that you select the ‘High Sensitive’ option.

How to Enable or Disable Windows 11 Scroll and Zoom Gestures
These gestures are enabled by default but are not configurable. However, Windows 11 enables you to disable these motions and customise the scrolling orientation. This is how:

By clicking the Settings icon in the Start menu or by pressing and holding the Windows + I keys, you can access Settings.
On the sidebar of the Settings window, click the Bluetooth & devices option.
After that, select the Touchpad option.
To view choices in the Touchpad settings, click Scroll & zoom.

By checking the checkbox beside the choices, you may turn off/on the Pinch to zoom and Drag two fingers to scroll options.

Additionally, you can select your favourite scrolling direction by clicking the dropdown menu on the Scrolling direction tile.

Note: If you disable the ‘Drag two fingers to scroll’ option, you must scroll using the scroll bars on the individual windows or your keyboard.

Associated: Enabling Two-Finger Scrolling on Windows Laptops

Three-Finger Gestures in Windows 11: How to Enable or Disable Them
In comparison to the other two gestures, three-finger gestures are more configurable, allowing you to construct swipes and taps to execute certain computing tasks. To activate this type of gesture, follow the instructions below:

To launch the Settings menu on your Windows 11 PC, press Win + I. Alternatively, you can use the Start menu to launch it.
Then, on the left panel of the Settings window, click the Bluetooth & devices option.
Following that, select Touchpad from the list.
Scroll down to the settings and select Three-finger motions. This gesture is classified into two categories: swipe and tap.

For the Swipe category, Windows includes the following templates:
Switch between applications and display the desktop (Default): Using the three-finger sideways swipe gesture, this templated gesture enables you to switch between apps. Additionally, you may access the Multitasking view by swiping up with your three fingers and reveal your desktop by sliding down.
Instead of switching programmes, this preset enables you to switch desktops using a three-finger sideways swipe gesture. The two three-finger gestures are identical to those in the preceding template.
Change audio and volume: This gesture template is great for folks who use their Windows device to frequently listen to music, podcasts, or edit videos. With this motion, you can adjust the volume using the three-finger up and down swipe gesture. Additionally, you may use the sideways three-finger swipe to navigate between the previous and next song in your queue.
To access the available Swipe gestures, click the dropdown menu in the Swipe section and choose your chosen option. If you select Nothing, this motion will be disabled on your Windows 11 PC.

Additionally, Windows includes pre-configured choices for the three-finger touch gesture. To select this option, click the dropdown menu in the Taps section and select the action you want. Additionally, you can enable this gesture by selecting Nothing from the dropdown menu.

How to Customize Windows 11’s Three-Finger Gestures
If the three-finger templated gestures are insufficient for your purposes, you can alter them. Windows 11 enables you to customise all three-finger gestures by assigning custom keyboard shortcuts or mouse actions. This is how:

Scroll down to the Advanced gestures option in the Touchpad settings.

Customize the three-finger gestures from the Advanced gestures panel.

Select the gesture you wish to alter from the Configure three-gestures option. For instance, suppose you want to alter the action of Tap. You can either select one of Windows’ pre-defined measurements or use the Custom shortcut option to bind a keyboard shortcut.

To create a custom shortcut, choose Custom shortcut from the menu.

Following that, click the Start recording button and then the keyboard shortcut for the gesture.

Click the Stop recording button after you see the keyboard shortcut displayed in the window. Alternatively, you can confirm the action by pressing and holding the Esc keys.
Rep steps 3–6 for each gesture to which you desire to assign a keyboard shortcut.
Utilize Windows 11’s Touchpad Gestures to Boost Productivity
While a standard mouse may be easier to control, you may utilise your touchpad to create gestures that are personalised to your specific needs. You can get more out of your Windows system by using touchpad gestures, especially when combined with other strong features in Windows 11.