How To Quickly Disable Touch Screen Input In Windows 8.1

Windows 8/8.1, the tiled Windows operating system, is designed for touchscreen. The lock screen, Start screen, Charms, and PC settings have specially been designed for touchscreen. Many experts feel that Windows 8 couldn’t succeed because it was primarily designed for touchscreen and failed to impress traditional PC users.

Those of you have used Windows 8/8.1 on a tablet would agree that the tiled operating system is just perfect for touch devices. With a doubt, it’s the first and only desktop operating system out there designed primarily for touchscreen.

Windows 8.1 update logo

Now, if you’re running Windows 8/8.1 on a touch device, you might want to temporarily disable the touch input (touch screen) so that you can use it as a laptop by connecting a pair of keyboard and mice to your device. As you have discovered by now, Windows 8/8.1 doesn’t include an option to disable the touch input or touch screen, and surprisingly, there is not even a single third-party tool to for this job.

Windows 8 Developer Preview, the first preview release of Windows 8 (which was released almost three years ago), did offer an option to disable the touch screen or touch input. In the Developer Preview, we could navigate to Pen and Touch settings located in the Control Panel to quickly disable the touch input or touch screen. For some reasons, Microsoft removed this option from Release Preview and RTM builds, making it difficult to disable the touch input in the tiled operating system.

If, for some reason, you want to disable the touch input in Windows 8/8.1, you can use the following workaround.

Warning: Once the touch input is disabled, you will need to use a pair of mice and keyboard to get your work done. Don’t attempt this method if you don’t have a keyboard or mice with you right now, as you need them in order to enable touch input.

Disabling touch input in Windows 8/8.1

Step 1: Open Device Manager. To do this, open the Search charm, type Device Manger, change search filter to Settings (if you can’t see the entry in the search result) and then tap Device Manager entry to launch the same.

Step 2: In the Device Manager window, expand Tab, and then expand Human Interface Devices.


Step 3: Right-click on the second entry titled HID-complaint device, click Disable and then click Yes button when you see a warning message saying that “Disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. Do you really want to disable it?” to disable the touch screen or touch input. That’s it!

disable touch input windows 8

If your touch screen is still working fine as it was before, right-click on all other HID-complaint device entries one after another and disable them as well.

To enable touch input again:

Step 1: Open Device Manager by following the steps mentioned above.

Step 2: Expand Tab, expand Human Interface Devices. Enable HID-complaint device one after another and enable them.



  1. Jon says

    all of a sudden my touchscreen is not working. All devices are enabled. Help?

  2. Gary Hayes says

    Was looking for a quick way to temporarily disable touch screen so I could clean it off without aggravating everything on the screen… guess I will just have to turn the computer off or open an app like alarm clock so I don’t accidentally delete things.

  3. Greg says

    cracked the glass on a dell inspiron 15 3537 which literally short circuits the touch functionality. It constantly gave false readings all over the screen. Even when I had a 2nd monitor, and disabling the laptop monitor it still would interfere with the 2nd monitor and open apps randomly. Dell wanted $290 to replace the lcd/digitizer/glass. I disabled HID-Compliant Touch Screen in device manager. cut up a spare screen protector to cover it from cracking further (I hope.) Now I can work again, even with the desktops extended. We’ll see how long this setup lasts.

  4. Octavian says

    Touchsreen in the laptops is such a gimmick. I used it for a week maybe than shut it off and never used ever since.

  5. Jodo says

    My daughter’s laptop touchscreen was having issues, so I thought disabling it would allow us to use the touchpad or just a mouse instead. When I disabled the first device on the list, it wanted me to restart. Upon restarting, the touchscreen worked fine! Maybe something was conflicting with it? Whatever; I’m happy now. Thanks for the tip!

  6. bobby says

    I have been using a touchscreen Windows 8 notebook all the time for the past year and a half, and it never once occurred to me there could be any utility to turning off the touchscreen.

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