In Elementary OS 0.4 Loki, the default behavior is to disable the touchpad while typing. However, this is undesired, especially while playing games. I want to be able to type and use the touchpad at the same time.

I checked the Settings app, and found nothing to disable this undesired functionality.

How do I enable the touchpad while typing?

2 Answers 2


TLDR You can enable touchpad (that is disable auto-disable) with xinput set-prop DEVICE PROP 0 where you can check for your device ID and prop ID with xinput and xinput get-props DEVICE respectively.

Let's explain this a little bit: there is a new interface to do this in elementary OS 0.4 Loki xinput. In a terminal window you should look for your touchpad device:

user@machine:~$  xinput
⎡ Virtual core pointer                          id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad                id=14   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                         id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]

In my case the device id is 14, so now you can get its properties

user@machine:~$ xinput list-props 14
Device 'SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad':
    Device Enabled (154):   1
    libinput Disable While Typing Enabled (314):    1
    libinput Disable While Typing Enabled Default (315):    1

The prop ID is 314 (and it is set to 1 that is, auto-disable is turned on) so now we can set disable this feature:

user@machine:~$ xinput set-prop 14 314 0
  • Very helpful, and explained very well! This ought to be in the settings app.
    – acer
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 22:53

If you have a Synaptic Touchpad with synclient installed you can use :

synclient TouchpadOff=0

0 = enabled 1 = disabled 2 = disabled while typing

source : https://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/touchpad#activerdesactiver_le_pave_tactile (french)

  • This might not work under elementary 0.4 Loki
    – lemonslice
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 21:19
  • Solved my day, hope that this is now a stable solution.
    – mliebelt
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 8:04

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