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My laptop (MSI) touchpad drivers seem quite faulty. Some intentional hard tap events are blocked unless the touchpad is set to highest sensitivity, and when set so, constant phantom touches occur during typing. I cannot even see where the touch occurs, so the sensitivity is over the top. How can I block edges of the touchpad from being touched? I tried covering it with many materials, but the capacitance of my touch is detected through paper, leather, tape, plastic, nylon webbing, and nearly everything I tried. (I'm posting this question and answer as I finally found a convenient solution.)

Note: the driver is Synaptic, but the settings either do not work or cause undesirable side effects (like taps being blocked while I'm holding another key).

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  • Any chance your problem is hardware related? A swollen battery caused similar problems with both my trackpad and a friend's. Some problems with response, sensitivity, and noise (as you have described) have been traced to the screen connections failure.
    – Stan
    Oct 9 '20 at 15:18
  • @Stan That sounds plausible and concerning. Yet it's hard to tell, since the problem started after a Windows update removed my driver (as usual) and I was unable to reinstall it with quite the same software and settings as before. There have been no phantom touches since I blocked a part of the touchpad. Might that indicate it's not due to physical pressure?
    – piojo
    Oct 10 '20 at 3:41
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I found that polyethylene foam blocks touches, even when in a very thin layer (< 1 mm). This is a firm but soft (closed cell) translucent foam sometimes used to protect packages. I planned to attach it using a spray adhesive like 3M Super 77 (spraying on the foam but not the computer), but realized mounting tape would stick without an adhesive. I covered the right side of the touchpad with a strip of 2 mm thick foam-backed mounting tape, then covered the sticky top of the tape with a piece of paper cut to size. (After a couple days, the feel is slightly annoying. I may redo the job with the tape's edges beveled, then dusted with corn starch rather than covered by paper. Or I may use thinner foam as originally intended.)

If this were a computer that would be seen by clients, I would seek a self adhesive foam sheet the same color as the laptop.

This hack is assuming warranty service isn't available, that the warranty does not cover faulty driver, or that the touchpad is so off center that its defects cannot be overcome by the driver.

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