Using a mouse? Here’s how to disable the trackpad on your Chromebook

Admittedly, I rarely use a mouse with my Chromebooks. Instead, whether it’s my Pixel Slate (which is on sale early for Black Friday), Acer Chromebook Spin 13 or the Pixelbook Go, I rely on the trackpad.

Over the weekend, however, a reader emailed me asking if it was possible to disable the trackpad on a Chromebook. He says:

“When I’m doing ‘serious’ work, I use a mouse and touchscreen.  As a touch typist, the grazing the trackpad throw things off.”

There’s no Chrome OS setting to disable the trackpad, but there is a way to do it in three simple steps:

  1. Go to chrome://flags/#ash-debug-shortcuts in your browser and enable this setting if it’s not already enabled.
  2. Restart your browser when prompted.
  3. Use the keyboard combination of Search + Shift + P to diable (or reenable) the trackpad.

That’s it. I first tested this with my trusty old Tastykake mouse and the Pixel Slate running Chrome OS 79 Dev Channel. I also verified that this works on the Pixelbook Go running Chrome OS 78 Stable Channel, so it should work with just about any current Chromebook.

However, bear in mind that the enabled flag is experimental, meaning: Google could remove it at any time in the future. And if that happens, you’ll likely lose the ability to disable your Chromebook trackpad. For now, it works, so break out that mouse if you want to. You don’t have to worry about grazing that trackpad accidentally.

About the author

Kevin C. Tofel has covered technology since 2004. He's used ChromeOS since Google debuted the CR-48 in 2010, reviewing dozens of Chromebooks since then. He worked for Google's Chrome Enterprise team from 2016 to 2017, supporting the launch of Android app support. In his free time, he uses Chromebooks to learn software engineering at Launch School. In 2019, Kevin joined the CS Curriculum Committee at his local community college.

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5 thoughts on “Using a mouse? Here’s how to disable the trackpad on your Chromebook

  1. What is diable and reenable? I think maybe you mean disable and re-enable. Maybe you should re-enable autocorrect. Lol

  2. “Enable this setting” lol what a terrible article. There’s hundreds of settings in there, maybe list exactly the NAME of the setting we’re looking for? Also approx how far down this gargantuan list it might be found? I can’t find it anywhere on my pixel book

  3. just tested on Pixelbook Go this does not work. Search + Shift + P just types a P in the search window, after disabling the setting you mentioned.

  4. Thanks, this worked correctly running cloudready on an x220
    Switched off trackpad but allowed trackpoint to work fine.

  5. Appreciate this. Unfortunately, it did not work on ASUS Ux31 running CloudReady (94.4.4 (Home Build) stable-channel 64-bit). Cheers!

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