Learn Windows 10's touchpad gestures for laptops

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Credit: Rob Schultz

Microsoft changed Windows for the better when it introduced trackpad gestures in Windows 8. The new gestures made controlling your PC a far more fluid experience, helping you get things done more efficiently without the need for mouse-like buttons at the top of the touch area.

In Windows 10, Microsoft improved on Windows 8's foundation. Beyond integrating existing gestures, the company added new touch controls and dumped items that wouldn’t make any sense in Windows 10, like swiping in from the right edge for the Charms bar (since Windows 10 doesn't have a Charms bar). 

The only requirement for using these gestures is that you have a precision touchpad, so some older laptops won’t be able to use them.

If you’re not sure if your touchpad supports gestures, open the Settings app and go to Devices > Mouse & touchpad. Under the “Touchpad” heading it will say “Your PC has a precision touchpad” if you can swipe and tap instead of clicking.

  • Select an item: Tap on the touchpad
  • Scroll: Place two fingers on the touchpad and slide horizontally or vertically
  • Zoom in and out: Place two fingers on the touchpad and pinch in or stretch out.
  • Right-click: Tap the touchpad with two fingers, or press on the bottom right corner
  • Open Task View: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe up (away from you).
  • Show desktop: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe down (towards you). Reverse the movement to get all your windows to return.
  • Switch between open windows: Place three fingers on the touchpad and swipe right or left (this is the same as pressing Alt + Tab).
  • Drag an open window: Double-tap and then drag from the title bar
  • Open Cortana: Tap the touchpad with three fingers. If you’d rather this gesture opened Action Center instead, you can change this default in Settings > Devices > Mouse & touchpad.

This story, "Learn Windows 10's touchpad gestures for laptops" was originally published by PCWorld.