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How To Temporarily Disable The Touch Screen In X1 Carbon

I know, why would anyone want to do that?

Scott properly predicted:

Don’t knock a touchscreen until you’ve used one. Every laptop should (and will) have a touch screen in a year. Mark my words.

And surely, less than a year later, the X1 Carbon (an amazing ultrabook for sure) has a touch model. And as of today, the price difference for the touch screen is a ridiculous $30 (actually $24 with a “back to school” coupon right now ;) ):


So why would you NOT get it?

I know for some it works great. Now, let’s get real about touch *for a developer* for a minute. About 99.9% of my time in front of my laptop I’m either using Visual Studio or Chrome. I have my hands on the keyboard ALL THE TIME. I use the trackpoint ALL THE TIME. If I want to scroll, I only have to slightly move my fingers. I don’t click around much on pages: I READ them. So, in a few months of using the X1, I think I touched the screen like 10 times, and it was mostly to clear dust, which drives whatever app is in focus crazy. Plus, at home I have this simple setup:


Built-in laptop speakers will NEVER sound like the amazing Jawbone Jambox does. So I want mine right in front of me. And I love the fact that the X1 can fold flat so I can use all its hardware BUT the screen.

However, that speaker there causes all sorts of craziness if music is too loud as it triggers the touch input, even if I’ve told Windows I’m only using the external monitor (I get it that I’m telling that for *display* purposes).

So after searching a while, I found in a forum post a way to temporarily disable touch on the X1: just disable the single USB Input Device from the  Human Interface Devices category in the Device Manager:


Now if I ever want to do with a laptop one of those things tablets are used for, I may turn it back on. Or if I get to actually build such an app for Windows 8 :) .

And no, I don’t want a touch enabled version of VS or Chrome. I don’t need big thumb-sized Back/Reload/Whatever buttons that I use once in a blue moon :P





  1. Great article. If you are developing touch applications (Windows Store), then having the touch capability is almost essential. For regular dev work, touch is useless, I agree. If you find yourself doing a lot of design-like work (blend, update pictures in Photoshop etc.), then you want your laptop to support a real digitizer as well. In addition to making handwritten input work – think OneNote – using a pen to draw UI removes the indirection of the mouse, which I find quite useful. The microsoft Surface (non-rt) has both touch and digitizer. That machine is not that great for development for other reasons.

  2. Thank you – it works, simple and easy.

  3. Hi,
    Incidentally my device list had three HID USD devices O_o
    (one BT mouse but the third one???)
    I switched them all off / on one by one and finally found the screen and left it switched off.
    Thanks for the tip, it worked nicely!

  4. So, well over a year later…and guess what? Touch screen laptops are not prominent as you originally thought. I did ‘mark your words’….still very few touch enable laptops. Touch screens have a place on tactile interfaces, not laptop or full displays. Tablets, phones, etc are the correct place for touch interfaces.