After installing the 2017 FALL CREATORS UPDATE (Version 1709). I experienced the following severe problem, which rendered the touchpad of my XPS15 9550 (all Dell updates, including the most recent BIOS update, installed; Win10 Home, 64-bit) almost unusable.
Definitions of terms used below:
Tapping = weakly hitting the touchpad, not resulting in a clicking sound
Clicking = strongly pressing the touchpad, resulting in a clicking sound
Before installation of the Fall Creators update:
I used the index finger of the right hand to move the mouse pointer towards and onto its target (button/tab/text field/text/figure etc.) and the indexfinger of the left hand to click (see definition above) on the target. This worked perfectly fine irrespective of the position on the touchpad where I performed the click. That was a very comfortable way of working. Importantly, it did not require to remove the right index finger from the touchpad before clicking with the left index finger.
After installation of the Fall Creators update:
Clicking with the left index finger in any area other than the one covering the few square cm area directly above the left half of the lower edge of the touchpad (i.e. what is defined as a virtual left “mouse button”) while keeping the right index finger on the touchpad* now opens the CONTEXT MENU of whatever application one uses!
* As stated below, inactivating “Use two fingers for right click” does NOT change that behaviour.
After uninstalling the Fall Creators update:
Everything works fine again, exactly the same way it used to work before I had installed the update.
Imagine you want to fill in a text field: You move the pointer to the text field with the right index finger and then click into the text field with the left index finger with the intention of activating the text field (which allows you to fill in text). However, instead the text field getting activated the context menu opens!
Or imagine you want to place the cursor at a certain position in a document, where you want to insert text – but instead of placing the cursor you inadvertently open the context menu!
Or imagine you want to switch to another tab in your browser, but instead of activating the tab by clicking on it you open the tab’s context menu.
That is highly annoying and is strongly disturbing the work flow as it happens hundreds of times per day.
There are three ways to circumvent that annoying behaviour, all of which are cumbersome:
1. To remove the right index finger from the touchpad before clicking with the left index finger; however, that interrupts the workflow, resulting in a delay, and is non-ergonomic.
2. To restrict clicking with the left index finger to the few square centimeters above the left half of the lower edge of the touchpad. However, that is again non-ergonomic (since it requires additional movements on the touchpad) and disturbs workflow. Moreover, that area is not physically separated from the rest of the touchpad; accordingly, the context menu will still open if the area is only slightly missed.
3. Tapping instead of clicking: Weirdly, the problem occurs only when CLICKING with the left index finger but not when TAPPING with the left index finger:
If keeping the right index finger (used to place the pointer on the target) on the touchpad and then CLICKING with the left index finger on the target, the context menu opens.
By contrast, when keeping the right index finger (used to place the pointer on the target) on the touchpad and TAPPING with the left index finger on the target, the target gets correctly ‘selected’. However, that makes the clicking ability of the touchpad useless and requires an extra lifting of the right index finger and is thus non-ergonomic or at least uncomfortable for those who generally prefer to click rather than to tap when using a touchpad.
- The problem cannot be resolved by changing any of the settings offered in Windows settings/Devices/Mouse & Touchpad (especially, modifying the “use a two finger tap for right click” option does not help); I tried every combination logically conceivable.
- I scanned the registry for “Precision” and for “touchpad” using RegScanner; however, none of the touchpad-related registry settings seems to be related to the problem described above.
This issue makes working with the touchpad cumbersome and renders the touchpad almost unusable for some users. Moreover, the altered touchpad behaviour does not make any sense, since it has no obvious advantage. Finally, the distinction between clicking and tapping does not make sense either.
In consequence, I switched back to the previous Windows version. However, I am afraid that one can not avoid installing the 2017 Fall Creators update later on. Therefore, I would be grateful if someone at Dell would tackle that extremely annoying issue.
Thank you very much in advance for your advice.