Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got a Samsung Notebook (NP-QX412-S01AU) with a touchpad / clickpad. I'm running 12.04 Precise. When I first log into my computer, the touchpad behaves exactly as expected and desired. The longer I stay logged in, it slowly degrades. I'll try describe it.

There are 3 ways of "dragging" on this clickpad:

  1. (Physical) click and hold with one finger, and drag around while still holding it down. All with one finger.
  2. (Physical) Click and hold with one finger, then with another finger drag around to move cursor.
  3. Double tap (not a physical click) and on the second tap, hold and drag.

I most naturally use option 1, but here's how it works:

  • When I first turn on, options 1, 2 and 3 all work.
  • After a while, only options 2 and 3 work.
  • Later still, only option 3 works.
  • Restarting X causes all 3 to work again.

I've compared the output of "synclient" in each of the states, and there was no difference. Anybody know what to look at?

Or at the very least, a command I can run to "restart" the mouse driver without restarting X?

share|improve this question
Try modprobe -r psmouse then modprobe psmouse proto=imps. This could cause Unity to crash but it restarts right away and everything is back to normal in a few seconds. This is what I do to enable the touchpad when it's not working on login. This has been happening to me on Ubuntu 12.04 and on 11.10. – Marky Jun 27 '12 at 6:22
Thanks! That takes care of the "restart" trick. I'll leave the question open in case anyone comes up with an actual solution, but this is great for now. Much appreciated! – Jason O'Neil Jun 28 '12 at 1:32

From the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t), run the following command:

sudo modprobe -r psmouse && sudo modprobe psmouse proto=imps

Synaptic touchpad on laptop not working

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the comment. For me I haven't had the problem in so long that I can't reproduce it to check if your solution works, which I suppose is a good problem to have :) I hope your answer helps someone else though, so I'm giving it an upvote. – Jason O'Neil Mar 6 '13 at 3:31
This fixed the left click and drag issue with my dell 7537. Cheers. :) – ditto May 5 '14 at 11:44
If I leave off proto=imps, I don't lose multitouch. Thanks! – Mike Apr 28 '15 at 20:06
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Answering my own question in case anyone has the same problem.

The solution mentioned in the comment by Marky did get the touchpad to drag/drop again, but it prevented any multi-touch from working, so 2 Finger Scroll, 2 Finger Right Click etc stopped working. While using Unity 2D I kept restarting Xorg (log out, log back in) whenever I had issues with the mouse.

The fix in the end was unexpected: upgrading to Unity 3D. I have not had the problem since switching. I assume something in Unity 2D's suspend/resume calls is breaking the touchpad functionality.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.