Microsoft built Windows 10 with touchscreens in mind, but there are times when you want to use an external monitor with a touchscreen device. You will soon be able to do that without having to use a mouse thanks to Windows 10’s new virtual touchpad.
If you have a touchscreen Windows 10 device — like a Surface Pro tablet — plugging it into an external monitor gives you more room to be productive. The only problem is, you need to add a mouse and keyboard if you want that monitor to extend your desktop and not just mirror it.
Soon, you won’t actually need a physical mouse. Windows 10 build 14965, which is available now to registered Insiders, adds a virtual touchpad that lets you control content on an external display from your touchscreen device.
“Use it just like you would a physical touchpad to control content on the connected screen,” Microsoft explains.
“To enable it, press and hold on the taskbar and select “Show touchpad button”. A touchpad icon will now appear in the notification area (just like Windows Ink Workspace does), and tapping on it will bring it up the virtual touchpad.”
Not just for external displays
The touchpad won’t just be useful for external displays, either. There are times when you need the precision of a mouse on a touchscreen device, and the touchpad allows you to get that when all you have to interact with your Windows 10 device is your fingertips.
In addition to the touchpad, build 14965 brings an improved Sticky Notes app, Windows Ink Workplace enhancements, a better address bar in the Registry Editor, and more. You can get your hands on it now if you’re a Windows Insider.