So you want to use a monitor as a second screen for your Windows tablet. No problem, just plug the monitor into an HDMI or USB port on your mobile device and your screen will be mirrored. Want to use the second screen as an extended display? Window supports that too.

There’s just one problem: how do you actually interact with that second screen using just your touchscreen tablet? Up until now you had to plug in a keyboard, mouse, or other accessories.

But the latest Insider Preview build of Windows 10 provides a new solution: a virtual touchpad.

w10-virtual-touchpad

If you’re running Windows 10 Build 14965 on a PC, all you have to do is connect an external monitor or TV, open the Action Center, and choose the “Project” option to extend your display rather than mirroring it.

Then long-press the taskbar and choose the “show touchpad button” to add a new icon to the notification area. Tap that icon, and a virtual trackpad will load, letting you tap, swipe, left-click, or right-click.

This could make it easier to, for example, use your tablet to watch a video on TV while surfing the web on the tablet itself… while still being able to use the virtual touchpad to pause, play, or skip around the video running on the external display.

Other updates in Build 14965 include improvements to Sticky Notes and Windows Ink Workspace, and a bunch of bug fixes. You can find more details at the Windows Experience blog.

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2 replies on “Windows 10 gets a virtual touchpad: Control external monitor from a tablet”

  1. what about using the tablet screen as a full touch pad, can that be possible?

  2. Slick. Microsoft still does kinda nice things every once in a while. Still doesn’t change my position, but I like that they’re pushing progress in some areas, at least.

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