My fairly new laptop with Windows 8 seems to have a mind of its own. I can
be typing an email and suddenly the scroll bar goes off at 90 miles an hour
down the page and I lose everything. I’ve looked in drafts, deleted, etc. but
it hasn’t ended up there. So I have to start all over again trying to remember
what I had written previously. Please can you help stop this frustrating
In this excerpt from
Answercast #98 I look at some problems with a new Windows 8 laptop suddenly
scrolling the screen while typing.
Screen suddenly scrolling
So there are a couple of things that come to mind right away. First off, if it’s scrolling down the page, scroll back up. What you were typing may still be there.
I’m not sure exactly why you’re losing anything if the page is simply scrolling down. And you notice it soon enough so that you’re not typing into some random place. So that’s the very first thing I would think of. Immediately scroll back to where your typing was happening – and see if it isn’t all still there.
Why the screen scrolls
Now, as to why the scrolling is happening? There can be many, many different reasons for this. By far, by far, the most common (especially since you indicate you’re using a laptop, a relatively new laptop) is that people’s palms can touch the touch pad while typing.
If your hands are held kind of low, and something brushes against the touch pad, the computer may interpret that as a mouse click. A mouse click is movement. It moves your screen around.
Touchpad shortcut strokes
In fact if it’s scrolling down, there are actually other things that you could be doing on the touch pad that could cause things to scroll down and scroll down rapidly.
Keystrokes for scrolling
The other thing that comes to mind is to be extra careful when you’re typing – and I say that because many of the page movement commands are available as keystrokes.
So, if you end up typing something like, I don’t know, page down (or something close to the page down key) but you hit accidentally Control Page Down – then all of a sudden you’re telling the program to scroll to the bottom of the page.
That sounds like what might be happening here.
And there are other keystrokes. Before I go too far I should say that there are other keystrokes that involve letters that may, very well, result in odd unexpected movement. If for some reason you accidentally happen to have the Control key pressed, or the Shift key pressed, or the Alt key pressed, or any combination of those, the screen could move.
So that’s something else that I would be extra careful of.
But by far, my money is on the track pad. It may be perhaps a little too sensitive. Or perhaps your fingers are somehow brushing against it and somehow confusing the program into doing some movement that you’re not expecting.
One thing you light look at is in Control Panel, under Mouse, there may be an option to either change the sensitivity of the track pad or disable it completely.
What I would recommend you do is disable the trackpad completely. At least as a test to see if the problem goes away. If the problem does go away, then you know that the problem is somehow related specifically to the track pad – either brushing against it, or it’s simply too sensitive.
Now I do have to say that this is a device specific Control Panel option; not all laptops, not all track pads have the ability to disable them. I’ve heard of people taping a piece of cardboard over the track pad, temporarily, to make sure that nothing is touching it. Those are the kinds of things to try to see if you can’t rule this out.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)