In this post, I discuss ways to try to do it. There are various ones. Removing the numberpad driver (NOT the touchpad's driver) from Windows Device Manager seemed at first the best way, but it proved to be temporary. Others later proposed various ways to try to remove it permanently, but those don't seem to work, either.
TLDR; See below for how to do that if you may prefer to cut to the chase, but interested readers may want to understand a few things first, like what I mean by the Numberpad feature, and the problem that may prompt folks to seek how to disable it, as well as other solutions that I found had been proposed (even before I wrote this post) but also did not work. Then I conclude with what has, for me (so far).
About the Feature
First, let's talk about the NumPad feature itself, for context.
The feature is found on many modern Asus laptops whose keyboard lacks a full numeric keypad on the right. (I have it on a ZenBook, but I've read of it existing on VivoBook, ExpertBook, StudioBook, and even ROG Strix and perhaps Tuf models--though I also have one each of those and they do NOT have it.) See the image provided here.
It's a "virtual" numeric keypad within your touchpad that can be enabled optionally with a button in the top right of the touchpad. Asus calls the feature "NumberPad". You can learn more about it at the Asus web site FAQ on the feature.
How to enable/disable it on-demand
It's designed so that you can use it when you want, and then disable it. You simply tap the icon (a virtual button) on the top right of the touchpad to enable/disable the display of the Numberpad. When you enable it, the numeric keyboard lights up within the touchpad, which is helpful for those who need to do numerical data entry, etc.
Note that even when the numpad is enabled, you can still use the touchpad for typical mouse movements and tapping, which is especially clever. But some folks find the touchpad mouse movements to NOT be as good an experience as when this feature is DISABLED.
Again, to disable the numberpad, you simply long-press the same image/virtual button, and the numberpad no longer appears.
The problem of accidentally enabling it
The problem is that it's very easy to brush that button to enable it. Granted, to turn it off, you just have to long-press the button. But it gets annoying if you find it happening often.
The annoyance is that there doesn't seem any feature built-in to the hardware or any Asus software to disable the feature.
Trying to disable the Asus Numberpad "permanently"
Perhaps like me you don't really need a numeric keyboard at all, and so you may prefer to just disable the Numberpad permanently. (Perhaps you bought the machine not for that feature but for other features of the machine.)
As I searched the web (and the Asus site) for any explanation of how to permanently disable it, I found various suggestions (see below.) But none worked well for me, or didn't work permanently.
And when I first wrote this post, I shared my first attempted solution which I THOUGHT would be permanent...
My first attempt: remove it from Device Manager
Here's what I shared here first: using Windows Device Manager to remove the feature. I thought it was the best solution, but it turned out that on a Windows update the feature was restored.
I leave that manual approach here for posterity, but most folk will want to try a more permanent fix, below (and which doesn't require you make these manual Device Manager changes).
Of course, anytime you manipulate any system features you are taking a risk. I am simply sharing what had worked at first for me. I cannot accept any responsibility for your taking the following actions
Here are the steps I shared originally (though, again, these did not ultimately prove to remain enabled, so see the solution I am preferring for now, below). I merely offer these for posterity/tracking the evolution of this effort:
- In the searchbox on the TaskBar, type device manager, and then select it from the Windows menu
- In the device manager interface, select Keyboards , then ASUS Number Pad
- Right-click that (as I point to with the second, red arrow), and choose "uninstall device"
Don't worry that doing this will disable the entire touchpad. That is a separate "device" (see "Human Interface Devices" within Device Manager and its "ASUS Precision Touchpad" (as I note in the screenshot, with the first, green arrow). We will NOT remove that.
- A popup will appear, and you will WANT to check the option "Delete the driver software for this device", otherwise the removal will last only until a restart of the machine
You may notice that I put the words "permanently" in quotes in first the section title and other references above. That's because even as I wrote this post originally (in Dec 2020), I feared that even though deleting the driver this way would indeed cause the feature to be removed then and even after a reboot of my laptop, it was possible that some future Windows, ASUS, or bios update may add the feature back.
And sure enough, days after I posted this, I DID find that the numberpad had indeed re-enabled itself (the button "worked" again and it appeared in device manager). I updated the post here and kept looking for still-more "permanent" ways to keep it uninstalled. And others shared ideas in comments below, some of which worked but again only temporarily.
After that, I share what seems to be working best for me.
"Solutions" that are NOT solutions
Even before writing this post, as I went seeking a solution I found many resources on the web where others wanting to disable this feature went looking and asking about how to do it. Before anyone reading this post may want to propose these other various "solutions", I want to clarify here first ones that definitely do NOT solve the problem:
- First, many folks trying to "help" point out how (as I discuss above) you can "just click the button on the top right of the touchpad", but the issue is that that's not permanent
- Again, some of us just want to disable it permanently, never needing a numeric keypad (or perhaps having an external one or external keyboard)
- Next, many folks trying to "help" confuse the discussion with instead another feature available in some other keyboards: an embedded numeric keypad WITHIN THE MAIN KEYBOARD (such as discussed here) or perhaps even the numeric keypad on the right of many keyboards
- And of course those sort of numeric keyboards can be disabled by clicking the numlock key (or perhaps fn-numlock)
- But the Asus laptops with this NumberPad discussed here (embedded in the touchpad) do not HAVE such a numlock at all, so that's not the solution
- Then some point out how of course one can disable the entire touchpad, such as with a hotkey on the keyboard like f6 or fn-f6
- But again that's not the "solution" to disabling the Numberpad feature, as someone may STILL want to use the touchpad otherwise
A third-party solution that might suit some readers
Some folks had helpfully point out (elsewhere and in comments below) how an autohotkey script could disable the numlock key on any keyboard (and perhaps even an internal "virtual" one as this Numberpad might be considered).
See such third-party tools as autohotkey, powertoys, sharpkeys, and more (including some others mentioned in comments below).
Such a solution may well work for you, but some readers (myself included) may not want to bother with installing or relying on such software, especially if only for this one problem--and perhaps all the more if the solution I offer below (relying on no installation of any software) may suffice for them.
And if you read along with the many (many) comments that others have offered, they proposed still other solutions. None really worked well for me (even trying PowerToys and Sharpkeys), to "prevent" the key from working.
Actually, one suggestion did almost work, and it led me to what is for now my preferred solution, coming up just after this last one.
What *almost* worked for me: a scheduled task to remove the numpad driver on startup
Commenter "Forrest Gump" shared below what may seem a cumbersome solution, of creating a Windows scheduled task. He set it to run "on startup", but a problem I found is that often the driver was re-enabled EVEN AFTER STARTUP, so this "worked" but was a hassle to "run again" One would typically open the Task Scheduler, find the task, and manually "run" it. If you're interested to consider what he offered (which takes just a few steps to implement), see his comment below.
[Update: On June 17, commenter Philippe Petit shared that he had gotten things working by setting up the task not ONLY on "on startup" but also on login, unlock, and nightly. That's worked well for him, and it may suit others who want to try that. BTW, for those old enough to recognize his name, I have no idea if he may be THAT Philippe Petit! :-) He gained infamy for walking a tight-rope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.]
What's finally worked for me: a shortcut to remove the numpad driver, on startup or on-demand
Instead of relying on that scheduled task approach from the helpful comment from Forrest (which seemed not to really work on startup as expected, and was a little challenging to run on-demand, both of which I discussed in a follow-up comment), I realized that we could just instead create a Windows shortcut executing the very command Forrest offered in that scheduled task.
Then we could put that shortcut in the Windows folders that a) hold programs to execute on startup, and then also b) that hold programs that could be executed easily from the Windows "Start" menu.
So those are a couple of different steps: create the shortcut (confirming it works), and then place it where it can be easily used.
Creating the shortcut
So first, how to create the shortcut? I realize some readers may never have created a Windows shortcut. You can do it easily from Windows File Explore. (Click the Windows Start menu in the bottom left, type the word explorer, and open "File Explorer".)
Now, change that to point to any folder you can write into (like for example your Windows "documents" folder). Then click the Home menu, then choose "new item", then "shortcut".
That will offer two prompts, the first being: "Type the location of the item".
In that field, enter the key information from Forrest's comment below. He shows how to find the identifier for the numberpad device driver, and then he uses a command to "remove" that. What I'm saying is to use that same command and info, but put it in a shortcut instead, in that "location" field.
In my case, the value I entered was:
%windir%\System32\pnputil.exe /remove-device "HID\ASUE140A&COL04\4&15DD5162&0&0003"
(Don't worry about the %windir% value. Windows will sort out that value for you.)
As for that value in quotes, you need to make sure you get the right value for you, per the couple of steps in Forrest's comment. here's his key first step. Read his comment for a bit more context:
"1) Get the instance id of the device: Devices Manager -> Keyboards -> [right click on device] -> Properties -> Details -> Device Instance Path. You can right-click to copy that "path" (more like an ID) to the clipboard."
Then the shortcut creation process will ask you to simply give a name the shortcut. I just called mine, "disable numpad".
That will create the shortcut, in the folder you started in (I had proposed your Windows "documents" folder, above.)
One last thing: for the command to actually work, the shortcut must "run as administrator". To do that, right-click on the shortcut, choose "properties", and from the "shortcut" tab you will be on, choose the "Advanced" button, then choose "Run as administrator". Then click "ok" and "ok". (If you are not able to choose the "Run as administrator", it could be that your user account is configured in a way that this cannot be done. In that case, this "final option" I am describing will not work for you.)
Next we should check to make sure it works. First, enable the number pad (so it lights up on your mousepad). Then, since you're in the folder where you created the shortcut, just double-click on it. If it works, the number pad should turn off. If it does not, double check your steps above.
Where to put the shortcut?
Finally, while you could certainly just go to your documents folder and run that shortcut whenever you wanted to, that won't help disable the numberpad on startup, and in case the numberpad gets re-enabled after startup, running the shortcut from that folder takes a few steps.
So first, as for putting the shortcut somewhere that it will get executed upon each Windows startup, I found that I could put it in this folder:
If you try to go there and find you cannot, it may be a permissions issue. Take off the right-most folder name and see if you can then get into the folder. At some point, you may get a Windows prompt asking you to confirm that you should be given access to that folder. (Windows has some built-in protections that hides even your own folders from you.) After accepting that prompt, you should then be able to enter the rest of the folders I've listed above by double-clicking on each. Then finally, you can copy (or cut) and paste the shortcut from your documents folder into this Startup folder.
That will cause Windows to execute that shortcut on each restart.
Then second, if you want to be able to easily execute the shortcut from the Windows menu, copy the shortcut into the Programs folder right above the Startup one above. Now, you should find that when you click the Windows Start menu, and start typing the shortcut name (the word "disable", without quotes, in my case), then Windows should show it as something you can now just click on. (If you don't see it right away, it may take a minute for Windows to properly detect and register the fact that you placed that shortcut in that folder.)
As for why Windows doesn't present names of files that are in that Startup folder, one level down, I can't explain. But it did not for me (Windows 10, Version 20H2. But don't worry if you may not yet have updated to that recent Windows version, as I write. The steps I discuss here have worked with Windows for years.)
If you do somehow still struggle, write a comment below and I or others here will try to help.
I hope that you find that this solution above works for you, as it has for me.
But it sure would be nice if Asus would just offer us a simple means to disable it, or to swap the behavior so that it takes a LONG-press to enable it and then a quick one to disable it. From the number of people annoyed by this feature, either option would seem a great future improvement.
Finally, a Linux user may wonder why I am showing only the solution for Windows. My understanding is that the Asus Numberpad feature is only available on Windows devices. If it ever is offered for Linux, the same concept (of removing the device from the OS) would apply.
If you have another idea or feedback, please comment below.
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