A large number of Chromebook owners are reporting touchpad issues after updating their devices to Chrome OS 35, released to the stable channel last week.
The majority of issues centre specifically on the ‘tap to click’ feature that Chrome OS has enabled by default.
Following the OS upgrade, a small number of users have reported that it no longer works correctly, with the touchpad often failing to register the tap.
With most Chromebooks having a ‘mechanical’ click button as part of their touchpads the change might sound trivial.
But one of those affected is an ICT admin who manages 700 Chromebooks at a school in the USA. His experience underlines the impact that a regression such as this can have:
“Im (sic) only posting here because I am seeing people claim this is a hardware issue. I am ICT at a school with 700 Chromebooks. Monday morning we had 50 kids lined up with trackpad problems after the update that came through.”
Bug Out on Beta, But Stop on Stable
While bugs and regressions are not common on beta builds the potential for them is there, so for such a major regression to slip into the stable channel is highly unusual.
Based on concerns raised here, on the official Google support forum and other places, only Chrome OS 35 on stable and beta channels are affected. And although some have suggested that a sudden bout of hardware failure is to blame, the fact that the issues are not confined to one specific make, model or manufacturer implies otherwise.
What To Do If You’re Affected
My best advice for anyone experiencing issues (many have tried the ‘clean wipe, disable all extensions’ routine to little avail) is to send a report to Google. You can do this by pressing Alt + Shift + I.
In the meantime, one Chrome user has hit upon a potential workaround that solves the issue, temporarily, for some:
- Go to Settings > Touchpad Settings panel when affected by the issue
- Remove the check next to “Enable tap-to-click”
- Click to replace the check next to “Enable tap-to-click”
- Click OK
Andrea Mesterhazy, the Chrome OS Community Manager says Google are aware of and actively investigating the issues raised.
Update May 30: We’ve heard from a Google source that affected users can expect to receive an update solving the issues by the middle of next week.