Asus Laptop Left Click Button
October 21, 2012 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Hi! I can't use the left click button on my Asus A53E laptop anymore. Do you smart computer folk have any suggestions to help me get back on track? I can use an external mouse just fine, and I can use the right click button on the laptop just fine. It's the left click button on the laptop that's the problem, and I can't get it to respond in any way. I have restored my settings to last week, and it still won't work. Thank you very kindly for any suggestions.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Based on previous experience with a different laptop, maybe the button/trackpad assembly needs cleaning or possibly replacing.
posted by carter at 7:24 AM on October 21, 2012

Those buttons wear out, sometimes sooner, usually later. It is highly likely (if the rest of the trackpad seems to work fine) that the left button has simply worn out and needs to be replaced.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:25 AM on October 21, 2012

Well, darn. I opened it up and cleaned it and it still doesn't work. This "replacing" you speak of - I assume this is one of those things where you take the laptop to a computer shop?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:41 AM on October 21, 2012

It's probably worn out, but I can't advise as to where you should go, sorry. Would you consider remapping the buttons so that you can use the right click button instead, and click and hold (or ctrl-click*) for the usual right click options? This would probably be in Control Panel.

*might be something else, I haven't used a bona fide computer in months. But it should be possible IIRC.
posted by undue influence at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2012

I am not happy with futzing with hardware, so this is what I personally would do. Again in my experience, the shop should take your explanation of the problem, and then run their own diagnostics, and then give you an answer and a quote for repair.
posted by carter at 8:04 AM on October 21, 2012

I have the exact same model of laptop and had the same problem about a year ago. The problem lasted for a few weeks and then resolved itself.
posted by cincinnatus c at 8:08 AM on October 21, 2012

undue influence: That actually works, sort of. I can now use the right click button as the left click button, but for some reason can't flip between Chrome tabs. But this is definitely better.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:09 AM on October 21, 2012

cincinnatus c: You give me hope!! Fingers crossed.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2012

The second most common point of physical failure (after having crumbs/gunk under the button) is for the microswitch component to come unsoldered or otherwise break. The repair is straightforward but not actually that easy, the area is usually not readily accessible and the soldering that needs to be done is very precise. You may be able to find a computer shop which does component-level repairs, but it is not that common. You may be able to mail it back to the manufacturer, but that's usually expensive and has a long turnaround time. Finally, if you can identify the exact component and find a replacement, then you might be able to find someone you know who's good at soldering tiny things who can do the actual repair.

Second option is to train yourself to use tap to click instead or to always carry an external mouse.

Third option is to consider the age of your computer. If you're starting to have physical failures, that's often a sign that you should start thinking about a new laptop.
posted by anaelith at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2012

Ok, the right click as left click thing is definitely working. I just don't have access to the functionality of the previous right click (opening up a menu of options or what have you). The Ctl+click didn't do anything. Any keyboard tricks that would allow me to do that? Thank you everyone for your suggestions so far - very much appreciated.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2012

You can set up a hot corner on the touchpad for right click... Or put your right button back to right click and use tap to click for left click.
posted by anaelith at 8:27 AM on October 21, 2012

In Windows, Shift + F10 will act as right-click in most contexts. That may be inconvenient on some laptops.
posted by Zetetics at 8:30 AM on October 21, 2012

So I spent several years using a right click as a left click on my old laptop (pre-touch pad) due to left click-breakage, but now I use the right click function a lot more often.

That said, my current laptop (like the last couple of ones that I've had) supports a double tap on the touchpad to replace the left click entirely, such that I rarely use the buttons. Is this possible on your laptop? It's actually super-convenient once you get it going: I find it faster and less effort to do a light double tap than to depress a button.
posted by jb at 8:56 AM on October 21, 2012

Holy moly. The double-tap is amazing. A whole new world here, folks. Thanks for opening my eyes.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:00 AM on October 21, 2012

Just realised that you have an Asus (read as Acer for some reason): I don't have the same model but we have three other Asus models in our house, all of which allow for tap or double tap on the touchpad to replace a left-click entirely (tap for single click, double tap for double click). It's part of the default setting on my computer (Elan smart-pad).

on preview: it is, isn't it. I feel so lazy, not even depressing a simple button. But it makes your buttons last longer as well as reducing strain on the fingers.
posted by jb at 9:02 AM on October 21, 2012

For flipping between Chrome tabs, have you ever used ctrl-{number of tab}? So if I want to get the second tab from the left I hit ctrl-2.

No idea if you know this already or if its common knowledge, but well!
posted by undue influence at 8:53 PM on October 21, 2012

And, wouldn't you know it. After a day of trouble, it's working again.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:59 PM on October 22, 2012

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