Enable Synaptics Multitouch Gestures in Google Chrome

July 9, 2010, 11:17 p.m.

To download the files necessary to enable multitouch gestures in Google Chrome on your Synaptics touchpad, head straight to the downloads page.

Synaptics is one of the primary manufacturers of touch pads for laptops, and in recent years, Synaptics has included multitouch gestures with their touch pads. One of the handy gestures, which oddly is not always enabled by default, is the three-finger swipe. By swiping three fingers left or right across the touchpad, you can go forward or backward in a browser, photo viewer, PDF reader, PowerPoint presentation, and other applications. The gesture works fine in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, but doesn't do anything in Google Chrome. After some quick googling, I found the solution to enabling the forward and backward gestures for Google Chrome. Surprisingly, it's not Chrome's fault, but Synaptics': all you need to do is add a couple registry keys.

All you need to do is export all of the keys for Mozilla Firefox in the Synaptics key at HKLM\Software\Synaptics, replace all instances of "Mozilla Firefox" with "Google Chrome", change "firefox.exe" to "chrome.exe", and reimport the keys. If you're not experienced with editing the registry or that sounds daunting, or if you're just lazy, you can download the handy Synaptics Multitouch Gestures for Chrome registry file which I have created and just import that, or you can download the batch file I created which adds the registry values needed and then automatically restarts the touchpad drivers. In some cases, you may need to restart the computer for changes to take effect.

If you're unsure whether your touchpad is a Synaptics or not, look in your taskbar notification area (the icons near the clock by the lower right-hand side of the screen) for an icon that looks like this: favicon.ico. Double-click on it to change your touchpad settings and to enable multitouch gestures such as 3-finger swipe.

Thanks again to the Google Groups user whose post helped me figure this out!

blog comments powered by Disqus