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Cursor opens anything that it hovers over

We recently purchased a Dell laptop for one of our users that has the joystick mouse embedded in the keyboard.  He's having problems where the mouse will automatically open items if the mouse arrow is left hovering over an icon.  When he's using Outlook and the mouse is hovering over an email, it will automatically open that.  How can I turn this off?  We've looked in the Mouse setting within the Control Panel and it doesn't seem to be a setting there.
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Gary Case
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I suspect the issue here isn't actually one of "hovering" ... but of a very sensitive "tapping" setting.   I'd suggest you simply disable tapping -- this will likely resolve this.   If the user likes tapping, you could simply decrease the sensitivity so it takes a harder "tap" to select an item.

I was monitoring this one to see if there was a solution for my own benefit.

In the case of Dell touchpads, leaving the mouse pointer over a clickable object will result in opening that object and it doesn't take long. It helps to uninstall the Synaptics drivers but that's not feasible when working on a customer's notebook. My solution is to just use a USB mouse and forget the touchpad :-)
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Gary Case
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... while I'd definitely suggest using TweakUI to modify Windows X-Mouse behavior, I was curious so I looked up the actual registry keys:

The X-Mouse behavior is controlled by the low-order bit in the "UserPreferencesMask" value in  Hkey_Current_User\Control Panel\Desktop  [i.e. if the lowest order bit is a 1 then "Activation follows mouse" is enabled].    The "AutoRaise when activating" feature is controlled by the 0x0040 bit value.   So, for example, to enable automatic activation with the autoraise feature you would OR a hex 41 with the current value.   [If this math isn't clear ... use TweakUI !!]

The activation delay is controlled by the "ActiveWndTrkTimeout" value at the same location [this defaults to 0 ... but if you're using the X-like activation you may want to set this to a longer value (it's in milliseconds)].

As I noted above, ALL of these values are easily changed with TweakUI ==> a much better way to set or clear them than modifying the registry ... especially if you're at all hesitant about modifying the registry and/or are "hexadecimally challenged" :-)

Hi Gary.

As best I recall, every Dell notebook I've seen in recent years has the same behavior.

An external mouse works normally. Problem only occurs when using touchpad. Tapping does not enter into the picture.

Only driver (other than intrinsic Windows drivers) I'm aware of is the standard Synaptics touchpad driver.

I'll check Tweak UI settings on my Dell notebook IF it will boot. It's the only one I have on hand at present and appears hard disk is failing. Customers come first. It'll be interesting to see what happens when I replace hard disk. XP install will be from a standard OEM disk.
bmiisdept =>  Have you had a chance to try TweakUI?   If not, just post the current value of "UserPreferencesMask" in Hkey_Current_User\Control Panel\Desktop  [It will be four hex digits ==> something like 9e 3e 07 80].

Dalton => With XP installed from a standard OEM CD I'd be VERY surprised if the system still exhibits the X-Mouse - like behavior !!   Post back with the details when you get it done :-)
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Glad it's resolved ... no points needed [Smoked ribs are a suitable substitute -- I'll collect some day :-) ]   TweakUI is a very useful little utility -- but some of the less-used mods can easily be forgotten (my ageing grey cells seem to accelerate that forgetting process !!)
An explanation please. None of the solutions worked?
Agree there was plenty of discussion here about how to resolve this ... and indeed it resolved a virtually identical issue willcomp was having.   The author never responded or provided any feedback whatsoever, but should at least post an explanation of how this was resolved if the solutions suggested didn't help.
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Actually we don't know if any solutions would have worked or not worked. It is embarrassing to say but we can't remember having the issue that is in mentioned. We had a different issue where the cursor couldn't be used to select anything though, that was answered some time ago.

Sorry we couldn't confirm or deny any possible solution.
It seems almost certain that, given the issue willcomp had was identical, that the solutions we discussed would fix the problem you asked about ... whether or not you remember having them !!

I'd suggest a split between post #21076381 (where I suggested TweakUI) and #21078563 (where willcomp confirmed that this resolves the issue).   While you may not remember the issue, clearly this resolves it => and if someone in the future is searching for the same issue they can find the solution here.