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Yoga 11e 3rd Gen (Win 10) auto-disable physical keyboard/touchpad in Tablet Mode

2018-07-23, 23:13 PM

Hi all. I have a Yoga 11e 3rd Gen Thinkpad Laptop with Windows 10 (not Chromebook). 


Full Device Name: Yoga 11e 3rd Gen (Type 20G8, 20GA) Laptop (ThinkPad)

Machine Type Model: 20GA000KUS

BIOS Version: R0AET37W (1.20)

BIOS Date: 2018-01-19 (latest) 


OS Edition: Windows 10 Pro

Version: 1703

OS Build: 15063.112

Type: 64-bit


Here's the issue:


When folding the physical keyboard all the way back to use the device as a tablet:

  1. The physical keyboard does not disable
  2. The physical touchpad does not disable
  3. Windows does not automatically enter Tablet Mode 


Can Lenovo support or anyone provide a list of all Lenovo and Microsoft components on which the above features depend to work properly on my Yoga 11e? I'm looking for:


  • The names of current/correct Lenovo software, services, drivers, and background processes that should all be running on this laptop model, and 
  • Dependent Microsoft services, drivers and processes

.... that must all be installed and working properly to enter and exit tablet mode correctly by folding the physical keyboard back.


I've tried all commonly discussed solutions I've found online. None of them resolve the issue or are clear about which system components the feature depends for this model laptop. Very frustrating.


Thank you for any help or tips. 






Issue #3 -- Windows not entering Tablet Mode automatically -- has been solved. Running a Microsoft Sensor Diagnostic test reported sensors were disabled by Group Policy, but a bug in the Group Policy Editor did not show then as disabled and would not honor changes. After manually removing the policy in regedit, sensors were enabled and my Yoga 11e correctly detected tablet mode when folding the screen back. This solution also corrected a problem with being unable to enable Windows Location from either the Action Center or Settings. The solution was found here: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/358904-unable-to-set-location/


Issues #1 and #2 persist: even when automatically switching to Tablet Mode when holding the Yoga like a tablet, the physical keyboard and touchpad remain enabled. Thank you to anyone who can help.







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Re: Yoga 11e 3rd Gen (Win 10) auto-disable physical keyboard/touchpad in Tablet Mode

2018-07-24, 5:42 AM

Well, it took a few hours but I've managed to solve everything and answer my own questions. I decided to reply to my own post to provide details in case it proves helpful to others.


Based on what I found, there are three different areas to look at when diagnosing the issues I was having.


1. Hardware level: the physical sensors inside the laptop.

2. Windows settings level: making sure nothing is blocking the sensors from being accessed within Windows

3. Lenovo drivers/processes level: the items from Lenovo that bring it all together.


Hardware Level

Make sure physical sensors (example: an accelerometer) are showing up correctly in Windows Device Manager: that they are listed, enabled, and available. If not listed, it could be defective at the hardware level -- scanning for hardware changes may help; if listed but disabled, enable it; if listed but not functioning properly, look to update the driver.


Windows Level

Make sure there are no Windows settings keeping the sensing hardware from being used/accessed. As I found out in my case, Group Policy is one of the things that can block them. This affected many things: the ability of the sensors to report when the laptop was converted to tablet, and the ability to report -- and let the user adjust -- rotation and rotation lock (resulting in these options missing or grayed-out in the Action Center). And, for whatever reason, in Windows, problems with sensors can also go hand-in-hand with problems regarding Windows Location and related location services.


Separate from sensors being permitted to 'talk' to software, there are also the options for Window's Tablet Mode that you can adjust in the Settings app, and these can impact what you are 'expecting' to see.  


Lenovo Level

And lastly, there is the Lenovo, device manufacturer level. After addressing all of the above, I started by checking for and installing all updates, including optional ones that seemed relevent.



Testing and results

After installing, I made sure that every Lenovo-branded element on my system was available and enabled. This meant all Lenovo services, all drivers, all scheduled tasks, and all items set to auto-start with windows. Tools I used to do this (all part of Windows or free):


  • Services.msc
  • Task Manager (processes and services tabs)
  • Autoruns64
  • Process Hacker (for searching individual processes instead of hunting through Task Manager's list)
  • Task Scheduler 


Where there was software installed that is designed to be run by the user (Solution Center, Companion, System Update, Service Bridge etc.) I also ran and briefly tested each one to make sure it was working as it should. 


Somewhere along the installs, the problem was solved.


I then started disabling Lenovo elements one by one. Besides wanting to find the source of the solution, I also don't like having unnecessary software slowing down my machine (I check for updates periodically, and don't need Lenovo to replicate features I already manager directly in Windows) .


What I found was: I could disable everything Lenovo except for two things:


  • Lenovo Hotkey Client Service, and it's drivers (from downloading and installing the ThinkPad Hotkey Features Integration package).


  • Lenovo PM Service (i.e., Power Management Service), and it's drivers (from downloading and installing the latest Lenovo Power Management Driver)


Not one other Lenovo service, startup entry, scheduled task, etc. was needed for everything on my device to work properly, and for the device to sense when it was converted from laptop to tablet and disable the physical keyboard and touchpad.   


I also learned that in my case, after folding the screen back and automatically disabling the physical keyboard and touchpad, the sensors like it better when the screen stays facing skywards. Tilting the 'tablet' towards you sometimes made the sensors report that you were restoring the device to laptop mode, turning the physical keyboard and touchpad back on.


I also found that this potential back-and-forth caused problems with Windows' Tablet Mode settings if configured to either "Always ask me before switching" or "Don't ask me and always switch." Not changing to what Windows calls Tablet Mode and just keeping it in 'desktop mode' is perfectly fine for me when using the Yoga as a tablet. And so I chose the option, "Don't ask me and don't switch." This way it is seemless converting my Yoga from laptop to tablet and back. Windows doesn't do a thing, and the Lenovo processes and sensor handle disabling the keyboard and touchpad. Even without specifically turning on Windows' Tablet Mode, when I'm using the Yoga as a tablet both rotation and Rotation Lock work, with the latter becoming un-grayed out from Action Center 'quick action' icons.


Hope this helps anyone who had the same issues or is just as curious (for better or worse :) as I am. Best of luck.  









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