The 26-year-old former Ripon Grammar School pupil failed to defend his 3m synchro title alongside Dan Goodfellow on Wednesday, the pair coming second-last in an event which Laugher dominated with Chris Mears at Rio 2016.
But the ex-Harrogate Diving Club member looked in decent touch when he returned to solo action in Tokyo this morning (Monday), progressing to the next stage of the competition courtesy of a sixth-placed finish.
He began the preliminary brightly and ended with a flourish, producing a forward 4½ somersaults which earned him a score of 85.50, taking his overall total to 445.05.
That effort saw him finish two positions behind Team GB team-mate James Heatly, who came in fourth.
Tuesday's semi-finals get underway at 2am (BST) and if Laugher is successful there he will compete in the final from 7am onwards.
Meanwhile, another diver who hails from Harrogate, suffered a far less fruitful day in Tokyo.
Oliver Dingley, representing Ireland, missed out on a place in the top-18 by some distance, ending up 25th on a score of 335.00.