Trackpad Not Working on MacBook – How to Fix It

Is your MacBook trackpad not working properly, or it became unresponsive? This may happen after an update to the beta version of macOS or after you wake it from sleep. Don’t worry because as long as it is not a hardware issue, there are several easy ways to fix this problem. Let’s take a look.

Update macOS

It is always recommended and safe to run the latest version of macOS on your MacBook. If there are driver issues for your MacBook Trackpad, then updating to the most recent version will fix it.

  1. To update your Mac, click on the Apple logoSystem Preferences.Click on Apple Logo and Select System Preferences on Mac
  2. Click on Software Update.Click on Software Update in Mac System Preferences

Adjust Double Click Speed of Trackpad on MacBook

  1. Click on Apple logoSystem PreferencesAccessibility.Click on Accessibility in System Preferences on Mac
  2. Click on Pointer Control from left Sidebar.Click on Pointer Control in Accessibility on Mac
  3. Drag the slider for Double-click speed. A good position is the one shown in the image below. For an older person or a newbie who can not double click quickly, you may drag the slider to the extreme left.Adjust Double Click Speed in Trackpad Settings on Mac

Ensure Built-in Trackpad of MacBook is Enabled When using External Trackpad

To ensure that your MacBook’s trackpad works, uncheck the box for ‘Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present.’

Disable Ignore Built-in Trackpad When Using External Trackpad on Mac

Change The Tracking Speed of Trackpad

  1. In System Preferences, click on Trackpad.Click on Trackpad in System Preferences on Mac
  2. Adjust the slider for Tracking speed.Adjust Tracking Speed on Trackpad Settings on Mac

Turn Off Force Click and Haptic Feedback on Mac

New MacBooks have Force Touch trackpads. If you face issues on these portable Macs, turning off Force Click might work. This is not a convenient solution but a hack that has worked for a few people.

  1. In System Preferences click on Trackpad.Click on Trackpad in System Preferences on Mac
  2. Make sure that Point & Click Tab is selected.Select Point and Click Tab on Mac
  3. Now, Uncheck the box for Force Click and haptic feedback.Turn Off Force Click on MacBook Trackpad

Reset NVRAM or PRAM on Mac

Multiple Settings related issues are successfully fixed by an NVRAM or PRAM reset. To keep this short, I am jumping straight to the steps here.

  1. Click on the Apple logo and shut down your MacBook
  2. Turn it ON and immediately press Option (⌥) + Command (⌘) + P + R. Release the keys after around 20 seconds.Note from Apple: On Mac computers that play a startup sound, you can release the keys after the second startup sound. On Mac computers that have the Apple T2 Security Chip, you can release the keys after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.

This should fix the trackpad woes you have on your MacBook.

Reset MacBook’s SMC

We already have a detailed guide on how to reset SMC for MacBooks with removable and non-removable batteries. So if you have a MacBook from 2017 and earlier, please check that link. If you have a MacBook with T2 chip (MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later, and MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later), please follow the below steps.

  1. Click on the Apple logo and shut down your Mac
  2. Press and hold together Control (⌃) on the left side of keyboard + Option (⌥) on the left side of the keyboard + Shift ⇧ on the right side of the keyboard. It is normal if your MacBook turns on
  3. Continue to hold all the three key for 7 seconds and then press and hold the power button too. (If your MacBook had turned on, it would switch off.)
  4. Keep holding all the four keys for the next 7 seconds. Release after this
  5. After about 15-30 seconds, turn on your MacBook by pressing the power button

Try to use the trackpad. The issue most likely may be successfully fixed.

Delete .plist Files in macOS

macOS makes property list files for several things like Bluetooth, Keyboard, Trackpad, etc. To address MacBook’s trackpad issues, let us delete the existing .plist files. Do not worry, after a restart, your MacBook will automatically make fresh versions these files.

  1. From Finder press together Command (⌘) + Shift ⇧ + G. In the address bar type or copy and paste this folder address: /Library/Preferences and click on Go.Enter Folder Path and Click on Go on Mac
  2. Delete the following property list files. If needed, increase your Finder window size or use search from top right to easily find these
  1. com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad.plist
  2. com.apple.preference.trackpad.plist
  3. com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad.plist (Magic Trackpad)
  4. com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.mouse.plist (Magic Mouse)
  5. com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist (Wired USB mouse)Delete plist Files on Mac

Other Possible Fixes

  • Uninstall New App: Was the trackpad working fine, and is misbehaving after you recently downloaded a new application? If yes, uninstall the app and see if it fixes the trackpad issues
  • Use Safe Mode on Mac: Here is how to do this
  • Check the Power Adapter: If you have recently started using a third-party MacBook charger, it may be causing problems. The power output may be different. So, try to borrow a friend’s original Apple Adapter or use your own if you have
  • Clean the Trackpad: Use a soft dry (or cautiously, very slightly damped) cloth to clean the trackpad
  • Use Apple Diagnostics to Identify the MacBook Problem: Here is our easy guide to do so
  • Disconnect all Wired and Wireless Peripherals: Sometimes, disconnecting all wired and Bluetooth devices like Mouse, Trackpad, Digital pads may help
  • Factory Reset Your Mac and Set it Up as New: Step by step learn how to do this here
  • Contact Apple Support: If nothing helps, it is time to talk to Apple or pay an in-store visit

MacBook Trackpad Working Now!

I hope one of the solutions above addressed your MacBook’s trackpad issue. Please mention which one worked for you in the comments down below.

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Dhvanesh Adhiyahttps://www.igeeksblog.com
The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

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