Top 10 Ways to Fix MacBook Trackpad Not Working

Top 10 Ways to Fix MacBook Trackpad Not Working

The trackpad is an essential input device on a MacBook, allowing users to navigate the operating system and interact with various applications. However, it can be frustrating when the trackpad stops working or becomes unresponsive. If you’re facing this issue, don’t worry; there are several solutions you can try to fix your MacBook trackpad. In this article, we will explore the top 10 ways to troubleshoot and resolve trackpad issues on your MacBook.

Table of Contents

  1. Reset the Trackpad Settings
  2. Clean the Trackpad
  3. Update macOS
  4. Check for Software Conflicts
  5. Restart your MacBook
  6. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
  7. Reset the NVRAM/PRAM
  8. Disable Force Click
  9. Use an External Mouse
  10. Contact Apple Support

1. Reset the Trackpad Settings

Sometimes, incorrect settings or configurations can cause the trackpad to malfunction. Resetting the trackpad settings can often resolve this issue. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” from the Apple menu.
  2. Select “Trackpad” to open the Trackpad settings.
  3. Click on the “Point & Click” tab.
  4. At the bottom of the window, click on the “Reset” button.
  5. Confirm the action by clicking “Reset” in the pop-up dialog box.

After resetting the trackpad settings, check if the trackpad is working correctly.

2. Clean the Trackpad

Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the trackpad, affecting its sensitivity and responsiveness. Cleaning the trackpad is a simple yet effective solution that might solve the issue. Here’s how you can clean your MacBook trackpad:

  1. Shut down your MacBook and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water. Avoid using excess water.
  3. Gently wipe the trackpad in a circular motion, removing any dirt or residue.
  4. Allow the trackpad to dry completely before turning on your MacBook.

Once the trackpad is clean and dry, test its functionality.

3. Update macOS

Outdated software can lead to compatibility issues, including trackpad problems. It’s important to keep your macOS up to date to ensure optimal performance. Follow these steps to update your MacBook:

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Choose “Software Update” to check for available updates.
  3. If an update is available, click on “Update Now” to download and install it.
  4. Restart your MacBook after the update completes.

Updating your macOS might address any software-related issues causing the trackpad problem.

4. Check for Software Conflicts

Certain third-party applications or system utilities can conflict with the trackpad’s functionality. To identify if any software conflicts are causing the issue, try the following steps:

  1. Restart your MacBook in Safe Mode by holding the Shift key during startup.
  2. Once your MacBook boots up, test the trackpad’s functionality.
  3. If the trackpad works correctly in Safe Mode, it indicates that a third-party application or utility is causing the problem.
  4. Restart your MacBook normally and systematically uninstall recently installed applications or utilities until the trackpad starts working again.

By identifying and removing conflicting software, you can restore the trackpad’s proper functionality.

5. Restart your MacBook

A simple restart can often resolve minor software glitches, including trackpad issues. Restarting your MacBook clears temporary files and resets certain system processes. To restart your MacBook, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner.
  2. Choose “Restart” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Wait for your MacBook to shut down and start up again.
  4. Once your MacBook restarts, check if the trackpad is functioning properly.

If a temporary glitch was causing the trackpad problem, it should be resolved after the restart.

6. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) can help fix various hardware-related issues, including trackpad problems. The SMC controls power management, thermal management, and other essential functions. Here’s how you can reset the SMC on different MacBook models:

For MacBook models with a removable battery:

  1. Shut down your MacBook and disconnect the power adapter.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.
  4. Reinsert the battery.
  5. Connect the power adapter.
  6. Turn on your MacBook.

For MacBook models without a removable battery:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Connect the power adapter to your MacBook.
  3. On the built-in keyboard, press and hold the Shift + Control + Option keys and the power button simultaneously.
  4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
  5. Turn on your MacBook.

After resetting the SMC, check if the trackpad is working properly.

7. Reset the NVRAM/PRAM

Resetting the non-volatile random-access memory (NVRAM) or parameter random-access memory (PRAM) can sometimes resolve trackpad issues. The NVRAM/PRAM stores certain settings and preferences, and resetting it can clear any corrupt data. Here’s how to reset the NVRAM/PRAM:

  1. Shut down your MacBook.
  2. Turn on your MacBook and immediately press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys.
  3. Continue holding the keys until you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  4. Release the keys and allow your MacBook to boot up normally.

After resetting the NVRAM/PRAM, check if the trackpad is functioning correctly.

8. Disable Force Click

Force Click is a feature that enables additional functionality when applying more pressure on the trackpad. However, it can sometimes cause trackpad issues. Disabling Force Click might resolve the problem. Here’s how to disable it:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” from the Apple menu.
  2. Select “Trackpad” to open the Trackpad settings.
  3. Click on the “Point & Click” tab.
  4. Uncheck the box next to “Force Click and haptic feedback.”

After disabling Force Click, test the trackpad to see if the issue persists.

9. Use an External Mouse

If none of the previous solutions work, connecting an external mouse can be a temporary workaround. By using an external mouse, you can continue using your MacBook while troubleshooting or seeking further assistance. Connect a compatible USB or Bluetooth mouse to your MacBook and verify if it functions correctly. If the external mouse works, it might indicate a hardware issue with the built-in trackpad.

10. Contact Apple Support

If all else fails, it’s recommended to contact Apple Support or visit an authorized service provider. Apple experts can provide personalized assistance and diagnose any underlying hardware problems with your MacBook’s trackpad. If your MacBook is under warranty, they can guide you through the repair or replacement process.

Conclusion

Experiencing a non-working or unresponsive trackpad on your MacBook can be frustrating, but with the top 10 solutions mentioned in this article, you can troubleshoot and fix the issue. Remember to start with simple troubleshooting steps such as resetting settings, cleaning the trackpad, and updating macOS. If the problem persists, try advanced troubleshooting methods like resetting the SMC and NVRAM/PRAM. Disabling Force Click and using an external mouse are temporary workarounds if needed. Finally, contacting Apple Support is recommended for further assistance. With these solutions, you can restore your MacBook’s trackpad functionality and get back to using your device seamlessly.

 

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