MacBook Trackpad Not Working? 4 Troubleshooting Tips to Try

It can get extremely frustrating that when the trackpad of your Mac gets damaged or is not working.

I know the feeling when you can’t do anything about it.

So, to reverse that feeling I wanted to share with you a few troubleshooting tricks that you can perform on your Mac to solve this trackpad problem.

4 Troubleshooting Tips:

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1. Check for macOS Updates:

Find out which macOS your Mac is using - Apple Support

This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many people aren’t running the latest version of the operating system, firmware, and drivers.

In this, you want to see whether there are some updates available for your trackpad.

And to do that you have to go to the Appstore and there you have to click on the updates option which is present on the top side of the screen.

Essentially it should be done by installing all the updates that are pending.

But directed to the trackpad problem and to fix that problem you have to find anything that resemblesTrackpadFirmwareUpdate.

If you come across something, click on the Update button and follow the onscreen instructions.

2. Check Relevant Settings:

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Let’s suppose there was no update available right. So, the best and the first instinct of yours should directly go to the settings of your trackpad within the Mac OS.

There you will be able to fix several issues and remove several bugs by simply tweaking or changing some settings for your trackpad.

Double-Click Not Working:

Suppose your trackpad is working just fine and the problem is with the double click feature.

I mean your trackpads double click feature is not working then it is most likely to have a system time delay that is set to the lowest settings. In this, the clicks and the double taps are delayed.

If you’re new to using trackpads (rather than a traditional mouse) or you aren’t as fleet-fingered as some people, this is a likely cause.

To access the double-click settings, click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen.

After that, you need to follow the System Preferences option and there you will see accessibility option select that and then scroll down the left sidebar unless you come across the Mouse & Trackpad option.

You can see several options there you don’t have to tweak each and everyone but you need to find the Double-click speed option and then adjust that.

By adjust I mean you can move the slider from the current position to the position you feel like it.

Every person has a different preference and by that, you need to adjust its settings according to your preference.

Pointer Is Hard to Control:

If you find the mouse’s pointer is overly responsive, you could try adjusting the tracking speed.

Again you have to click on the Apple icon, but this time you need to go to the System Preferences to adjust these settings and from there you need to navigate in Trackpad options.

On that screen when it opens you will see a slider at the bottom of the screen that is the tracking speed.

So, by adjusting you will be adjusting the speed of the cursor. So bring that slider down to the middle to have accurate cursor tracking speed.

Trackpad Is Completely Unresponsive:

Suppose your trackpad is completely dead, well no need to despair it there might be a simple setting tweak and your trackpad can work again.

The simple way to check this setting is to check whether there is any physical mouse connected to the system such as a USB mouse or a Bluetooth mouse receiver.

If that is so then your trackpad might not work because it is detecting the presence of another mouse. So, to solve that try disconnecting it.

If somehow you are running OS X 10.7 Mountain Lion or more advanced or upgraded version, then in that OS you will be able to change this setting by going to System Preferences and from there navigate to Accessibility in the accessibility going to the Mouse & Trackpad and from there you can uncheck the tick box which says Ignore built-in trackpad.

This will allow the trackpad to work even when there is an external mouse is present.

It is likely possible that your Mac thinks any other externally connected device is a mouse peripheral so try disconnecting ever externally connected devices such as Keyboard, printers, game controllers, and other devices.

You can do that by removing the connection between these devices to your Mac’s USB ports.


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3. Check Your Mac’s Hardware:


It is most likely that any trackpad issue that is causing you trouble might not have any settings problem rather it may have hardware problems that’s why it is not working properly.

These errors can be created either from the Mac itself or from any other user error.

The Pointer Is Jumpy and Jittery:

Let’s see your pointer is jumping around the screen yes? Well, this can be caused because of various errors and simple human errors.

First, check your battery level. If it’s low, plug in your machine and try again—it really could be that simple!

The next thing that you need to make sure is that this is no jewellery such as wedding rings and bracelets that are interrupting your interaction with the trackpad. This can be extremely confusing for the pad to recognize which signal is from whom that’s why it misbehaves and jumps around the screen.

Finally, make sure your fingertips aren’t damp or sweaty. Trackpads and water don’t mix well and can cause erratic behaviour.

4. Delete “Property List” Files:

Use Property List Editor to Edit plist Files in Mac OS X for Free ...

If all else has failed, the last trick you can try before conceding defeat is deleting the Property List (PLIST) files.

In the Mac operating system, it completely uses PLIST files to help itself in storing the user’s settings and information about all the bundles that he/she has installed including all the applications on the computer. 

If you delete them evidently then it will force the Mac to create a new one and those will be the perfect files that you can set accordingly to make sure your trackpad works.

Note this that if you are doing this then there is a large chance that you might delete something important of yours.

So, just to make sure that you have to backup all the settings and all the files that are important in your Mac to prevent this blunder mistake.

To delete the files linked to your mouse and trackpad, open Finder then click Go > Go to Folder.

Next, type /Library/Preferences and hit Go.

Look for the following plist files and delete them:

  • (Magic Trackpad)
  • (Magic Mouse)
  • (wired USB mouse)


When none of these troubleshooting methods works for you then you need to make sure that your Mac’s trackpad works you can do something out of the box such as you can try using the Mac with an external trackpad that is provided by Apple.

Or another thing that you can do is you can disable the trackpad by going in the settings and then enable it to make sure that the trackpad settings are not altered.

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