How to fix trackpad on Macbook pro

The trackpad on your MacBook is a fundamental component for most of us, and unless you own a magic mouse, you likely use it very regularly.

Unfortunately though, when it stops working it’s one of the more tricky parts to deal with. Here’s what to do if your Macbook Pro trackpad isn’t working.

Basic Troubleshooting of Trackpad

Before diving into complex solutions, perform some basic troubleshooting steps:

  1. Restart Your MacBook: The first thing we need to do is restart the device. Often, a simple restart can resolve minor glitches affecting the trackpad.
  2. Check for Updates: Ensure your MacBook is running the latest version of macOS. Older versions of the macOS will become outdated, and more prone to bugs and errors.
  3. Look for Physical Damage: Examine your trackpad and see whether there’s any debris, or even any physical damage that is stopping it from working properly.
  4. Change your settings: First, navigate to System Preferences > Trackpad. Experiment with different settings like tracking speed or force click and haptic feedback to see if it resolves the issue.
  5. Make sure you’re not connected to external devices – If you use a Magic Mouse or Trackpad, make sure that you’re not still connected to it, as this can stop your Macbook’s touchpad from working.

Resetting the SMC (System Management Controller)

For hardware-related issues, resetting the SMC can be a powerful step. On a Macbook with Apple Mac chip (M1, M2, M3) you just need to restart your device, as they don’t use an SMC.

Older Macbooks with an Intel processor do however. You can do this quickly by;

  • Shutting down your MacBook.
  • Hold down Shift + Control + Option on the left side of the keyboard and the power button simultaneously for 10 seconds.
  • Release all keys and turn on your MacBook.

Check for Software Conflicts

Software conflicts can sometimes affect the trackpad’s performance. Usually restarting your Macbook is enough to deal with this, but if you want to take it a step further, you may want to launch in safe mode.

  • Boot into Safe Mode (restart while holding the Shift key) to see if a third-party app is causing the issue.
  • Consider uninstalling recently added applications if the problem started after their installation.

Professional Assistance

Remember, handling trackpad issues on your MacBook Pro involves a combination of basic troubleshooting, software checks, and sometimes, professional intervention. Be patient and methodical in your approach to effectively resolve the issue.


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