Troubleshooting MacBook Trackpad Not Working: 8 Solutions

Many users are facing an issue where their MacBook’s trackpad is not working for one reason or another. This could be because of dust or debris stuck on the corners or a simple hardware failure. You can try out a few methods to fix MacBook’s trackpad so it is back to doing what it does best. Let’s get started.

1. Restart your MacBook

Restarting a MacBook has always worked, whether it is when the trackpad not working or when your Mac is frozen. A simple reboot can do the job and fix the error you are facing. Here is how you can do it.

Since your Mac’s Trackpad is not working, you need to do a hard reboot.

1. Long press the Power button or touch ID on the keyboard.

2. Wait for the macOS to turn off and then release the button.

Your Mac is now shut down. Try pressing the button again to restart it. Check and see if the trackpad is working now on the Mac.

2. Clean Mac’s Trackpad

One of the reasons MacBook’s trackpad may not be working properly is that it needs to be cleaned.

Over time, the trackpad might have accumulated dust and debris on its surface or even food particles since we often like to eat snacks while streaming content.

Hence, gently clean the trackpad with a soft, lint-free cloth lightly moistened with water. Don’t use any other liquid substance or try to blow dry it. This can damage the internal parts or the trackpad itself.

3. Reset SMC and NVRAM (Intel Mac)

If your Mac is facing hardware issues, resetting SMC and NVRAM can fix those errors, including the Trackpad glitches as well. Here is how you can do it.

Now, for Apple Silicon MacBooks, there is no SMC or NVRAM reset available. You can simply restart your Mac to reset the settings, if any. Here is how you can quickly check your Mac’s specifications.

Follow the steps below to reset SMC and NVRAM on your Intel MacBooks.

SMC Reset

1. Press and hold the power button on your Mac to shut it down.

2. Now, press Command + Option + Shift on the left side of the keyboard along with the Power

3. Button and hold on to it.

4. Keep holding all four for 10 seconds.

5. Release the keys and press the power button again to start your Mac.

The above method works for Macs that do not have removable batteries. For older Macs, you can remove the batteries for a few seconds, put the batteries again, and then restart the system.


1. Press and hold the Power button to shut down the Mac.

2. Then, press the power button to start the Mac and immediately press Command + Option + P + R.

3. Hold the buttons until you hear the Apple chime sound and release it.

Wait for the system to start normally, and you have reset your NVRAM.

4. Update macOS

Software updates often include bug fixes that could resolve trackpad issues you have been facing. Hence, you need to keep your system updated.

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left and select System Settings.

2. Then, go to General on the left sidebar and click on Software Update.

3. Wait for the system to detect any updates available.

4. Click on Update Now to begin updating the system.

This may take a while, and your system might also restart to save the changes. Once done, try using the Trackpad and see if the error has been fixed.

5. Turn off Force Click and Haptic Feedback

Does your Trackpad register a double click when you press hard on it? It is because the Force Click and Haptic Feedback feature is turned on. This feature allows you to look for a word in the dictionary and more.

However, it can be confusing and uncomfortable if you are not used to it, and once you turn it off, it might also fix the trackpad not working error.

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left and open System Settings.

2. Now, type Trackpad in the search option and click on Trackpad.

3. Now, turn off the option beside Force Click and haptic feedback.

Once you have turned the feature off, you can restart the system and try checking if the Trackpad is working properly.

6. Ensure “Ignore Built-in Trackpad” Is Disabled

You need to disable a feature on your Mac that does not allow the built-in trackpad to work when connecting any external mouse or trackpad. Here is how you can disable this function.

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left and choose System Settings.

2. Scroll down and open Accessibility on the left sidebar and click on Pointer Control.

3. Here, turn off the option Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present.

Try using your Trackpad again and check if it works.

7. Turn off Mouse Keys

Mouse keys are used as an alternate method to control the pointer on the screen using your keyboard or the numeric keypad. It might be possible that your Trackpad is locked while your Mouse keys are functioning.

Here is how you can turn it off.

1. Go to the Apple menu on the top-left and open System Settings.

2. Scroll down and open Accessibility on the left sidebar and click on Pointer Control.

3. Turn off the Mouse Keys.

You can also use a shortcut and click on the Option key five times to enable or disable the Mouse Keys. For more options, you can click on the “i” icon beside the Mouse Keys and set it up accordingly.

8. Contact Apple Customer Care

If nothing works for you and you feel an internal error with your Trackpad, you need to contact Apple customer care.

Instead of taking it to a service center, the best approach is to speak to an executive through a Live chat, and they can guide you on what needs to be done next.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I clean my MacBook Pro trackpad?

You can use a soft, lint-free cloth by slightly moistening it with water. Do not use too much water or any other solution. Gently wipe your Trackpad and leave it out for a few minutes before you start working on it again.

2. Why is the MacBook Pro trackpad not clicking?

If your Trackpad is not clicking, you need to either clean the surface or try updating your macOS. Moreover, if the clicking behavior is unrecognizable, it could be because Force Click is enabled on your system that you need to turn off.

MacBook Trackpad

Is your Mac’s trackpad working again? The steps mentioned above are good enough if you follow them carefully step-by-step. Start with rebooting your system and cleaning your Trackpad.

If you want to get it repaired or troubleshoot further, you may need to know your Mac’s model and serial number first.

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is Senior Writer DZ-TECH, where he covers the world of technology, hacking, cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy.

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