Quick Fixes for Malfunctioning Mac Trackpad

Do you know why people use Macs? It’s because Macs work like a charm. They make it easier for users to find what they need, take on the most complicated tasks, and stay organized. Apple rolling out significant upgrades, bug fixes, and security patches yearly is a big bonus that tips the balance in favor of Macs.

Therefore, the slightest issue sends Mac users into a frenzy. But it would be best to remember that Macs are machines that may encounter problems now and then. For example, the trackpad may stop working. Also, you might be trying out the new Universal Control feature but realize that the drag and drop function is not working. There’s no need to feel disappointed as you can quickly solve this with the help of this guide,

It would have been great if such issues did not hamper your Mac experience, but they are not going anywhere. However, before worrying, try out these quick fixes, and you should be able to get back on track in no time.

Have a Regular Trackpad Cleaning Plan

Don’t jump to extreme troubleshooting, as the culprit might be dust and debris on your trackpad. But, surprisingly, cleaning the trackpad with a gentle cloth is all you need to remedy the issues you are facing.

Before cleaning the trackpad, power off your system. Then, lightly moisten a lint-free, soft cloth with fresh water. Use the cloth to wipe the trackpad gently. However, be careful not to get any moisture in the openings of the trackpad.

Check Trackpad Settings

Go to System Preferences to check the trackpad settings and ensure everything is in order. If you or anybody else have changed the settings, the trackpad may exhibit unnatural behavior.

To check trackpad settings, open System Preferences > Trackpad. Here, look at the trackpad preferences under the three tabs – More Gestures, Scroll & Zoom, and Point & Click.

If the trackpad is not clicking, but everything else functions correctly, change the Click settings to Firm. This will give you much better haptic feedback, which will be recognizable.

Reboot Your System

Sometimes, the best solution is the easy one. For example, if your Mac trackpad is not functioning, try turning your system off and restart. Rebooting is a common solution to fixing computer problems.

If the trackpad has stopped working because of a software glitch, a reboot is all that is required.

Update the Software

If you install the latest system update, most of your Mac problems will be solved. Therefore, if it has been a while since you updated your Mac’s operating system, the trackpad not working is a surefire sign that your device needs to be upgraded.

Go to System Preferences > click Software Update. If new updates are available, your Mac will automatically check, and you will see the Update Now option. Click this option to download and install the updates.

Remove connected peripherals

Removing all the connected peripherals is a step that is equivalent to turning your device off and switching it back on. This is one of the first things you must do to rule out the possibility that a connected peripheral is causing the trackpad to function abnormally.

For instance, if you have connected an external mouse, you must disconnect and reboot your computer. You have your culprit if the trackpad is functioning correctly with the external mouse removed.

Run Apple Diagnostics

If you have tried the fixes mentioned above, but the problem persists, use Mac’s in-built Apple Diagnostics tool.

When you run Apple Diagnostics, the tool will run a series of checks to determine whether your system has any hardware damage, including a malfunctioning trackpad.

Disable Haptic Feedback and Force Click

Most Mac trackpads of today feature an input force sensor, which reveals contextual feedback when pressure is applied to the trackpad. You may have accidentally activated several features enabled by Force Click and Haptic Feedback, including Quick Look, Look Up, and Media Playback controls. Personalizing your device to ignore these input methods might help prevent abnormal trackpad behavior.

Go to System Preferences > click Trackpad > uncheck the box next to Force Click and Haptic Feedback.

Boot in Safe mode

Booting your Mac in Safe mode means all the directory issues and useless system caches will be automatically removed. Also, the third-party programs that might interfere with the trackpad’s performance will be isolated.

You can boot in Safe mode by shutting down your Mac > turning it on, and pressing the Shift key > release the Shift key when you see the login window. Then, restart your system.

If the trackpad functions correctly in Safe mode, it means a third-party app or program is interfering, and you must uninstall the program.

Final words

These Mac trackpad fixes will get you back on track. However, you may have to go to the nearest Apple service center if the issue isn’t resolved.

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