Trackpad not working on mac

How To Fix Trackpad Not Working On Mac?

Are you struggling with the trackpad not working on mac issues? Don’t worry, read the article!

The trackpad is a pointing device that helps to move from right to left instead of using a mouse. It is also known as a touchpad or glide pad. The trackpad does various things like scrolling the web pages, zooming the documents, rotating the photos, and much more. 

When compared to the PC/computer, Macbook has the in-built option to scroll and move to the next page. However, Trackpad not working on Mac due to software glitches, water damage, the issue with hardware components, etc. Mac trackpad is not working is a major cause of the Mac users. 

In this article, we will know why trackpad is not working on Mac & what’s the possible solutions for that. 

Continue reading!

Why is My Trackpad Not Working On Mac?

There are numerous reasons for trackpad on Mac not working, such as clicks, unresponsiveness on Mac, and more. Here are the most common sources for the trackpad not working on Mac:

  • Problems in hardware
  • Outdated MacOS
  • Water damage
  • Incorrect settings
  • Software and application malfunctioning
  • Older version of PLIST files

After knowing the reasons, just look at the solutions to fix your trackpad on Mac not working. 

Let’s get started!

Restart Mac:

trackpad not working: restart mac

When you face a trackpad not working on Mac, a simple restart of your device would do a great help. This restart allows your Macbook to remove the temporary cache & software issues. If your trackpad doesn’t work, you will be unable to navigate the menu bar on your system. In such cases, you can connect a mouse or wireless trackpad to your device for smooth functioning. 

 Click “Apple menu” → “Restart”

If the above easiest way didn’t work, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Press and hold the power button on your Mac for a few seconds for a complete shutdown
  • Leave for 5 – 10 seconds
  • Again press and hold the power button to turn on your device

Update Software:

software update

Frequently checking new updates will help to resolve this kind of issue. Since there might be more chances of having bugs in your current OS. The new updates may increase your system’s performance, and high security and also fix bugs on Mac’s trackpad. You can update your Mac to solve the trackpad on Mac not working by the following steps:

  • Tap “Apple menu”
  • Choose “System Preferences” → “Software updates”
  • Your Mac automatically starts to check for its update
  • If there are any updates on your device, download and install it

Reset SMC:

System Management Controller(SMC) is a chip on an intel-based MacBook that performs several functions related to physical parts on your device. These functions include power supply, cooling fans, system performance, and more. 

Note: Resetting SMC on M1-powered MacBook Pro is impossible because there is no SMC in the latest Apple silicon Macs. SMC holding some of Mac’s settings and functions is now merged into the M1 chip. If the trackpad doesn’t work, you can do a simple restart on your M1 MacBook Pro.  

If your trackpad on Mac not working (Intel-based models), reset your SMC settings by the steps given below:

For Macbooks that are older than 2017:

trackpad not working

  • Switch off your Mac
  • Simultaneously, press and hold the “Control + Option (Alt) + Shift” keys on your in-built keyboards. By performing this step your device may turn on
  • Press and hold those keys for 7 seconds and simultaneously press the power button. By doing this it turns off your Mac
  • Hold those 4 keys for another 7 seconds
  • Now, release 4 keys and wait for a few seconds
  • Turn on your Mac

For Macbook 2018 or later (with T2 security chip):

  • Shut down your Mac by removing the device from the power supply 
  • After 30 seconds, plug in your device
  • Wait for 5 more seconds. Now, press the power button to turn on your device.

Reset PRAM:

trackpad not working on mac

Parameter Random Access Memory (PRAM) stores settings information related to your Mac’s OS. These settings included the time zone, color depth, speaker volume, resolution, and more. Your device uses a small amount of memory (PRAM) for storing the information and accessing it quickly. So, if you are facing the trackpad on Mac not working, reset your PRAM settings:

  • Click “Apple icon” → “Shut down”
  • Wait until your Mac completely shuts off
  • Now, immediately press and hold the “Command + Option + P + R” keys on your keyboards
  • Once you notice the “Apple logo or reboot sound on your device”, release 4 keys
  • You will hear another sound which indicates that your Mac is restarted

Disable Force Click:

If you have failed to register the clicks, the trackpad not working on Mac will appear. To resolve the trackpad on Mac not working, try disabling the force click option by the below-mentioned steps:

  • Head to “System Preferences”
  • Choose “Trackpad” and go to the “Point and click the tab” 
  • Deactivate the “Force click and haptic feedback” option

Reset Trackpad:

If you notice issues with the trackpad, you should move to the factory settings. Because the users can change the trackpad settings according to their needs.

Changing the settings improves the trackpad’s workflow and is user-friendly. Though it has advantages, it might cause some problems in the trackpad’s background and become unresponsive. 

Here are the steps to reset the trackpad to solve the Mac trackpad not working: 

  • Move to “Apple menu”
  • Choose “System Preferences”
  • Select “Trackpad”
  • Ensure the “Tap to click” option is selected
  • Also, check the “Scroll and Zoom” feature and Confirm that “Scroll direction: Natural” is chosen

When you follow these steps, your MacBook’s trackpad has to return to its normal state and fixes the trackpad on Mac.

Reset Trackpad Property List Files:

Reset Trackpad Property List Files

Apps settings and preferences are stored by the Property List Files (PLIST) on your Mac. macOS automatically creates and updates those files on their device for future reference. Outdated or faulty files may cause the trackpad not working on Mac. Deleting the PLIST files will reset your trackpad settings and solve your trackpad on Mac not working. It is advisable to back up your device before executing the steps. Here are a few steps for deleting PLIST files:

  • Open “Finder” on your Mac
  • Press “Command + Shift + G” on your keyboards
  • Enter “~/Library/Preferences/ and press “Go”

  • Locate the below-mentioned files:


  • Delete those files and restart your Mac

Using Mac In Safe Mode:

trackpad not working

Sometimes, third-party apps may interfere with your Mac’s trackpad and generate the trackpad not working on Mac. You can verify the Mac settings by using the safe mode. These methods automatically remove system caches and solve trackpad on Mac not working. 

Here are the steps for putting M1 MacBook in safe mode:

  • Move to “Apple Menu” → “Shut down”
  • Wait for 10 seconds
  • Until you see the startup options, showing available startup disks and options, press and hold the “Power button”
  • Choose “Startup disk”
  • Press the “Shift key” and choose “Continue in safe mode.” After that, release those keys

You can put the Intel-based Macbook in safe mode by the below-mentioned steps:

  • Go to “Apple Menu,” then click shut down on Mac
  • After shutting down, wait for about 10 seconds
  • Restart your Mac and immediately press and hold the “Shift key” on your keyboards
  • Subsequently, when you notice the login window, release the shift keys

You might exit the safe mode, typically by restarting your Mac. It doesn’t require any keys for restarting. 

When you notice a conflict between your third-party apps and macOS, it leads to the trackpad’s improper function in normal mode. If you are facing issues with the trackpad not working on Mac, the problem might be with the newly installed app. In this case, deleting those apps from your Mac is advisable.


Trackpad not working on Mac is the most common problem among Mac users. We hope this guide gives you an overall coverage of the trackpad on Mac not working and the fixes. You can try those tips when you experience the trackpad not working on Mac. If the above-mentioned ways don’t help you, contact your service center who sort out the issue.