5 Fix Solutions for MacBook Pro Trackpad Not Working in 2023

macbook pro trackpad not working

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MacBook Pros are typically really reliable computers that are built to last a long time and to function at a high level throughout their working lifetime. This doesn’t mean that they are immune from any problems, however, and if anything goes wrong with your computer it can be a headache.

Since you’re reading this article, you might currently be experiencing an issue that is rare but does happen – the trackpad not working on MacBook Pro.

This is a really annoying problem because as simple as it seems, without the ability to click or tap on your trackpad, your laptop is almost useless unless you use an external mouse.

Let’s take a look at some causes of this infrequent issue and how to fix it so your MacBook operates as it should.

Why MacBook Pro Trackpad Not Clicking?

There isn’t one exact reason why a trackpad won’t work.

It could be due to some sort of software malfunction within your Mac or a glitch in the macOS system. You might also need to update your MacBook Pro.

It could be due to hardware problems as a result of some sort of accident or an internal component that has broken or been damaged.

Regardless of the reason, it’s a problem that you will want to fix.

You might have to take it to the Apple store if you can’t get things fixed on your own, but try running through all of the steps below before just to make sure it is not something easy that you can fix on your own.

How to Fix MacBook Pro Trackpad Not Working

There are a few different ways to try. Give these steps below a try and see if you can fix the issue. If these don’t work or the problem is some sort of hardware issue, you might need to take it to Apple Genius Bar or a computer shop for repairs.

Method 1: Disconnect External Devices

Although peripherals are probably not the culprit, it’s one of the easiest solutions that can work sometimes. Check if your MacBook Pro is connected to many devices via Bluetooth or wired options.

Remove them one by one and check if the trackpad works at the same time, until you disconnect all external devices except a power supply.

This step is pretty simple to implement, so it doesn’t help, move on to the next methods below.

Method 2: Basic Restart

Basic Restart

This method is a good place to start just in case it’s some sort of anomaly keeping your trackpad from working. Shut your MacBook Pro down and close the screen.

Let it sit for a few minutes and then open it up and power back on. This might be the only thing you need to fix the trackpad. If not, continue reading…

Method 3: Check Trackpad Settings

Sometimes your trackpad isn’t actually broken but instead, the settings you have for your trackpad may be set up in a way that makes you think it’s not functioning properly. Either you or the other person who uses your MacBook Pro has disabled the trackpad.

This is easy to check via System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above). Here’s how:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above).
  3. Click on Accessibility.
  4. Click on Pointer Control (or Mouse & Trackpad).
Click on Pointer Control
If your Mac runs macOS Catalina or later, it shows “Pointer Control”.
Mouse & Trackpad
If your Mac is with an older macOS, it shows “Mouse & Trackpad”.

There are a few settings that could be in place from the menu above that could be leading to problems with your trackpad. Follow the steps below to change any settings that could be affecting the functionality of your trackpad.

  • Uncheck Enable Mouse Keys if that box is checked.
  • Click Trackpad Options and then turn off Ignore built-in trackpad when Mouse Keys is on.
  • Increase the Double-click speed to a faster speed.
  • Uncheck Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present if this box is checked.

Method 4: Reset SMC

Resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) can oftentimes fix a wide variety of software issues and might fix the problem of your trackpad not working.

Follow these steps to reset the SMC on your MacBook Pro:

  1. Shutdown your computer and close the lid.
  2. Make sure your computer is plugged into the charging adapter.
  3. After the computer is shut down for a few minutes, open the screen and hold down the Shift, Control, Option, and Power buttons all at the same time.
  4. Release the keys and keep an eye on the light on your charging cord, it should change colors indicating that the SMC reset has occurred.
  5. Check to see if this fixed your trackpad.

Method 5: Reset NVRAM or PRAM

Depending on your MacBook Pro model, newer models are using NVRAM and older models are probably using PRAM. Both NVRAM and PRAM hold dedicated hardware configuration settings for your Mac system. If they are faulty, your trackpad may not work properly.

Here’s how to reset them on your MacBook Pro:

  1. Shut down your MacBook Pro.
  2. Open your MacBook and press the power button. And then immediately press and hold the option, command, P, and R keys for 20 seconds or so until you hear a startup sound.
  3. Release the keys and let your MacBook Pro boot up normally.

What Does Trackpad on MacBook Pro Do

The trackpad on your MacBook is the rectangular box below your keyboard that controls a bunch of different functions on your computer.

This innovation got rid of the need for an external mouse and advancements in trackpad technology now allow this component of your computer to complete many additional tasks other than just clicking and highlighting.

The trackpad allows you to accomplish many different tasks that once weren’t possible through this function. With this one rectangle, you can normally click, right click, zoom, scroll, rotate, swipe, and a handful of other operations known as gestures. Check out this article to learn all of the different gestures available on your MacBook Pro and also how to use them.

You can also customize your trackpad to any preferred settings you might have. This is a nice feature in the event that you are accustomed to a particular function on a trackpad and all comes down to personal preference.

To access these customized settings, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Click on Trackpad.
  4. Configure the trackpad settings to your liking.
Configure the trackpad settings

Final Thoughts

The trackpad not clicking on MacBook Pro is a very annoying problem. Hopefully one of the solutions above helped you get your trackpad working again and you now know how to fix the problem if it ever happens again in the future.

If none of these steps worked, you might have a hardware problem causing your trackpad to malfunction and it could be time to take your MacBook into the Apple store or other certified repair shops.

Have you ever had issues with your trackpad? Did any of the steps listed here help you to fix it?

About Eric
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Eric currently uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro for both work and personal errands. He did all the research and testing to make sure all the fixes and optimization tips shared on the blog are relevant to Apple’s latest macOS updates as well as fact-checking.

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    Good one! it was helpful

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    Please also try replacing the tiny sponge under the metal bracket. Over time it is probably getting too soft to hold down the connector.