How to Fix the MacBook Trackpad Not Clicking Error?—10 Solutions You Can Try Instantly
The trackpad is one of the most essential tools when it comes to MacBooks are laptops. While keyboard shortcuts can help you access many things, without the trackpad your laptop becomes practically useless.
If you are facing issues with your trackpad, either trackpad is not clicking or not working properly, then you need to learn how to fix the MacBook trackpad not clicking error.
Fortunately, there are many fixes you can try on your own before taking your MacBook to a service station.
In this guide, we will be discussing some of the most effective solutions that you can try immediately at home.
There can be multiple reasons behind the malfunctioning of your Trackpad. The most prominent reasons can be:
- Your macOS is not up-to-date.
- You have altered the settings of Trackpad and now they are creating the issue.
- Some application has altered settings in the background.
Now, without any further ado, let’s discuss solutions that can help you fix your trackpad in no time.
How to Fix Trackpad Not Clicking Error?
There are multiple ways to resolve Trackpad problems. Whether your Trackpad is not clicking or is clicking but not responding to touch, you can try these fixes.
Let’s start with the simplest one.
1. Remove External Peripherals
One of the reasons your trackpad is not working is because you are connected to an external device that is being used in its place.
The external peripheral or mouse can be connected to your Mac through wired or wireless connectivity.
Remove all connected peripherals and turn off Bluetooth, and see if it works.
2. Reboot Your Mac
Whenever faced with any issue on your Mac, the first solution you must always go for is rebooting your system.
Rebooting the system flushes out most of the problems from your system on its own.
So, you can click the Apple logo in the top left corner of the monitor and restart your system.
If your trackpad doesn’t start working after rebooting, then you can move to the next solution.
3. Update your macOS
A pending firmware or software update can also be the cause of the trackpad not working properly.
So, you can check from settings if there are any pending updates for your Mac.
To do that, follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen.
- Click on the first option: About this Mac
- Click on the first tab from the left: Overview.
- Now, click on the Software Update option. It will be right beside the System Report option.
Your system will automatically search for updates. Make sure your Mac is connected to the internet.
If there are any updates available, download and install them. Your Mac will automatically reboot while installing the update.
If there are no updates available or if your trackpad is still not working after installing the update then you can try the next solution.
4. Disable Force Click
There are two ways you can click on your trackpad. One is a normal tap click which just requires tapping softly on the trackpad and the other is a force click.
Force click requires you to press on the trackpad firmly until you hear a click sound.
You can toggle between both of these options from settings.
Perhaps if you have enabled force click, or maybe some application you downloaded has enabled it in the background, tapping will no longer work.
Hence, changing the option from settings should resolve your issue. Here are the steps:
- Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the menu bar.
- Click on System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Select Trackpad from available options.
- Toggle the Force Click or Haptic Feedback option off.
From these settings, you can also change the intensity of the Force Click option.
There is a slider right beneath the option. You can change the intensity of the force click as per your ease.
5. Change System Preferences to Default
Sometimes, the reason why the trackpad is not working on MacBook is because of our own mistake. We might have altered some settings which are meddling now with the trackpad.
So, returning the settings to the original or resetting the trackpad should resolve this issue.
Follow the above-mentioned steps to open trackpad settings. Once you are there:
- Unselect Tap to Click option.
- In the Scroll and Zoom header, select the Scroll Direction as normal.
Changing these two options will revert your trackpad back to its default setting.
6. Run Apple Diagnostics
If your trackpad is still not working, you can run official Apple diagnostics to find out the problem.
Apple diagnostics is a similar tool to a troubleshooter and resolves common problems on your MacBook.
Follow these steps to run Apple diagnostics on your MacBook.
- Turn off your MacBook and remove all the connected devices.
- Make sure the power supply is connected to your Mac.
- Turn it on again while pressing the D key on your keyboard.
- You can release the D key when the Language Preference option appears on the screen.
- Select the language.
- Let the Apple diagnostics run its course.
Apple will automatically scan your system for possible problems and suggest solutions. If there is any trackpad problem in the software, the diagnostic application will resolve it.
7. Delete Trackpad Property List Files
There is a chance that your system preference files are corrupted and are hindering the trackpad from working properly.
Deleting these files may resolve the issue. As these files only deal with system preference selection, deleting them won’t do any harm.
There are only two files to locate and delete and here’s how you can delete them.
- Open Finder from the dock.
- Click on Go from the top menu bar.
- Select Go to Folder from the drop-down menu.
- You can also use the shortcut command for this option: Command + Shift + G
- A pop-up dialog box will appear. Insert the following directory: “/Library/Preferences/” and click on Go.
- Look for the following two files in that location:
- These files might or might not exist. If they exist, delete them.
- Restart your Mac.
Deleting these system preferences directories will return your Mac’s trackpad settings to default. So, your trackpad should work normally now.
8. Reset SMC (System Management Controller)
The SMC is often responsible for controlling various common functions on your Mac.
It’s not 100% sure, but your trackpad might not be working properly because of some issue in SMC.
Some users have reported that resetting SMC resolves the issue. However, you should only try this solution if you are using an Intel-based Mac.
The latest MacBooks that come with an M1 chip do not have this setting available.
Follow these steps for 2017 Intel-Based MacBooks or Older:
- Shut Down your MacBook.
- Wait for a few minutes after your MacBook shuts down.
- Press and hold the Shift + Option + Ctrl key.
- While holding these keys, press and hold the power button as well.
- You must hold all keys for 10 seconds.
- Now, press the power button to turn on the MacBook.
Use the following steps for 2018 Intel-Based MacBooks or Later:
- Shut down your Mac and remove the power supply.
- If your Mac has a removable battery, remove it.
- Press the Power Button for 5 seconds.
- Plug the battery back in, and also the power supply.
- Turn on your Mac.
- It will automatically reset the SMC settings.
Once your MacBook turns on, it will have reset the SMC settings and your trackpad should work fine.
9. Reset PRAM (Parameter RAM) or NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM)
Depending on the model of your Mac, you will have either PRAM or NVRAM.
There are sometimes problems in these settings that can mess with your trackpad and prevent it from working properly.
If you have a MacBook with an M1 chip, then you don’t need to meddle with these settings.
However, if you have an Intel-Based Mac, then you will have to manually reset these settings.
Follow these steps to reset PRAM or NVRAM:
- Shut down your Mac and wait for a few minutes.
- Press the Power button to turn it back on.
- Just as you press the power button, press and hold the following keys:
Command + Option + P + R
- You must hold these keys for at least 20 seconds.
- You can release the keys as you hear the start-up sound.
- If you have a newer MacBook with a T2 chip, you can release the keys after the Apple logo appears for the second time.
Your MacBook will boot up and you can check if the trackpad is working or not. Hopefully, it will be working normally.
10. Use an External Mouse
If none of the above 9 solutions work, which means your Trackpad is no longer usable.
Either there is some serious problem in the macOS or your trackpad is damaged.
Until you take your MacBook to an Apple store, you can use an external mouse.
You can use either a wireless or wired mouse until you get your trackpad either fixed or replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my MacBook Pro trackpad not clicking?
There can be a number of reasons why your MacBook trackpad is not clicking or working properly. There might be a pending update, trackpad settings might be corrupt, or some app is messing with it. Try one of the above-mentioned solutions to resolve the issue.
How do I fix my trackpad problem?
There are 10 different ways you can get rid of trackpad problems. We have discussed each of these solutions in detail in the above guide. We hope one of these fixes will help you resolve the issue.
How do I reset my Mac trackpad?
Resetting the trackpad is pretty simple. Go to Trackpad settings from System preference. Uncheck the box in front of the Tap to click the option and select Normal for Scroll option. These are default settings.
If your trackpad is not working properly, then your MacBook might feel useless to you.
Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that you can try on your own before taking your MacBook for an official checkup.
Most of the time, one of these solutions resolves the issue and saves you from the trouble and expense of getting your MacBook fixed.
We have shared 10 solutions that can help you fix your MacBook trackpad not clicking error. One of these solutions will surely solve the issue for you.
Let us know in the comments if they worked for you. We will be sharing more Mac guides soon. Stay Tuned!