Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Why is 3-4 finger multitouch support not available (not even listed as trackpad preference options) on my late 2008 white plastic Mac book?

share|improve this question
The question about a 2009 MacBook has some good discussion relating to the hardware difference between solid state and multitouch trackpads -… – bmike Aug 1 '11 at 21:44

The trackpad in the 2008 white plastic MacBook isn't capable of supporting multitouch gestures. As it's a hardware limitation -- meaning the trackpad hardware can't sense input from 3-4 separate fingers at once -- there aren't any hacks to get around the limitation.

One way to get full multitouch support would be to get a Magic Trackpad. They'll work with any bluetooth-enabled Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard v10.6.4 or later.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Micheal, although the apple support line guy (and his supervisor) thought they should work on my MacBook. Since the magic trackpad is described as for desktop macs, I think I'll take my MacBook to the Apple store and see it work before I buy one. – Jim Russell Aug 2 '11 at 18:07
It's for notebooks too. The copy on the linked page also says "Use it in place of a mouse or in conjunction with one on any Mac computer — even a notebook." – michaelmichael Aug 2 '11 at 18:36

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.