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

From time to time, my Magic Trackpad gestures will stop working. I can restart to bring them back, but this is pretty disruptive.

Is there a process I can kill to bring them back?

(I've tried turning off the Magic Trackpad; unfortunately, it doesn't fix the problem.)

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If resetting the necessary prefs does not help but the Magic Trackpad is still connected, this is a beautiful alternative: BetterTouchTool

In fact, this is much more fun since it makes the Magic Trackpad so powerful.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

When a reboot didn't fix this, I went to System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures and changed Mission Control to Swipe up with three fingers and App Exposé to Swipe down with three fingers. Those gestures now worked with 3 fingers. Then I changed it back to Swipe up/down with four fingers on both and they started working again using the four-finger gestures.

In 10.8, running killall Dock seems to bring back trackpad gestures as well.

share|improve this answer
killall Dock has worked for me on 10.9.3 too – alu May 21 '14 at 21:05

This started happening to me on my early-2013 MacBook Pro since I upgraded to Mavericks. It happens both and with and without the Magic Trackpad.

Based on the note at the end of Andrew's answer, I ran killall Dock from a Terminal window and the gestures started working again.

This blog post has more information about the issue and there is an Alfred extension to fix it too.

share|improve this answer

For me, the problem was that dragging got turned off in Universal Access somehow. Go to Settings -> Universal Access -> Mouse & Trackpad -> Trackpad Options and turn on Dragging if it's not enabled.

share|improve this answer

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.