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Sometime within the last week or so, I noticed this really weird glitch with my trackpad. I have always used the three-finger swipe to navigate forwards and backwards on web browsers, between tabs in my terminal, from the album view to the main iTunes display, etc. However, for some reason my trackpad is not responding to this gesture when I first select a given window, but as soon as I use the two-finger scroll in any direction, it suddenly starts working as normal.

I've tested it in every application I use the gesture for, and it's the same in all of them. It was definitely not doing this a few weeks ago, and I haven't changed any system preferences since then. It's also incredibly annoying and slowing down my workflow, so I'm trying to troubleshoot the issue.

I've tried changing the swipe from three finger to two finger, but the problem persisted. Google has turned up nothing, so I'm just hoping someone might have an idea what could be causing it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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I've got the same problem (maybe since update to OS X 10.7.4?), except that two-finger scrolling does not help every time. What is your OS X version? –  hiddenbit May 22 '12 at 15:55
    
I'm also on 10.7.4 –  desperatethelark May 22 '12 at 17:30
    
I'm actually on 10.8.3 and I still have this problem. I've noticed this ever since upgrading to 10.8.* and it's ridiculously annoying. –  Oliver Apr 3 '13 at 18:15
    
I have a similar problem. Three finger swiping between full screen apps and desktops will randomly stop working. If I open 'System Preferences' and select track pad, it will work but, inevitably, will stop working at some point. –  user55873 Aug 26 '13 at 23:03
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1 Answer

I'm not sure that this really counts as an answer, but in my case the problem went away after I did two things:

1) installed the most recent update from apple, and

2) manually closed all my programs and restarted them (I usually just have them reopen automatically when logging back in)

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