Prior to Mavericks, one could reverse the direction of a Magic Trackpad, using the following defaults commands, and magic five-finger gesture to reorient.

defaults write com.apple.trackpad.orientation TrackpadOrientationMode 1
sudo defaults write com.apple.MultitouchSupport ForceAutoOrientation YES

You can find more information here and here. Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to work in Mavericks. Does anybody know a modern incantation to bring back the old magic?

NOTE: this is not the same as reversing the scroll direction. It completely reverses all input and gestures on trackpad.

UPDATE: I got it to work. Ray Shan's "reboot the trackpad" might be part of the magic. Also, five fingers + hard click seems to be crucial to activate.

  • Anyone got this to work on a Magic Trackpad 2 with OS X El Capitan? No luck for me. – Clafou May 27 '16 at 10:00
  • Just got it to work with OS X El Capitan 10.11.5. Tried the 5-finger hard click before reboot and nothing happened. Turned off the trackpad, then turned it back on, still not; then did 5-finger hard click and it worked. So... (1) execute 2 commands, (2) power cycle, (3) 5-finger hard click. ... Of course I don't know if the 5-finger hard click before power-cycling was necessary. I assume not. – Paul McMurdie Jul 4 '16 at 2:29

sudo defaults write com.apple.MultitouchSupport ForceAutoOrientation YES did the trick for me on 10.9.5 (required a reboot). I haven't tried defaults write com.apple.trackpad.orientation TrackpadOrientationMode 1. Possibly the two methods are interacting strangely with each other?

  • 2
    Can confirm this still works in Yosemite 10.10.3. A reboot of the trackpad, not OS X, does the trick. Also confirmed here: blog.pythonaro.com/2015/01/… – Ray Shan May 26 '15 at 19:04
  • Fyi the latter doesn't seem to do anything on 10.9.5. – 1110101001 Mar 22 at 23:16

This appears not to work anymore on MacOS 10.12 (Sierra). Corroboration from Apple discussion forum, here: https://discussions.apple.com/message/30704137#message30704137


I just tried exactly same code, and it works for me in 10.9.3.

You can try reboot your Mac, naturally place your five fingers on trackpad. It should recognise right away. If you turn it around and place your 5 fingers again, it will turn again with it.

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