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The trackpad on my MacBook Pro stopped clicking. I was able to enable the tap to click feature, so I can click around using that, but it's annoying to expect a click and get nothing. It's like the trackpad doesn't depress at all.

I've done some research and some people said it could be a battery issue, with the battery expanding, and other people said maybe it was a software update that could have happened. I haven't done a significant software update in a while, so I don't think that's it.

Any experiences out there with this?

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  • Yes - Your trackpad is malfunctioning. It could be from the battery swelling or it could be that the trackpad failed. It's a physical issue so it's going to have to be serviced.
    – Allan
    Sep 24, 2016 at 11:48
  • See my answer below. I put the question on here so someone else could get the info if needed.
    – pjlamb12
    Sep 24, 2016 at 14:04
  • @Allan if the MacBook has a "taptic engine" trackpad, it is not physical but logical. The trackpad actually fakes the feeling of a click with a little jolt. It can fail to make that click feeling because of logic issues. pjlamb12's solution worked for me.
    – devios1
    Oct 21, 2017 at 16:33
  • @devios1 - It's haptic not "taptic" and the tech is a pressure/electro capacitive sensitive metalic switch plate "sandwiched" behind glass. No matter how you slice it, it's a physical interaction that converts to a digital signal. It has the propensity to fail.
    – Allan
    Oct 21, 2017 at 21:15
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    @Allan, there might be times where it needs to be serviced because it's a physical problem, but there are times when the accepted answer below solves the problem. My suggestion would be to try the below steps, and if that doesn't work then take it in to have it serviced.
    – pjlamb12
    Oct 23, 2017 at 21:31

1 Answer 1

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I went in to the Genius Bar and got an answer, so here it is!

Note that this may not work for everyone, but it did work for me.

  1. The first thing the tech did was have me save everything and power off the computer. Wait until the screen is completely off and everything is powered down.
  2. Plug in your MacBook.
  3. Press the following keys in the bottom left of the keyboard: ctrl+option+shift (holding them all at the same time) and then tap the power button key in the very top right.
  4. If the light on the charger is amber, it should flash green and then go back to amber. If it was already green, it will stay green.

This is called an SMC reset, or system management controller.

The way the tech explained it to me, this resets how the computer distributes power, and should make the computer send the correct amount of power back to the trackpad. I don't know if that's exactly how it works, but that's basically how he explained it to me.

After doing this SMC reset, the trackpad started working immediately. Hopefully this works for you as well!

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  • 2
    Thanks!, It worked good. saved me a trip to the genius bar. Aug 24, 2017 at 3:33
  • 2
    I have a 2016 13" MBP whose haptic click had stopped working and this fixed it. Muchas gracias.
    – devios1
    Oct 21, 2017 at 16:30
  • 2
    Worked for me as well on 2015 15" MBP. Thanks
    – Tomas
    Sep 20, 2018 at 5:35
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    This saved my day! My touchpad wouldn't click anymore. I didn't expect this to be solvable on a software level. But I followed the steps and the touchpad is back to normal. The LED turned to green and back to orange as described.
    – chiccodoro
    Nov 2, 2018 at 20:30
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    Tapping the power button as described didn't appear to fix it for me on my 2015 MBP. Instead I held the power button down for a second. The system powered on, and the touchpad was fixed. Thank you so much!
    – Herr Pink
    Apr 29, 2019 at 7:47

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