My girlfriend's MacBook Pro randomly stops responding - everything on the laptop keeps working as per usual (i.e. video will continue to play as if nothing was wrong) but absolutely no keyboard inputs or trackpad movements are registered - the only thing we can do is hold down the power button to force turn off the Mac then restart it.

I've tried resetting both the SMC and PRAM to no avail. It seems quite sporadic and I believe it's some sort of software issue rather than hardware (especially since the power button does actually work, even though nothing else does)

Any ideas please? Thank you!

  • 1
    Have you tried an external keyboard?
    – Allan
    Jun 2, 2017 at 11:22
  • Thank you @Allan, no I haven't - I will get hold of one and give it a try though, thank you!
    – Nick
    Jun 2, 2017 at 11:23

1 Answer 1


This will probably sound strange, but I had a short of similar issue on my MacBook Pro.

It turned out I was somehow accidentally managing to trigger the "Swipe between full-screen apps" gesture just a tiny almost imperceptible bit. It took me ages to figure this out. But while it is partially through a swipe nothing else seems to register on the keyboard or trackpad.

If this is the problem you can just do a little horizontal three or four (depending on how you have it set) finger wiggle to reset it, or turn the swipe off in System Preferences.

Screenshot of trackpad gesture preferences

  • Thank you! When this happened, did you notice anything change on the screen? I will try disabling the option anyway to see if it fixed it :)
    – Nick
    Jun 2, 2017 at 19:06
  • 1
    @Nick It took me a while to notice but depending on how far I'd nudged it there was a little black border on the left or right of the screen. For a while I was holding in the power button to reset thinking the machine had hung in some way although like you say movies or music would keep playing. It just wouldn't respond to the keyboard or trackpad. Jun 2, 2017 at 22:17

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