My Magic Trackpad (on a 2011 iMac) keeps randomly clicking, which causes random text selects, etc. Also the cursor seems glitchy while it's happening too, it'll slow down and erratically move around.

I'm not using any extra tools like BetterTouchTool, and it's worked fine for the past few months since I got it. I've tried new batteries and a new OS X user account.

Anyone know what the issue could be? Is it a known issue, should I just ring Apple to get a replacement?

EDIT: Just tried it on Windows via Bootcamp, and it does the same thing, so it must be a hardware problem.

  • That wouldn’t happen to occur more or less at the same time as you iMac's sleep issue, would it?
    – kopischke
    Oct 30, 2011 at 21:26
  • You wouldn't have tap-to-click enabled, would you?
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 30, 2011 at 22:51
  • @kopischke: I initially thought they were related, but turning the trackpad off doesn't help the sleep problem. Oct 30, 2011 at 23:32
  • @daviesgeek: yes I do, why? Also, I've tested in Windows and it does the same thing. Must be a hardware problem, right? Oct 30, 2011 at 23:35
  • @AshleyWilliams Tap to click is pretty sensitive. If you accidentally double tap it, it'll turn on drag lock.
    – daviesgeek
    Oct 31, 2011 at 14:30

4 Answers 4


Turns out it was a hardware issue. Got a replacement from Apple, and it works fine!

  • 2nd time this same issue has happened to me as well in 6 months with the Magic Trackpad. Hrm. I feel a recall coming on.
    – ylluminate
    Jun 14, 2012 at 7:30

I had this happen just the other day! Suddenly my trackpad was stuck "dragging". I couldn't click. I could right-click (two finger tap), but I couldn't normal-click. And when I tried, it locked down a drag point and I was selecting everything under it.

And then also occasionally it would fire a mouse click when I bumped my desk. I could literally drop my fist on my desk and fire a mouse click. I knew I had to deal with this when I deleted an email in Mail.app and then took a phone call, leaving the mouse pointer over the trashcan button. I sort of paced around my office talking (like I do), and when I got back to my desk.... inbox zero!

Turns out my KEYBOARD was failing. The shift key was getting stuck down (hence the sticking in select mode) and somehow it was also submitting mouse clicks. I've had that keyboard for quite a while, eaten lots of lunches over it, etc. I replaced it, and it's been flawless ever since.

Try unplugging your keyboard and see if the behavior persists. At first, I could plug it back in and it would behave for a while. Then even that quit working.


I discovered that a small pile of computer screws near mine were somehow interfering. Removing the metal from the vicinity of the trackpad fixed the glitches.

This page also recommends giving the trackpad a physical click to wake it up: http://www.trackpadmagic.com/magic-trackpad/help/slow-mouse-pointer


I’ve only experienced something similar in two cases:

  • after enabling tip-tap to select with locking (it’s in the Assistive System Preferences) before actually mastering the tip-tap :).

  • when there was interference on the Bluetooth channel. In my case, the Trackpad didn’t agree with a pair of wireless headphones (I ended up shutting the trackpad off whenever I used the headphones). Check for any other device broadcasting on the 2.4 GHz band. Also, insufficiently shielded electrical devices can run high frequency interference.

If neither of these match your case, the Trackpad itself might be behaving erratically. Try unpairing it from the Mac (shut it off, connect a mouse, delete the trackpad from the list of known devices in the Bluetooth System Preferences), putting fresh batteries in and then pairing it again.

Finally, try using the trackpad with another Mac if you have the option – considering your other question, it is entirely possible the iMac is acting up, not the trackpad, be it from external interference or a hardware problem.

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