I completely erased the HDD and reinstalled macOS (High Sierra), but the touchpad is not detected in System Preferences, which shows me the error "No touchpad detected."

The touchpad is working though, I just can't use System Preferences to make any modifications to the settings.

Wait for a Bluetooth trackpad to be discovered

I yet again reinstalled it from a flash disk and have the same problem.

  • 3
    This happens while laptop didn't have a battery installed , after installing the battery everything worked as normal .
    – Ahmed Eid
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 9:11
  • 1
    I've just ran into this problem and I cannot post an answer here due to "needs 10 reputation without association bonus", but apparently what we did is run the Recovery Mode => Disk Utility to check the disk. For whatever reason, this fixed the touchpad / keyboard on the next restart. Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 13:36
  • Actually, the next day, they no longer worked even in Recovery Mode. We took it to a service, and it was a hardware error (regarding some cable between the motherboard and the touchpad). They say this is a common problem with the Macbook Pro 2015. They fixed it in 2 hours. Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


As per the asker's comment:

This happens while laptop didn't have a battery installed , after installing the battery everything worked as normal .

I had the same "trackpad not found" error on a MacBook Pro 13 inch mid-2010 running macOS 10.13 "High Sierra" and now 10.14 "Mojave" beta 2. I removed the 8-year-old battery because it swelled to the point the trackpad couldn't physically click. I reconnected the battery and the Trackpad preferences work again.

I'm inclined to see if the hackintosh community has found any methods which force the Trackpad preference pane to appear (e.g. fooling macOS into thinking there's a battery installed). If allowed by Ask Different, I'll update my answer with such workarounds.


I consider this behavior a bug, because it wrongly assumes "all MacBooks have batteries installed". The presence of a battery doesn't indicate presence of a trackpad; the presence of a trackpad indicates presence of a trackpad.

But, Apple could argue that the user was warned by the sticker on the battery itself to not remove it; so what happens after removing or replacing it is somehow the user's responsibility.

The last MacBooks with removable batteries (2008 Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro) were last supported by OS X 10.11 "El Capitan"; I do not know if it contains this bug; even if it did, it would not get fixed (10.11 now receives security updates only).

The only "legitimate" scenario I've thought of that would cause this issue is if the battery electronics, the logic board's battery circuitry, or the connections between the two are faulty, causing macOS to think there's no battery installed. As this scenario is unlikely (hopefully), I think the behavior of macOS is unlikely to be fixed.

  • This also happens from a brand new out of box first time booted and logged into macbook pro running 10.13. The trackpad settings are just completely missing. Returning to apple for a replacement.... Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 21:34
  • This is still correct in 2022, if you remove the battery from a mac laptop, it will then assume that you don't have a trackpad, which I also argue is a bug, but it does not matter what we think about it. You can fix it though! Maybe. I had a similar machine, it has a battery, and I configured the trackpad the way I wanted. Copied the files "com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad.plist" and "com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad.plist" from "~/Preferences", rebooted, and I had the configuration I wanted :-)
    – Mike Hardy
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 21:46

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