I want to use my magic trackpad while it's rotated, as if in 'portrait' mode.

I can't find any option to make it work like this, unlike a display Rotation option.

Is there a way for me to use it this way? If so, how?

1 Answer 1


You have three options that I'm aware of, but depending on the version of macOS you're running, probably only one of them is a real chance of doing exactly what you want.

In summary:

  • Use Terminal commands to rotate the trackpad orientation. However, the commands I'm aware of only work to rotate it 180° instead of 90°. It also doesn't work for macOS Sierra or macOS High Sierra. If you're running an earlier version of macOS and rotating 180° is an option for you, then see details below for Terminal commands.
  • Try using MagicPrefs, however this is now on its last legs as an option. It's worked brilliantly for many users for a long time, but for various reasons is no longer maintained
  • Try using BetterTouchTool. This is probably your best bet. You can install it for free for 45 days to test how well it meets your needs.

Terminal commands

If you decide that rotating your trackpad 180° will meet your needs, and assuming you're running an older version of macOS, then follow these steps:

  1. Launch Terminal (usually found in Applications > Utilities)
  2. Enter the following command (or copy and paste it):

    sudo sudo defaults write com.apple.MultitouchSupport ForceAutoOrientation YES

  3. Press Enter

  4. Enter the following command (or copy and paste it):

    sudo defaults write com.apple.trackpad.orientation TrackpadOrientationMode 1

  5. Press Enter

Once you've entered both commands you should be able to just turn Bluetooth off and then on again to activate the change in orientation.

  • Thanks, but not able to rotate 90°. Dec 28, 2017 at 11:22
  • Could you elaborate on "older version of macOS"? Feb 22, 2019 at 1:52
  • @JulianF.Weinert Apologies for the delay in responding, I'm only now catching up with my inbox. In the context of this answer I meant a version of macOS older than macOS Sierra (10.12). I don't recall if it works on El Capitan (10.11), but certainly on older versions.
    – Monomeeth
    Feb 24, 2019 at 23:20
  • I see. Yeah, very sad, they removed it. Guess the rotation trick won't work with the new trackpad, so they don't need that feature anymore... I checked BetterTouchTool, but that doesn't do it either. I also started digging into programming a fix myself, but the mouse pointer seems to bee implemented far deeper than the go-to CGEvent. Need to dig a little deeper... Feb 25, 2019 at 1:40
  • 1
    @Alexander Call MTDeviceSetSurfaceOrientation private method (in private multitouch framework). Also you can't do 90 deg natively, but you can set up an event tap to capture mouse movement and use cgwarpmousecursorposition to adjust
    – 1110101001
    May 5, 2022 at 6:07

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