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I am trying to troubleshoot a 2010 Macbook Pro with a trackpad that won't register clicks. The trackpad makes the click-clack noise and it can be used as a pointer with no issues, but the clicks don't register. I've read this question and I'm trying to figure out if there's anything else to try before I open it up to examine the battery/screws (as seen here). Here's what I've tried.

  • Checked to see if the laptop will work/click with external mouse. Yes.
  • Checked to see if it happens on other user accounts. Yes.
  • Checked to see if I can turn on "tap to click" in System Preferences. Yes.
  • Checked Accessibility Settings in System Prefrences just in case.
  • Ran Disk Utility to verify/repair permissions.
  • Did an SMC reset.
  • Upgraded the OX from 10.6.8 to El Cap, no change

I don't see any evidence of battery swelling but that seems to be the next step. The trackpad clicks but it definitely clicks more on the bottom than on the top, if that makes sense. The laptop belongs to my elderly landlady who would prefer it works the same as always, even though she's been able to use it with a mouse. I'm not sure tap to click is going to solve the issue for her. Anything else I can try? Thanks.

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    See this answer: apple.stackexchange.com/a/275291/119271 – Allan Apr 26 '18 at 12:59
  • Just to confirm - USB mouse works fine for click, drag, select and multiple select in Finder? Just when you manipulate the trackpad directly is when the pointer mouse up / mouse down events are wrong? – bmike Apr 26 '18 at 19:09
  • Yep, correct. And the pointer works fine with the trackpad, just the clicks do not register. – jessamyn west Apr 26 '18 at 22:30
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OK, I did some more troubleshooting and took the thing apart. No signs of battery swelling though I did unseat/reseat the thing. When I put it back together I literally banged on the trackpad until it started being responsive again. This would not normally be my plan but a tech suggested it and, oddly, it seemed to work.

Long term plan is probably replacing the battery or just replacing the entire unit altogether.

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