I am on a mission to become proficient with keyboard shortcuts, and I keep cheating by accident and using my trackpad. I want to be rigorous in my attempt to learn, so how do you toggle the trackpad on and off?

I found information on how to turn it off if you use a mouse, but that defeats the purpose of what I am trying to do.

In the spirit of learning keyboard shortcuts, if anyone knows how to set a keyboard shortcut to toggle the trackpad, that would be optimal.

  • 3
    I don't know that you can turn it off. Attaching a wireless mouse and setting said mouse on a shelf might be the way to go. Failing that perhaps taping a piece of card stock over the trackpad? Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 1:54
  • @Steve Chambers, thank you! If I can't find it anywhere, then I'll prob use the card stock idea. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


To turn off the track pad you’ll need to attach a mouse or wireless trackpad but you don’t need to use it.

To turn off the trackpad when a mouse is connected:

  1. From the  Apple menu go to System Preferences

  2. Click Accessibility

  3. Select Mouse and Trackpad on the left

  4. Select “Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present”


  • 2
    Is there no way to turn it off with out using another mouse? Using another mouse would defeat the purpose of turning off my track pad. Thank you! Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 18:05
  • @RileyMangan that’s the only way unless you want to manually disconnect the trackpad which would involve opening up the computer and disconnecting it and then re-connecting it when you want it but I wouldn’t advise doing that.
    – user310476
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 18:58
  • thank you for the fast response! I will take your advice and not attempt a manual disconnect. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 19:20
  • @RileyMangan :-) No problem
    – user310476
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 21:56

Actually, it is possible to disable the trackpad without needing to connect a mouse or wireless trackpad by using the Mouse Keys feature, but this will block your ability to enter text while it’s on. Mouse Keys allows you to use certain keyboard keys to control the movement of the cursor. While this answers your question, it won't allow you to do what you need.

This can be accessed in System Preferences / Accessibility / Pointer Control (or Mouse & Trackpad on older OSs) / Alternate Control Methods, and then check Enable Mouse Keys after you’ve enabled the 2 checkboxes in the Options window:

  • Press the Option key five times to toggle Mouse Keys
  • Ignore built-in trackpad when Mouse Keys is on

The first setting will allow this key command to turn the feature on/off so you can quickly access the trackpad again when needed.

This Apple support article explains how to use the feature and includes other ways to disable/enable it: https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/control-the-pointer-using-mouse-keys-mh27469/10.15/mac/10.15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .