I have a tank of a computer from 2007 (17 inch Macbook pro 3,1) which is still working fine, but a recent issue has me doubting how much time is left.

The issue is happening to an unresponsive trackpad. The trackpad is not completely unresponsive, but instead gets stuck in 2 finger scrolling mode. What I mean by this is that the trackpad still works, but I am unable to use the pointer when it gets stuck in this mode. I am still able to scroll up and down on webpages etc, but the pointer is stuck. What happens is suddenly i am able to scroll with one finger instead of 2. The problem seems to be only initiated by using the 2 finger scrolling gesture.

My current workaround is to ALT-TAB to another program and this sometimes solves the issue, but not always. I have tried to search the internet about this but have come up empty handed. Hoping someone can guide me in the right direction.

To be clear, the trackpad is one of those that has only one large button (no left and right buttons).


  • I am unsure if a hardware problem can be helped. Try isolating the hardware by setting up bluetooth mouse or external touchpad if you can get some. To scroll, use the old fashioned way by scroll bar which can be made permanently visible in system preferences-> general.
    – anki
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 5:56
  • if it is a hardware problem id still like to see if theres a fix... I think plugging in a peripheral mouse is a good idea.. thanks Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 1:14
  • 1
    Your trackpad has failed. It's time for a new one. See: apple.stackexchange.com/a/235514/119271
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


Sometimes issues like these can happen if there is water underneath the trackpad. Try blowing some air or warming it out in the sun or other dry area.

Try to use an external mouse and you should know if the USB bus is still working.

You can refer to iFixit to open your MBP and remove the small dust particles which maybe cause the issue or try to reinstall OS X and see if that fixes the issue.

There are mouse controls via keyboard if you need to get around or avoid a repair.


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