I've got a frustrating problem that seems to have cropped up within the last two months or so.

Infrequently, the left (primary) click stops registering with the OS, so I can't really click on anything. My mouse moves around the screen, I can right (secondary) click, but I just can't perform a primary click.

I'm running 10.6.8 on an Early 2011 MacBook Pro (http://support.apple.com/kb/SP619). The click stops registering both on the trackpad and my Magic Mouse.

A restart solves the problem.

Any ideas?

  • What happens if you remove secondary click from the magic mouse configuration so it becomes a single button mouse with both sides giving primary click? Does it still lose the the primary click?
    – Stu Wilson
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 23:22
  • Haven't tried that. It happens infrequently, so I'd hate to give up my right click, but perhaps I can give it a shot for a day or so to see what happens. What's your reasoning for trying this?
    – djibouti33
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 23:26
  • Purely to confirm as a software issue. If the right hand side exhibits the same issue as the left then it's software (which given you have a similar issue with the trackpad is almost a given). If RHS does not exhibit the same issue, then software is less likely but makes your trackpad issue an oddity. I'm betting the issues will continue but can't for any good reason think of a reason why unless there's a memory leak in the driver
    – Stu Wilson
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 23:38
  • I stated having the same problem with an older macbook pro (2008) without a separate trackpad or mouse. Added a track pad, think the built in one had died. No luck. add a logitech usb mouse. Works for a while (and so does the trackpad). then dies. Only the primary click goes away. It act to me like some sort of memory leak that overwrites the control of the primary mouse click.
    – user17214
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 16:51
  • You running anything that might be interfering with clicks, like a third party driver? Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 2:57

7 Answers 7


I had this same problem: no mouse devices registered a left click (internal trackpad, external trackpad, USB mouse). Right click, oddly, worked.

It turned out I had a Magic Mouse I had left in a bag that was turned on. It was compressed which registered as a button press, so no other mice/trackpads could register a left click. Taking it out and turning it off solved the issue.

I guess OS X doesn't differentiate between input devices.

  • 1
    You are a life saver. I have been pulling my hair over this for some time. I kept the mouse in my bag last week, and completely forgot about it.
    – Joyce Babu
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 22:06
  • Had the same issue ahah :D
    – vvo
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 9:27
  • You are absolutely genius!
    – Lars Bilke
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 13:08
  • Oh my god, I was slowly losing my mind there. Thank you!
    – phareim
    Commented May 3, 2022 at 7:32
  • Thank you!!! Had the same issue Lol!
    – chathux
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 21:32

Check that your external trackpad that you now rarely use does not have a book on it! That’s what confused me for at least 10minutes

  • That's exactly what just happened to me.
    – mindhaq
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 6:17
  • This applies for wireless external mice too!
    – pimlottc
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 22:41
  • Double check that you don't have any stuck keys on your keyboard by testing all the keys, particularly the modifiers (shift, option, etc).
  • Make sure there aren't any wizards, alerts, or dialogs hidden behind existing windows or in other spaces (this one gets me often, especially running the odd mix of programs I use daily).

I posted this in another thread, It fixed the single click issue for me.



So I had the same problem on my 2006 macbook, also running 10.6.8. I was convinced it was a software problem until I read a post somewhere that said it could be an old battery that has expanded and is putting pressure on the trackpad. So I took out the battery,made sure the power supply was plugged in an booted up...bingo, problem solved. I then left my battery in a freezer for a while to make any swelling go down and when I put it back, all working fine for now. So I might have to keep doing this if the problem comes back again :)


Macbook Pro with Apple Mouse and battery was at 82%. The mouse would move but neither the left or right buttons worked. It turned out to be simply a dirty connection on one of the batteries. Removed the batteries, scraped the connection on the mouse, re-inserted the batteries and success!


restart the bluetooth works for me

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