I have a weird trackpad issue on my 15" 2018 Macbook Pro since a few days now. I suspect it's caused by a swollen battery, but I'm not totally sure.

Here is the issue,:

  • Force Click almost never works, if it does it's only for a few minutes after booting in the morning
  • right click (two fingers click) works fine for a little while after start up then stops working on part or the trackpad after a while
  • the longer I use the computer the larger the area where I can't right click gets, starting from the upper middle and extending downwards
  • after a few hours I can only right-click on the sides and bottom third of the trackpad and sometimes even a single click (one finger click) doesn't work on the upper middle of the trackpad

Given that the issue worsens depending on how long I use the computer I think it's a hardware and not software issue.
SMC and NVRAM + PRAM reset didn't help.

I have then noticed that my battery might be swollen, at least the bottom of the device is as pressing lightly on the lower right side makes the upper left rubber side lift by a few millimeters, same for the other side. To be clear, the trackpad itself seems perfectly flat, but the underside of the computer seems swollen.

However I'm not totally convinced it is the battery as System Report seems to consider it healthy.
Furthermore, I'm not sure a swollen battery could affect the trackpad, as if I understand it correctly, on newer trackpads the clicks aren't mechanical but generated by pressure sensors.

I can't get my computer to an Apple Authorized Service Provider (no official Apple Store in my area) before a few days/a week and also went out of warranty about 2 month ago.
So I'm turning to stack exchange to have an opinion on the issue and see if the device is still safe to use for a little while, as apparently swollen batteries are potentially dangerous.

1 Answer 1


We can only speculate wether the issue is caused by the swollen battery.


A swollen battery can be a hazard and should be swapped either way. Apple offers extra warranty for batteries that are swollen (2-3 years from purchase depending on the device). An AASP (Apple Authorized Service Provider) should be able to swap the Top Case (which will include the battery as well as the trackpad) under the extended warranty free of charge.

  • Thanks for the answer. I forgot to update my question to add information, but this is effectively what happened : it was indeed a swollen battery and they replace the entire Top Case (battery, trackpad and keyboard I was told) free of charge. In my case it was free of charge because of some European Union Legislation which extended the warranty in some cases apparently to 2 years even without Apple Care.
    – Ekusu
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 17:10

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