My trackpad started to work incorrectly: when I double-clicked and draged, I couldn't select text anymore. Even though when I just double-clicked a word, it was being selected as usual.

I tried to troubleshoot this issue and went into Trackpad preferences. I tapped "Tap to click" option, and now I cannot click anything at all! And I cannot turn the option back ON. Also, I don't have a mouse to connect...


How to turn "tap to click" back ON using only keyboard?


  • Mac OS X 10.14.6 Build 18G3020
  • MBP 13" 2017
  • Do you have "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" enabled? Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 13:59
  • For the selection problem the solution is here. It's due to a recent update of macOS Mojave. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


You can do it via Terminal.app with those commands:

defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad Clicking -bool true
defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad Clicking -bool true

You may need to restart the System after that. Or, run the following:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/SystemAdministration.framework/Resources/activateSettings -u
  • 1
    Thanks. It doesn't work, though. I can read this flag as true, but when I go to the preferences, "Tap to click" is still unchecked. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 14:32
  • 1
    This is what worked for me: defaults write com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad Clicking -bool true. From here. Thanks! Restart was needed. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 14:37
  • 2
    I Didn't know about that, I've edited the answer :) Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 14:52
  • 1
    Adding to this: According to this answer, you can make defaults write take effect without logout-login/restarting with activateSettings -u
    – RexYuan
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 8:09
  • After upgrading my mid-2012 15 inch macbook pro to Sonoma using OpenCore-Patcher I could not see the Trackpad and the Mouse sections in the System Settings... This answer made my day... Thanks!
    – Ted
    Commented Apr 1 at 20:13

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