New mac user here. Just got hold of two well kept MacBook pro 2012 running MacOS Catalina. One of them has no battery and runs directly on AC power (plugged in). The other one has batteries that need replacement (more on that in another question).

I want to enable right click and single tap actions on the trackpad. However, when I click on Trackpad in system settings, it says that it is searching for a 'bluetooth trackpad' while showing nothing about the trackpad that I am actually using (says "No Trackpad Found").

On searching the internet, I found some other people had this issue as well and folks on the apple forum suggested resetting the SMC (system management controller) on the mac. Now this SMC is responsible for managing power so it looks like this could be a power related issue.

However, none of them said they ran their macs on AC power directly (like me). So what do you think could this be due to?

  • At the moment I'm running my mid 2014 MBP without battery and I am seeing the same as you. Now, since the battery had swollen, before I removed it, it could be a hardware issue with the battery pressing on the trackpad, but my gut tells me to wait for the new battery to arrive and check again (I would not want to run my MBP without battery for long, since performance gets throttled without one).
    – Redarm
    Jan 20, 2023 at 10:51
  • The trackpad sits directly on top of the battery, and there may be some physical connection between the two. As said, you really need to get a battery. If it's the old non-Retina 2012 MBP (great machine), then that's very easy with the right screwdrivers.
    – benwiggy
    Jan 20, 2023 at 11:01
  • Having said the above, the trackpad keeps the settings. So you shouldn't need the UI to change those; you can use Terminal. E.g. defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad TrackpadRightClick -bool YES to enable right click. Or defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad Clicking -bool YES for "tap to click".
    – Redarm
    Jan 20, 2023 at 13:42
  • For "tap to click" more changes seem necessary though.
    – Redarm
    Jan 20, 2023 at 14:07
  • 2
    @Redarm I got myself a replacement battery and the problem is now gone!
    – Skegg
    Mar 5, 2023 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


I can safely attest to the fact that this is linked to the presence (or absence, as we see above) of a battery. After having my battery replaced, that problem is now gone


I've a 2011 macbook air without battery. I am having the same issue. The file in the description of this video fixes it. The video is not mine and I dont know if the file is safe. After aplying the file, you can change the settings you want and then restore the original file. Changes you make will remain.

  • This seems to be a link only answer. Jan 14 at 20:15
  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – Allan
    Jan 14 at 20:30
  • @Allan I can't really add any detail since I don't know which part in this huge file (compressed folder actually) fixes the issue.
    – palindrom
    Jan 16 at 6:29

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