Especially since the 10.8.3 update, I've been experiencing occasional freezes of my 2012 Macbook Air's trackpad and keyboard. The trackpad will be completely unresponsive, and usually only a few keystrokes will get through. Other people have complained that similar things happen after resuming from sleep, or that it takes a reboot to fix, but this happens randomly (it'll be working perfectly fine and then become unresponsive, then be fine 10 seconds later).

I have no external USB devices connected, and nothing shows up in the system log at the relevant times. In addition, as has been suggested by others online, I've disabled the Android File Transfer helper process which apparently has caused similar issues for others.

It's still under warranty -- should I take this to the Apple Store, or perhaps try reinstalling the OS first? Will that be their first line of attack anyway, or do you think they'll be able to diagnose a hardware problem and fix/replace it?

  • Bringing it to Apple for check up before warranty expires is a good idea. If it is sporadic and not related to specific program running (user program) it is probably your system/hardware. If you want to find out more, Enable the CPU monitor in Activity monitor, and see what it does during the times of hiccups. Select the keep CPU monitor on top, so it will be always there.
    – Ruskes
    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:18
  • It is not uncommon for the cable that connects the Keyboard (topcase) to the Trackpad to cause these symptoms. Feb 6, 2017 at 2:19

5 Answers 5


I would create a new user and see if the behavior happens under a new account, so you can isolate whether this is System Wide or just related to your own account. Check your Launch Items in system preferences and remove everything just to test.

How much free space do you have? For what is worth, I'm using a MBA 11' mid 2011 and I have the same behavior sometimes when Arq2 starts and I have IntelliJ + Xcode running. Like the CPU is under a lot of "pressure" and I totally experience the same. It lasts a few seconds (10 sometimes!).

So I doubt there's anything to do, unless this happens very often to you, in which case I'd take it to an Apple Store for either reinstall or some hardware check.

  • Not sure how this answers the question. Keyboard and trackpad resources are not account specific.
    – Ruskes
    Apr 10, 2013 at 19:01
  • 2
    If the item causing a problem is started or launched due to a config in the user preferences, then using a new user would potentially remove that influence. Apr 10, 2013 at 19:44
  • @Buscar웃 If you can't see how it solves, then you don't understand where the problem may rely. If his problem is software related (probably) he needs to find what piece of software is causing the lag. If it's hardware, then Apple Store will find it. Apr 10, 2013 at 19:54
  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. When I have the time, I will go through my launch items and perhaps create a new user, to see if something I'm running is causing the problem. I do have plenty of free space on my system, and this doesn't happen at times of load, and didn't happen when I first got the machine.
    – cablesm
    Apr 10, 2013 at 23:19
  • Good luck with it. To further investigate this, we'd have to go through your apps and see if we have something in common. :p Apr 10, 2013 at 23:57

Resetting the MacBooks power controller solved this for me:

To reset the SMC:

1: Shut down the computer.

2: Plug in the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter to a power source and to your computer.

3: On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.

4: Release all the keys and the power button at the same time. (You will see the status light on your charger change back and forth when you do this).

Done: Press the power button to turn on the computer.

Why this fix makes sense/works:

You will notice that when this issue occurs if you close and reopen your MacBooks screen the issue solves itself for the moment, this is because doing so cycles the power. Aka why a full power reset as described above can solve the issue for good.

Ref: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201295

(Also relevant if issue is occurring on MacBook Pro, or standard MacBook)


Do you have a good deal of status bar icons/services? I found in my case, that one particular service had caused my trackpad/keyboard to be unresponsive(turned out to be the wifi service). Disabling it in the top menubar may help.

In the case of the other answer, about creating another user account, this would have a similar effect, as your various preferences are set to default, so there may not be a conflicting service/interface effect at play.


have a look this! might lead to smth could be the answer! https://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=49254

besides in my case, the trick with another user didn't work...

i am checking this method to solve the issue

  • 2
    Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – Daniel
    May 19, 2013 at 22:45
  • Especially considering that (like in this case) the link may stop working. Apr 20, 2015 at 21:53

I have run into this problem multiple times. I have spent hours debugging and reading through forums. And unfortunately each time this happens I have to remember the most basic and simple way to solve this problem... I have a magic mouse and it was switched on in my bag. The mouse button was depressed which was causing my keyboard and trackpad to be non-responsive. Turn off the magic mouse.

  • 😂! Thanks Greg Cook. I can't believe it was working from 6-7 metres away but my mouse was on and that was the cause. Boy I'm a dork. Jun 8, 2018 at 4:51

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