Joe's Quest

Enable/Disable Trackpad on New MacBook

Update Aug 20th, 2011.

In Lion, you can still find it in Universal Access -> Mouse & Trackpad. Just one more click on Trackpad Options… as below.

Enable/Disable Trackpad In Lion

Update Oct 7th, 2009.

The option appears in Universal Access -> Mouse & Trackpad. I remember that I have checked here before 10.6, this must be new in Snow Leopard. Anyway, it’s much easier now.

Thanks to Mary pointed this out in comment.

Enable/disable trackpad in snow leopard

TouchPad Setting In New MacBook
I moved the OS X Leopard from the old MacBook to new MacBook and I found that the setting in the Trackpad was missing. I set to “Ignore trackpad when mouse is present” before. After moving the hard disk to new MacBook and reinstall the system without erasing old data, I could not change the setting anymore.

I searched the official MacBook forum and got the solution for that:

TouchPad Setting In Old MacBook

Open Terminal and input following command:
defaults write -g 0
1: Disable Trackpad (Ignore)
0: Enable Trackpad
Log out and log in again then it will take effort.

Thanks brian_b provided the solution via Apple Support Discussion

Discussion (32)

There are 32 responses to “Enable/Disable Trackpad on New MacBook”.

  1. Wow! Thank you very much!
    I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?
    Of course, I will add backlink?

    Sincerely, Timur I. Alhimenkov

    • Tkjune responded:

      Hi Timur, I’m glad that you thought the post is useful. Though I don’t know Russian, you can take the post you like, with the backlink is ok.

  2. hej Tkjune, thanx for the solution, i had the same probs as you. Do you know the Terminal input for horizontal scrolling? I disabled this too on my iBook and know can’t enable it again.

    • Tkjune responded:

      Hello, faby
      For I’m using MacBook aluminum, I’m not sure if it works in iBook. You may have a try as following:
      defaults write -g 2
      0 Disable
      1 Use two fingers to scroll
      2 Allow horizontal scroll
      Good luck!

  3. Great post, would you mind expanding on the topic a bit in the future?

  4. august responded:

    · Reply

    So frustrated and angry – reminds me of my PC days. Did exactly what you said and STILL cannot disable this bloody trackpad – I HATE IT!!! I HAVE A MACBOOK PRO – what can I do?

  5. @august Are you using a aluminum macbook pro? I’m not sure if it’s ok on macbook before 2008 Oct. I’m new to mac too…

  6. Mary responded:

    · Reply

    The disable trackpad button has been moved to System Preferences/Universal Access/Mouse & Trackpad!!!!!!

    • Tkjune responded:

      @Mary Thank you. It may be part of 10.6 updates? Actually, I checked Universal Access before 10.5.7, and it wasn’t there. In that case, I could update this blog.

  7. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Having the trackpad mess me up all the time was maddening, as was not being able to find out how to turn it off. Thanks so much!!

  8. Candace responded:

    · Reply

    Mary, you have saved me much frustration by telling me this. Here, I thought I’d checked everything! Good for you, Mary! /

  9. David responded:

    · Reply

    Fantastic! I was fiddling with keyboard and trackpad options for hours, and the guys in my computer shop were clueless. Now one click in the Universal Access and problem solved.

  10. David Windsor responded:

    · Reply

    I want to thank you for a very informative post. I have been having issues with the trackpad on my MBP. I wanted to disable the trackpad until I could find a resolution to my problem. Your post really helped me out a lot. I would never have figured out where the option was to disable the trackpad! Thanks again!!


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    · Reply

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  12. bogefol responded:

    · Reply

    “You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.”
    Where else can I read about this?

  13. Tnx guys. Your awesome. Searched the whole web. And then You come with clear pictures, so cool. I can happily type now, without getting into anxiety about touching my mousepad. Tnx. Happy new year.

  14. cori responded:

    · Reply

    Tkjune, I looked all over for this option and couldn’t find it. Then I found your post and realized they moved it under Universal Access. I think it would have been OK to put it in under Trackpad, and Mouse sections as well. They put the mouse stuff under Trackpad so go figure 😛 Anyways, thanks for the tip!

  15. A-Double responded:

    · Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. My touchpad has been messed up for quite a while now, and I have been searching to block it for a while. Much obliged

    • Tkjune responded:

      @A-Double Great to hear that it’s been of help. And since Lion has come, have u upgraded?

  16. GT Badman responded:

    · Reply

    This tread saved my life, thank you very much! no more crazy cursor & automatic right clicking! BTW Apple needs to resolve this! Macs are too expensive for this kinda crap!

    • Tkjune responded:

      @GT Badman, the latest update shows Apple has solved it. haha

  17. Desirae Marashio responded:

    · Reply

    There is noticeably big dollars to comprehend this. I suppose you have produced specific nice points in functions also.

  18. Diego Peña responded:

    · Reply

    you, sir, are the man! thank you!

  19. Bente responded:

    · Reply

    Thank you so much!

  20. Mohsen Jafari Malek responded:

    · Reply

    @Tkjune; Thank you! It’s really useful, I have a MacBook (late 2007) and the hand rest on right side of it is broken! sometimes my trackpad make some problems because of this! NOW when I disable the trackpad it’s gone!
    thank you again! 😉 good luck

    • Tkjune responded:

      @Mohsen Jafari Malek, That’s nice:) I’m glad it helps.

  21. Bryan responded:

    · Reply

    YAYYY – thanks for teaching me about universal access and being able to shut down trackpad while I have a mouse attached!

    I was about to go nutzo. My damn trackpad would click when my palm put too much pressure anywhere RIGHT of the trackpad – WAY away from where it should be clicking. I could even reproduce it by pushing with one finger, like in the middle of the space, in line with the up and down arrows. Crazy, man, crazy.

  22. I’ve got the same problem everyone else has had – I can’t disable the trackpad when a mouse is installed. I’ve checked in Hardware>Keyboard and Mouse, Hardware>Trackpad and System>Universal Access>Mouse & Trackpad and nowhere does and option to Ignore trackpad when mouse is present. Universal Access has Ignore trackpad when mouse keys is on but not when mouse is present. I have Mac OS X, Version 10.5.8.

    Anyone have any ideas?


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