4 General Issues Involving Apple’s MacBook Trackpad


26.10.2011

4 General Issues Involving Apple’s MacBook Trackpad

Like many times I have discussed about MacBook devices and Apple products in general I will begin by saying these products are great but not perfect. And it is obvious from a producer and developer point of view way creating a perfect product would be the end of your maintenance team. Today I think we should focus on the MacBook’s trackpad.

In general when facing a problem involving a MacBook trackpad we are facing a buildup of dirt on the surface of the trackpad. In more advanced issues there could be some wrong trackpad settings that the user did or didn’t do how they should be done. But like in all things the common issues are the easiest to handle and solve by yourself, we should investigate these before hurrying with the device to the local Apple store and say it is broken.

1st of all let’s see some information about the general trackpad settings. From the start you should know that this type of trackpad operates different than that of a normal laptop. We are facing a design here that involves the possibilities of clicking, scrolling and swiping with one to four fingers at a time. Those of you who have experienced a normal laptop PC realized already the big picture. If the trackpad is working but not at the full potential and the result when trying to do different movement gestures on it is late start by clicking on the “Trackpad” icon in System Preferences. In there should be the most general settings. Also there are some accompanying videos that you could watch; videos that are showing how to modify the settings in the proper way.

Another common problem that could appear involves the lack of grounding. There are some cases where the trackpad on a MacBook may become unresponsive just because you connected it to an improperly grounded power adapter. This can be easily observed if the trackpad presents different issues only when the power adapter is plugged in. It is obvious that the power adapter is the issue and you should change it in general because the repairing of such a part is sometimes frustrating and can’t be done. Also be sure you have plug it in the right three-pronged wall socket. If by any chance there are no three-pronged sockets available and you are using a two-pronged wall adapter, be sure to rest your hand on the palm rest while using the trackpad. In general this action should ground it and also the trackpad would work properly.

Now let’s speak a little about how we could clean the trackpad surface in such a way that we don’t create any further problems. There are numerous things that could affect the cleanliness of it. We are speaking here about things like dirt, dust, smoke or even oil from your hands. All of them could cause some problems when trying to use this MacBook part. In order to have a perfectly working trackpad it should be always clean. That’s why a cleaning from time to time is necessary. If for example you feel the texture of the trackpad is not how it should be or even if it feels a little uneven to the touch, it should be cleaned. You start by turning off the MacBook and with the use of a soft, lint-free cloth start the cleaning process. A must know is that spraying or putting different liquids on it is going to worsen the problems or even create others. In any situation be sure to not use abrasives or solvents to clean the surface of the trackpad.

Last let’s speak about the operation of cleaning inside the trackpad. Different things like liquid, dust, crumbs or other debris could infiltrate under this component and could create some troubleshooting. If this could be the reason why it doesn’t work properly then you should take it to a specialized technician. Trying to clean underneath the trackpad yourself may damage it further, or void your warranty. But after all if you decide to do the job yourself, turn off the MacBook and also be sure to unplug it from the power adapter.  Turn it over and remove the screws from the bottom of the case. Now simply remove the battery inside. With a blow of air from around 6 inches over the trackpad should solve all your problems.

If none of the mentioned above situations don’t apply to you then the problem is more serious. That is why an expert view is needed. Take the device to a local Apple store and search for a technician in order to solve in the most save way the issue. As a general advice I don’t encourage the disassembly of the device by yourself because this breaks the warranty agreement and also the job is to complex for a person with the lack of knowledge. Hoping this is not your case start scrubbing that surface until you see your face in it.

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