Apple makes some of the most responsive trackpads in the industry, and there is an easy way to disable one on a Mac when a user needs to. Some users prefer using a mouse with their MacBooks, especially those sitting at a desk all day. Mice are generally better for productivity and in some cases can decrease fatigue when using a laptop for long hours. Once a mouse is connected to a Mac, there’s very little reason to keep the trackpad active. In fact, it can lead to accidental touches, which is why it’s better to disable the trackpad altogether.
That’s not to say that the trackpad on a Mac doesn’t come with its own advantages. There are several features that can be customized within trackpad settings. For example, users can enable Tap to click which will let them open a link or click a button with just a tap instead of a press on the touchpad. There’s also a Tap with three fingers function that can look up highlighted text, displaying a definition and context if available. Mac users can also personalize the scroll and zoom functions on their trackpad, and enable or disable various gestures. Some of these include swiping between full-screen apps by using three fingers, swiping left from the right edge to bring up notifications, and showing the desktop by spreading with the thumb and three fingers.
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Despite the functionality a trackpad offers, if a Mac user wants to disable the trackpad there’s a fairly easy way to do so. First, click on the Apple menu and open System Preferences. From here, select Accessibility. In the window that opens, scroll down to the Motor section on the left panel and then click on Pointer Control. Make sure Mouse & Trackpad is selected at the top, and then check the box that says Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present. Once this setting is checked, the Mac will automatically disable the trackpad when connected to a mouse or external trackpad.
Fixing Trackpad Problems On A Mac
Even though Mac trackpads tend to be better than their Windows counterparts, there are some cases where they might not function as expected. If the trackpad seems too fast or slow, it’s likely just a setting that needs to be modified. To access this, open System Preferences and click on Trackpad. Then adjust the Tracking Speed scale as desired and try using the trackpad again. If the right-click function isn’t working, there is a window where users can pick their preferred gesture for this action.
There are some cases where the trackpad responds to a click, but the pointer doesn’t move. When this happens, Apple says users should make sure only one finger is used on the trackpad, since not all Macs support two-finger pointer navigation. To check if this option has been disabled, users can open Trackpad settings and then click on Point & Click. If the Ignore accidental trackpad input option is selected, it won’t allow users to move the pointer with two fingers. Another reason why the trackpad might not be responding is due to the battery being too low. In this case, connecting the Mac to a power outlet can fix the problem. If the trackpad issues still persist, it might be time to take the Mac in for service.