fixed : trackpad not responding when clicking

Question :

I had left my MacBook Pro (Late 2008 running OSX 10.11 El_Capitan) running and had forgotten all about it… after completely recharging everything seemed to be okay on first sight, but it turned out that even though I could use the (internal) trackpad to move the cursor, I wasn’t responding at all to any clicking on it. I therefore had to connect a USB-mouse. Even after restarting, the trackpad was responsive to moving the cursor, but not to clicking…

Is my MacBook’s trackpad broken ? Or is there a software solution I could try ?

 

Answer :

Even tough it’s not possible to completely rule out the scenario that your trackpad is broken, chances are you will be able to get it working properly again by an action that is normally referred to as “Resetting the PRAM”. Here’s how to do that :

  1. shut down your MacBook
  2. take out all cables and USB-sticks (this is just to rule out complications)
  3. restart your MacBook using the POWER-button
  4. immediately press and hold the key-combo [CDM]+[ALT]+[P]+[R]
  5. make sure you do so while the screen is still black
  6. when the screen lights up in light grey, you’ll hear the startup-chime
  7. now release all your fingers from the keyboard before the Apple-logo appears
  8. let your MacBook startup fully, then test if all works as expected
  9. then reconnect any cables and USB-sticks needed

Note : no worries if you act too slowly or too quickly ; if you are too late to press the key-combo, just let your MacBook startup, then shut down and try again ; if you keep pressing the key-combo for too long, you will hear the startup-chime multiple times (you will have reset your PRAM multiple times, but that’s no problem) so just release the keyboard, and just let your MacBook startup and you’re done… 😉

If the problem persists, you might have an ‘exploded battery’ problem. To check this, see if your trackpad is appearing to bulb out of it’s bezel/housing. If that is the case, you probably need to replace the battery to fix this problem. For most MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s from 2012 and older this is something you can do yourself. Some of these models have a battery-lid that can easily be opened, some models need a little unscrewing. (note : MacBook Airs and more recent MacBooks and MacBook Pros have batteries that are really hard to replace, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done in most cases.) The main problem will be that you need to find the right replacement battery. Amazon has replacement batteries available for most MacBooks and MacBook Pros, don’t mind if it’s not an official Apple battery, read the reviews to make your final choice, because often the imitation batteries are better than the refurbished ones. Here’s a link to one of the most common of these batteries :

replacement battery for 13″ MacBook Pro versions ‘Mid 2009’ to ‘Mid 2012’

enjoy !

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tip : easily make FREE screen recordings in MacOSX

“Screen Recording” means making a video of your screen (i.e. your MacOSX Desktop) while you are using it.

This is a way to make tutorial video’s which you can use to send or give to others, just like the ones you find on YouTube.

(…or you can use this to record online video’s that you can not download)

“Screen Recording” used to be something that would require rather expensive software, but with the introduction of QuickTime X Player in OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, it’s a simple and completely FREE feature included in MacOSX !

Here’s how to :

– open the “QuickTime Player” application (or maybe it’s called “QuickTime X Player” in your case)

– go to “File” and select “New Screen Recording” from the pulldown menu – or use the key-combo [SHIFT]+[CMD]+[N]

– in the small (shaded) screen that appears, you will see a record-button (with a red dot) in the middle and a grey triangle button on the right

– click on the grey triangle button and you can select your audio input source (e.g. a microphone you’ll be using for your voice-over comments), output video quality and whether you want record your mouse movements and clicks in the video also

– then click on the red-dotted record-button to start recording, but when you do so you will get the option to either select a (static) part of the screen [by dragging the cursor over the area you want to select for recording] or the entire screen [by clicking anywhere on the screen]

– recording will start right away after you’ve made your choice (so do not forget to start talking if you want a voice-over)

– to stop recording, go back to the record-button (which now shows a small black square) and click it

– the recording will stop and it will take a few moments for QuickTime X Player to process it (the longer your recorded, the more time the processing will take)

– the recording will be visible in a QuickTime X Player window right away

– to Save or Share your screen recording, go “File” and choose one of the following :

option 1. “Export” (= normal Save) for saving as a QuickTime .mov-file [you can set the video quality from the “Format” pulldown menu ; either (general) Movie, 480p, 720p or iPhone/iPad/AppleTV ready

option 2. “Export to” to directly upload to a website, import into iTunes or edit in iMovie

option 3. “Share” to directly share your screen recording with your friends through eMail, iMessage (= Apple SMS), AirDrop (= Apple WiFi-filesharing), Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo or Flickr

That’s it ; this might seem rather complicated from these instructions, but it’s actually really simple once you try 😉