Trackpad not clicking

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by thekb, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    18 month old white MacBook, trackpad already replaced once under warranty and now its broken again. It just won't click, so I had to turn on the 'tap to click' feature. I could live with that, but its my wife's MacBook, and she's not down with that.

    I called in to Apple and they have refused to help and I am a little disappointed that it has failed twice already in under 18 months. Do you think the genius bar would be more likely to do something about it?

    I know things sometimes fail, but the same part twice? I think Apple ought to offer something, like charging for parts only or something.
  2. macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    The trackpad itself may not have failed. There's a "screw" underneath that adjusts the sensitivity... but it's under the battery, and the battery takes a special screwdriver. You might get lucky. Maybe they'll adjust it on the spot.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010

    Well, I will keep my fingers crossed that it is something that simple.

    I am aggravated that they refused any assistance with it. I was very humble and polite during the phone call. Why is it that being nice gets you nowhere and sometimes you have to be a jerk to get any help?

    I will try a genius bar appointment and see if they can help.
  4. blackburn, Sep 10, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011

    macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    Where Judas lost it's boots.
    I would also check for a swollen battery, since those are know to prevent the touch pad from clicking.
  5. macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    does anyone have a picture of that screw to adjust the trackpad clicker?
  6. macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2010
    No photo but it's a Torx 6 screw.


    You could also try taking an alcohol pad and running it along the edges of the trackpad with minimal pressure. Sometimes dirt and grime gets stuck under there that could help loosen it up.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Wanted to post a successful resolution to my trackpad issue.

    I went to the Genius Bar appointment and they were able to adjust that screw under the battery to make it work again. Great! I wonder if that was the problem the first time I had the trackpad replaced under warranty?

    The Genius said they are told to replace the trackpads, but usually the screw is the problem. He also said he has only ever seen the problem in Florida so he thinks it may somehow be caused by the humidity here...
  8. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    The screw was probably the problem.

    Lol, the Florida part is bollocks. Plenty of places around the country are humid, and how would the Genius be able to work in enough states to tell the difference between Florida notebooks and Alaska notebooks?

  9. macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    I see them needing adjustment just as often as they need to be replaced, but Apple won't pay an AASP for adjusting it, so a replacement trackpad gets ordered anyway.
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Yeah ... I didn't really question him too much on the Florida humidity comment. I was just happy he'd fixed the machine for me without charging.

    Very good customer service, and I was all ready to get worked up about it, too! Even gave my wife instructions to bail me out if they called security ;-)
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Bringing back up my own old thread to say my MacBook trackpad has ONCE AGAIN stopped clicking. This is the third time in about 2 years. Are all MacBook trackpads this unreliable or did I just get a bum machine?

    So I could make another Genius Bar appointment and they may try the screw adjustment thing for me, but I wanted to ask if anyone could describe exactly how it works and if it is something an end user could do? I've never taken my MacBook apart but am looking into upgrading the RAM anyway and if I will have the back off, I may as well try this other fix when I am in there.

    Thanks for any advice
  12. iMacC2D, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012

    macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    Once the bottom of the machine is removed, you can remove the battery by removing the three Phillips (00 Size) screws along the front edge of the machine/battery, and the three Tri-Wing (Y1 Size) screws on the back edge of the battery, closest to the optical drive and logic board. One of these in front of the optical drive will be obscured by a "Do not remove the battery" sticker, peel it back slightly to access it. Gently lever up the battery connector, lifting it slightly on each side bit by bit until it frees from the logic board.

    Careful when handling the battery, unlike older Apple batteries these have no casing or to protect them, particularly on the underside which is only a soft plastic/foil. Put it down on a flat, clean surface.

    iFixit has a clear and well documented guide to removing the battery, with images if necessary.

    The trackpad adjustment screw is not so much a screw as it is a flat disc with a thread cut into its edges and resides directly at the bottom of the trackpad, closest to the front edge of the machine. This can be adjusted with a Torx T6 screwdriver. Slowly turn the screw clockwise or counter clockwise until the trackpad begins to click correctly.


    (Image is an Aluminium MacBook, but the screw is in the same place on the White models).

    Reassembly is pretty straightforward, it's just a reversal of the above mentioned steps.
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Thank you, iMacC2D!

    I will give it a try when I have the back removed for RAM upgrade. I appreciate the help.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2012
    Hey how did to make out the second time? Was it resolved with the screw? I have the same problem. I actually notice that it's so sensitive now and if I touch it lightly it goes down and sometimes gets stuck. Would the screw resolve it?
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2012
    I'm having a similar problem with my 2008 13" aluminium unibody MacBook. Does anyone know if this can be fixed in a similar way?
  16. RKO
    macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2008
    I tried to do the same fix with the screw a long time ago on my old aluminium unibody and it worked initially but the same issue returned later on. I used the 'tap to click' anyway so it wasn't a big issue for me.
  17. macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    Yes. See the image and screw location in iMacC2D post above. The screw is very sensitive and turning even just a fraction will have an impact on the stiffness of the click. Take your time.

    Also, check your battery for swelling. Check to see if your trackpad is clickable without the battery installed. If this is the case and the battery door is hard to open or close, then you will need to replace your battery. See a Genius and you can get it at a cheaper "replacement cost" rather than paying full retail online.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2012
    I'm having this problem with my late 2008 unibody Macbook. I've adjusted the screw to every position and still no success. If I go to an Apple store will they be able to order a new trackpad and replace it for me? How much will this cost?

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