Trackpad tap-to-click on login screen

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Whomp, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    This setting supposedly used to work on previous versions of OS X to enable tap-clicking on the login screen, but this is no longer seems to be the case.

    I've tried both

    defaults write -g -int 1


    defaults write Clicking -int 1

    with each of ~/Library/Preferences, /Library/Preferences and /private/var/root/Library/Preferences (via sudo), both with and without the -currentHost flag, along with some even more obscure places such as /System/Library/User Template/{English.lproj|Non-localized}/Library/Preferences and in /System/Library/LoginPlugins/BezelServices.loginPlugin/Contents/PlugIns/AppleBluetoothMultitouchTrackpad.plist and /System/Library/Extensions/AppleBluetoothMultitouch.kext/Contents/Info.plist, all to no avail (yes, this has been seriously bugging me!)

    All this has led me to the conclusion that tap-clicking is hard-coded to "off" somewhere in a login window binary. Are there any experts around here who know whether or not I'm right and if so, whether there's anything that can be done about it?
  2. macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    Do you need it? How many people go to click "Login" anyway?
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    I wouldn't have posted if it weren't niggling away at me! I don't need it, but I want it!
  4. macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    Glendale, AZ USA
    I agree with the OP. How do we get tap to click working again at login?
  5. macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    It's working for me.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    How did you get it working?
  7. macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    I didn't do anything, I just tried it. Then I realized you meant the login screen, not just when it prompts for a password after it's been in sleep mode. :oops:
  8. macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2004
    045°042'21.99"N, 009°005'056.57"E
    It doesn’t work for me either, and though I don’t need it (what does one “need” beyond air, bread and water anyway?), I would really like to have it working again.
  9. macrumors member


    Apr 12, 2009
    Tap to click is a choice made in the preference panel. Each user decides this preference so until you identify yourself by entering your password and logging in, the OS doesn't know your choice yet and defaults to a standard pad mouse click.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Jul 31, 2005
    I'm so annoyed by this too.

    I didn't even know there was a Terminal command for this (at least in previous OS versions).

    Somewhat related to my annoyance: does anyone know how to remove the Guest icon from the Login screen? 10.7.2 forces it to show no matter what you do in Preferences. If I'm able to remove the Guest icon, I won't care about tap-to-click so much then. Ta.
  11. macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    I don't get it. I disabled Guest and it disappeared immediately.

    Are you sure it's not "Other..."?
  12. macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    anyone know how to remove the guest icon in 10.7.2

    its really annoying having it there, and i have disabled the guest account
  13. macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    Guest Account Always Appearing

    Though I'm researching the ability to activate tap-to-click for the login screen, I wanted to take a moment to answer a question I do have the answer to.

    The reason your guest account is showing even though you have it disabled, is due to the fact that you have likely enabled "Find my Mac" in your iCloud settings. What that does is enables a special Guest account which is incredibly limited. It restarts the computer in order to be used and works as a security feature, should your computer be stolen. Once it connects back to the internet, it updates Find my Mac every chance it gets.

    Though I don't like looking at it esthetically on my login screen, I appreciate the added layer of security in the event of theft.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2011
    Confirmed Working

    I just found my answer, so I thought I'd share:

    For old trackpads (tested on Snow Leopard):

    sudo defaults write -g -int 1

    For multitouch trackpads (tested on Snow Leopard & Lion):

    sudo defaults write Clicking -int 1

    You don't need to explicitly address the plist files if you use sudo. The defaults system looks in ~/Library/Preferences, /Library/Preferences, & /System/Library/Preferences in that order, stopping early when the preference is found. When writing a preference, it always puts the preference in ~/Library/Preferences. root's ~ is /private/var/root, so defaults under sudo writes to /private/var/root/Library/Preferences. And finally, the login screen runs as root, so when it starts up & looks for the preference, it looks in root's ~/Library/Preferences first.​

    Found my answer on MacWorld forums, here's a direct link if you want to read more of the background.

    Again, I used the above terminal command (important that you perform the action with SUDO) on 10.7.2 with a Magic Trackpad and tap-to-click now works on my login screen, not just my screensaver lock screen. I hope this helps.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    i'm glad to have found this post. i'm using my macbook pro with a 40 inch monitor and use it from a 12 feet distance with a wireless keyboard and a trackpad. i just tested this command and it works. thanks a lot.

    now if someone knew a way to boot a macbook pro mid 2010 thats completely shut down, using either an apple wireless keyboard or magic trackpad or an apple remote. that way i can avoid going through the hassle of opening the lid and powering it on and then closing it down again.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    It works!

    I'm imaging White MacBooks and ran into the Tap feature turned off. Since these are already 5 years old, some of the "mouse" buttons are getting "soft" (i.e. not working so well). I wanted to turn "Tap to Click" on, but that setting gets wiped out when the Guest user logs out (I have all students log in as Guests - sooooo much easier on sooooo many levels).

    Been futzing around with this problem all day until I ran into this article and checked out the link referral. Even though that older article was written in 2007, still works with Mountain Lion on a Mid 2009 MacBook (w00t!)

    This is how I did it:

    Use Terminal to turn on hidden files
    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
    killall Finder

    I copied the .GlobalPreferences.plist file to my Desktop

    Open .GlobalPreferences.plist in PList Editor (Fat Cat Software - $30 - Good!)
    Click on the "Root" key and click the "New Child" icon in the button bar
    Key = ""
    Class = Number
    Value = 2 (I also wanted Tap and Drag - remember the button isn't reliable)

    Value = 1 (if you only want Tap)

    Save the file.

    Now I can push the file out to the laptops that I've imaged, and/or add it to the image before I upload it to the server.

    By the way setting the Trackpad and then copying over the /Guest/Library account to the User Template file doesn't work - I don't know why, but it doesn't.

    Thanks to all who helped figure this out.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    The following should work:

    # TRACKPAD: enable tap to click for this user and for the login screen
    defaults write Clicking -bool true
    defaults -currentHost write NSGlobalDomain -int 1
    defaults write NSGlobalDomain -int 1
  18. macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2014
    Hi there. I just upgraded my mac to 10.9.2. Will this command work on my computer, too?

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