Any way to shorten the trackpad's delay when letting go of a dragging movement?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Libertine Lush, May 14, 2010.

  1. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    This is on the new 2010 MBPs. This may also be the behavior with prior MBPs as well though.

    When I drag something, window or icon, and release my finger from the trackpad to set it in place, if my finger promptly touches down on the trackpad again so I can proceed with other tasks, the dragged object actually remains in focus and continues being dragged. I found that I have to artificially force myself to wait roughly a full second before I could resume contact with the trackpad without continuing the object-drag.

    Is there any way to configure this differently, either within OSX or with a freeware program?

    Thank you.
  2. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    I would also be interested in a fix for this.

    A similar behaviour is this:- if you double-tap drag over some text, like the text in this box, then release the trackpad, then press the backspace key too quickly, the highlight remains, highlighting the next bit of text. If you wait a bit longer (half a second?) before pressing delete this doesn't happen.

    This behaviour occurs in Safari and Mail. In Word 2008 it simply ignores a quick delete key press.

    I think it's the same behaviour as spotted by the OP - a built in delay before "finger up" is registered. It's annoying.

    My 2009 uMBP with Snow Leopard shows this behaviour. My 2006 MBP with Leopard does not.

    Can anyone suggest a fix?
  3. Tom71 macrumors regular


    Apr 27, 2010
    Yes count me in. I have the same problem.

    I think Apple changes things in a way that's not helping me at all. Funny CAPS lock that doesn't work properly and can't be changed, mouse acceleration that can't be turned off, click-hold-release delay on the trackpad that can't be customized.

    What's next?

  4. CK1Czar macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2010
  5. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    It's quite frustrating and absurd, considering this is still easily the best trackpad on the market. Even more so after you install the freeware BetterTouchTool utility.

    I'm sure you all already know the only workaround for now is to click-drag, rather than double tap-drag.
  6. PAC88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2009
    I noticed this problem in the store when I was about to buy one
  7. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    yeah its really annoying, just tap the window you want to place down at a slightly slower rate and you should be fine. but yes....the delay is annoying!
  8. zanax macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    thought it was just me being too hasty. I recently switched to 2010 MBP from linux on a Thinkpad and this is just plain annoying. I end up with windows all over the place, stuck to my pointing finger like a nasty sticky tape. There must be a way to reduce the time the drag lock stays engaged. i have looked into bettertouchtool for solution it does not seem to be offering any. Someone more experienced please give us a fix.
  9. zudo macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2005
    I haven't tried this at all but can you change the double click speed ie how long it waits for the second click before registering as double or single? That might affect the double click drag too?
  10. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Gave it a try. Didn't resolve the issue for me.
  11. Kenndac macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2003
    Do you have "Drag Lock" switched on in your trackpad preferences? If so, switch it off.
  12. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    No, it's switched off.
  13. zanax macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    Nope, drag lock OFF and double click set to a notch below highest allowable settings. Still the same issue. It is the release mechanism, it is not just about moving windows, also during scrolling or anything that needs a click and some motion, i have to give it a second to lose focus and let go of the object before moving the arrow elsewhere or else it just catches on to the last item whatever it might be.
  14. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    In fact, the moving windows issue is a lesser issue for me compared to how difficult this issue makes it to highlight text and then drag it (ie, highlighting an URL within a site to drag to the browser's URL window). Identical procedure to windows dragging and yet even more cumbersome to pull off.
  15. cyclical macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    This may sound stupid/obvious, but are you doing a full tap at the end? For example:

    1. drag window to desired position
    2. release finger from trackpad
    3. quick tap-and-release from trackpad

    ^ that's how I do it, anyway :) (but I also have drag-lock enabled)
  16. zanax macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I don't have drag-lock enabled and your suggestion seems to work...i just never had to do that on my previous linux machine so never thought of it. Now I have to get used to an additional tap to release the focus...and also remember not to do it on my other non-mac computers.
  17. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I've done what cyclical mentioned before. I just didn't think of it as a workaround at the time, since it seemed so peculiar. But cyclical's post might highlight an issue I didn't consider: that this might not be an oversight; maybe it's the Mac way. I only switched to Mac recently from Windows, so much like you with your Linux machine, I've never had to apply this additional tap to let go of a drag. Is this how it's always been with Mac trackpads?

    However, this additional tap to let go of a selected window still doesn't address the other remarkable problem, and the most difficult one, wherein you try to highlight text with a tap-drag movement, then attempt to drag that highlighted portion somewhere. I just tried doing it again and after about 2 minutes I still couldn't drag the portion of the URL I highlighted in my Chrome browser to drag it elsewhere. I have to click-highlight, and then click-drag to move it successfully at all.

    EDIT: Kept trying the tap-highlight to tap-drag method in the URL again. I can get it to work now. It's just that it appears to require an even more absurd delay between highlighting and dragging than the delay involved with double-tap-dragging a window and letting go.
  18. Tom71 macrumors regular


    Apr 27, 2010
    Maybe the only workaround is to enable drag-lock. Because then you'd always apply another tap at the end and would have a consistent experience.

    I found myself using two hands for drag operations, it works like a charm - I'm used to press the mouse button on my Vaio-Z with my left hand (for dragging - I always alternate between click with the left hand and tapping with the main hand for different workflows) and when I tried this on the MBP it just continued to work. You can even leave your left hand index finger on the bottom part of the trackpad while your right hand index finger does all the work. It's not interfering and causing gestures - seems Apple designed it this way.

    You can also test it by sliding the finger across the lower part of the trackpad, it will not register as a mousemove.
  19. zanax macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    better touch tool solution for shortening drag release delay

    I have been using better touch tool but only recently saw something that might solve the problem we are discussing on this thread, specially for folks who have recently moved to macbook pros from pc laptops running windows or linux.

    If you go to the bettertouchtool>preferences>touchpad>General underneath that options window in really really small letters is an experimental dragging option radio button (check to enable). But you will have to disable the 'drag' option from OS-X under System prefs>Trackpad. Even though it says it does not work very well, in my experience it was completely mimicking my previous dragging experience in linux and windows laptops. No more workarounds for me.

    So try this out, this might be the software solution many of us were hoping for.

    Thanks BetterTouchTool!
  20. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Whoa! Incredible find, zanax! I use BetterTouchTool too. I have 13 gestures assigned to the touchpad, transforming it into a super weapon, but I never tried the feature you mentioned. And indeed it works perfectly so far. Despite the developer's instruction, I find it also still works despite not disabling "Dragging" in System Preferences.

    What it does not resolve is the inability to double-tap-highlight text, then double-tap drag to move it. The second step always de-highlights the text. The only way I can move highlighted text is to click rather than tap.

    Nonetheless, this is one huge inconvenience remedied. Thanks a lot for sharing this, zanax.
  21. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I just noticed something about the developer's instruction to disable drag. As I said in my above post, BetterTouchTool's experimental dragging solves this issue whether or not drag is disabled in System Preferences. However, if you disable it, with some programs I've noticed so far, Steam and iTunes, if you have the feature in System Preferences enabled to minimize a window by double clicking its title bar, you can no longer double-tap to minimize iTunes and it usually doesn't work anymore with Steam.
  22. pravdomil macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2014

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