fix trackpad not clicking?

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
2,358
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I was using my macbook air today (2013 version) and I stopped, and then when I used it again later in the day the trackpad isn't clicking properly. It still registers clicks just fine but it just isn't clicking the way that it used to from a mechanical perspective. I am not sure why this is happening but I was wondering if anyone has any ideas to repair this or if not how much it costs to buy a new trackpad (I can install myself without issue)
 

perkedel

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2014
534
202
California
I was using my macbook air today (2013 version) and I stopped, and then when I used it again later in the day the trackpad isn't clicking properly. It still registers clicks just fine but it just isn't clicking the way that it used to from a mechanical perspective. I am not sure why this is happening but I was wondering if anyone has any ideas to repair this or if not how much it costs to buy a new trackpad (I can install myself without issue)
I had something like this happened to my MBP. It was clicking, but often OS X doesn't seem to notice the click. I remove the cover/battery and adjusted the tri-wing screw right below the pad. It's working fine now.
The air is a little harder to remove since it uses that 5 flower looking screws. You probably don't need a new one, just need to adjust this bottom screw.
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
2,358
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Yes, do a search here, there are lot of tips on what to do, things to try first before resorting to replacement.



You can install a trackpad but you can't search the forums for other users with the same issue, or search online where to buy a replacement or how much it will cost? Nothing personal, but that kind of makes me wonder if you really should try the replacement. Just being brutally honest. I hope you see the point I'm trying to make.

(If you really can't search or look in the normal places, you can get one from ifixit for $90.)
thanks for the help. Just so you know, I searched google, no posts had a good tip, everyone was saying to reset the pram but this is clearly a hardware issue, which no one had a fix for. Second, google didn't find me any replacement trackpads except ifixit. Third ifixit is out of stock, and the trackpads they sell are used not new. So basically you have made yourself look like a douche, who would rather make me feel like an idiot when really it is just you talking out of your butt trying to make yourself feel good

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I had something like this happened to my MBP. It was clicking, but often OS X doesn't seem to notice the click. I remove the cover/battery and adjusted the tri-wing screw right below the pad. It's working fine now.
The air is a little harder to remove since it uses that 5 flower looking screws. You probably don't need a new one, just need to adjust this bottom screw.
thanks for the help, I will give this a try, I am just waiting for my pentalobe screw drivers to come in.
 

leonw

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2011
68
0
at home
I had something like this happened to my MBP. It was clicking, but often OS X doesn't seem to notice the click. I remove the cover/battery and adjusted the tri-wing screw right below the pad. It's working fine now.
The air is a little harder to remove since it uses that 5 flower looking screws. You probably don't need a new one, just need to adjust this bottom screw.
I had the same problem on our mbp and adjusting the screws fixed the problem. After some time it happened again. It turned out to be the battery that had expanded (because of 'old age'). Changing the battery and adjusting the screws again did the job. No problem since.
 

cyber16

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2013
488
26
There is ONE set screw at the bottom of the track pad that adjusts the travel.
That is the one you need adjust.
The other six 000 philip screws on the two tabs at the top are only to hold the position of the trackpad within the cut-out of the frame so that they don't make contact
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Sounds like the battery has swollen slightly.

Not the first case of this
Not that this has happened, but if the battery has swollen at all, time to get it replaced. That's the first step to the internal chambers of the battery rupturing and then the thing shorting out, which could easily ruin the laptop and possibly start a fire.
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
2,358
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the issue is definitely not the set screw. I took apart the whole thing, inspected the trackpad which seems fine, adjusted the screw, which made things either the same or worse. and then lost the screw! It fell out, couldn't find it anywhere, was shaking the computer but couldn't hear a thing. Ended up taking the whole computer apart, found the screw under the logic board and put it back in. Have adjusted it again a couple times today but it hasn't helped. I didn't think it was the screw because it literally went from fine to not fine within the span of a 1 hour nap while the computer wasn't being used. Coconut battery says I only have 175 cycles so I am pretty upset if its a bad battery since its supposed to last 1000 according to the marketing when I bought it
 

newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
2,358
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for anyone who comes across this looking for help, it wasn't the set screw, and it wasn't the battery. Somehow the trackpad had shifted just ever so slightly, causing it to not properly click. After taking out the 12 bracket screws that hold the trackpad in (plus the one set screw) I removed the trackpad, it looked fine, put it back in loosely and tested it and noticed it had to be positioned a certain way and then it clicked properly again. Remounted it and now it works perfectly again. Just be careful the 12 screws that hold the trackpad in are terrible quality compared to the rest and take a star screwdriver so they are super easy to strip the heads of (during tightening AND during loosening). These screws will certainly need replacement if I ever need to do this again. The set screw does not really adjust the travel of the button at all, it will stop the travel if it gets too tight or too loose but really what it controls is where the leading edge of the trackpad sits in relation to the top part of the body of the laptop. Adjusting it just makes it sit flush, it has to get super loose or super tight before it interferes with clicking in any way
 

cyber16

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2013
488
26
There was NO reason to remove all 12 of the 000 Philips screws to remove the track pad, hence the reason I stated
The other six 000 philip screws on the two tabs at the top are only to hold the position of the trackpad within the cut-out of the frame so that they don't make contact
All you had to remove was the six TOP screws on them tabs to remove the trackpad. Or just loosen them to adjust its position

Normally those never come loose as they use light weight loctite. Glad that you figured it out, that set screw is for travel and the click is from the contact made at that set screw point, if you look at the underside of the trackpad where that set screw makes contact, the is a little round raised dimple that looks like a micro switch of sorts. When depressed, that provides the tactile click feel.
Indeed it also is an adjustment for height of the trackpad to a point without tactile interference.

The trackpad is the #1 area for liquid intrusion due to the tiny gap around all four sides. When any gets in near teh top of the trackpad, it can roll under & make contact with the pcb mounted on the underside of the trackpad normally killing both keyboard & trackpad functions due to the fact the usb controller chips + logic mounted on that pcb.

With this in mind, be very careful when cleaning the surface of the trackpad with any liquid
 
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newdeal

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
2,358
1,417
thanks I actually removed all 12 because I wanted the brackets off also to see what was under them and inspect the trackpad. I saw the clicking portion, pressed it a bit, even took the tape off that covers it to see if there was anything going on with that (although once it was half off and I could raise up the dimple to see under it a bit I put it right back on since it clearly wasn't the issue)
 

Ronnoco

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,568
521
United States of America
I had the same problem on our mbp and adjusting the screws fixed the problem. After some time it happened again. It turned out to be the battery that had expanded (because of 'old age'). Changing the battery and adjusting the screws again did the job. No problem since.
This battery swelling happened to me as well. My trackpad wasn't working properly and that turned to be the problem. Had to have the battery replaced. Luckily, Apple replaced it for free.
 

Guyle

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2018
1
0
I had this happen to me recently, my macbook trackpad wouldn't click (it seemed like there was no movement in the trackpad at all, it seemed like it was constantly pressed down).
My battery was fine (i had previously replaced it) and the actual problem I had seemed to be fixed by me removing the trackpad tension screw, inserting a tiny bit of rubber/gum into there the screw went, and then reinserting and tightening the screw.

For some reason, this gave my trackpad its up and down springy (click) movement and it seems to be working fine now.

Just wanted to mention this solution as it really has saved me the cost of buying a new replacement trackpad!!