MacBook Pro Touchpad Doesn't 'Press Down'

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DudeMartin, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. DudeMartin macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2010
    Chicago, Illinois
    Hey all!

    Earlier today, I was washing my MacBook Pro because I wanted to bring it to my friend's house. My laptop was kind of dirty from use (I use to A LOT). So I cleaned it with these computer wipes, it was about my fifth time using these wipes on this computer.

    When I got to my friend's house I noticed something. My touchpad didn't 'click' as much as it used to. If it helps, the laptop is a unibody, 13" MacBook Pro - the 2011 version. You know how if you click in either the bottom right or left corner of a touchpad it makes a nice 'click' noise? Well now that I do it, it registers as a left click, but it doesn't feel like the touchpad actually presses down - and the click is very quiet, if audible at all.

    Can anyone answer why? Even if the wipes are bad for the computer, why would a damp 'towel' reduce the 'clickiness' of a touchpad? If it helps you visualize, it feels as if something is stuck below the touchpad - like a tiny crumb. What puzzles me is that there is no holes for crumbs to go through below the touchpad.

    Can anyone help me out?
    Thanks to all that help!
  2. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Possibly quite right - or wrong

    It may need cleaning - by someone other than you.

    My experience is with a Black MacBook, with a different type of trackpad than yours, but that learned still possibly applicable.

    With the first one I had, brand new, it was immediately evident that the 'clicker' was numb, almost sticking ('clicker' my term for this key; with newer MBP this function and trackpad incorporated as one). I took the MacBook to Apple, wherein after about five seconds of playing with it the Genius agreed there was a problem, and replaced the entire computer. It was a relief to know this issue was not a figment of my imagination, and to ever since have a properly operating computer.

    Well, until recently that is.

    I began to have similar issues with the clicker, where it really would stick, and in general becoming unresponsive. Since out of warranty, I took it to an independent repair shop, and soon returned with it working fine once more. The problem had been debris in under the clicker key. I do not abuse this computer, but it does reside in mildly dusty environments as times, and that apparently enough to cause this. The technician thoroughly vacuumed the entire computer, saying there was a fair degree of dust within it.

    There is not a lot of space around the edges of this clicker key, seemingly not enough for anything troublesome to get in and cause problems. But it nevertheless became nearly unusable, and since works fine once more. So I am saying it can happen, and something similar possibly the issue in this case.

    If under warranty, as seems likely, take it to Apple. Study this enough to know how it should be, so no one can tell you otherwise. You might just be right, that there indeed is some issue that needs fixed.
  3. mediasorcerer macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    ive had this happen to me,more than likely,you have some foreign matter stuck underneath,you can try vacuuming over it with a brush attachment on your vac,"carefully" that worked for me,it sucked out what was stuck underneath.

    alternatively,remove the backplate,and carefully vaccuum with brush attached to try to dislodge that way,is all i can suggest,as always,be very careful,it could even be moisture,but more likely dirt or grit blocking it.go around the edges of trackpad,that fixed it for me ,definatley something inbetween id say,hope u sort it out.
  4. DudeMartin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2010
    Chicago, Illinois
    I prefer not to take it to an Apple professional, if there are alternatives, as it is quite a drive to a store.

    Is there a limit to how small the vacumn attachment has to be, the one with the brush? I happen to have a vacumn ( who would have though! ), and that wouldn't be a bad idea.

    If it isn't possible, I guess I will have to take it in =(
  5. philpro macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    Solved stuck trackpad button click problem

    The 'click' action is very minimal and must be easy to get stuck — my track pad on MacBook Pro stopped clicking. What solved the problem was just gently pressing down the aluminum body just below the center of the trackpad and using a pin in the space between the trackpad and body to pry the button upward*— gently.

    This immediately losend the button making a 'click' sound. Button works again.

    My guess is that it was a bit of dirt, or crumb (I keep my laptop fairly clean) wedging the button down, holding it in the down position.
  6. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    Depending on your exact model, most have a screw underneath that controls how much of a click you hear or physically notice. On my unibody 15" the battery was swelling and caused the click to be non existant if you can remove the bottom panel it might be worth taking a look. The 15" models with the battery cover and hard drive cover are right under the touch/track pad.

    Check it out.
  7. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    I second least take a peek and make sure it's not an issue with the battery. If the battery is swelling, it can put upward pressure on the trackpad, making it feel different when clicking. And if the battery is swelling then it's a safety issue. Most likely there is just some debris in there causing the problem, but I'd check it just to make sure.
  8. DrKockter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    if its under warrenty take it to the store

    if it isnt, take it to the store, they migt be generous enough to help
  9. slavan macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2013
    Safety Pin Did the Trick

    This was so frustrating, I actually thought I was losing my mind. Did my trackpad actually pressdown on the left side, maybe it was just the right...well it was both! All I needed was a small safety pin and ran it in the space between the case and the pad, slightly pulling up and BAM it works!

    Thanks for the tip!:p
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Exactly. There is another thread about a swollen battery on this forum that is active right now. To the OP, I'd check the number of cycles you have on the battery. Apple>About This Mac>More Info>System Report>Power. If you have a lot of cycles (it is rated for up to 1000 cycles) the battery could be nearing the end of its life, and would be more prone to swelling issues (though a defective battery could swell earlier).
  11. Otakugirl macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013

    Same problem with Macbook Air. But as soon as I cleaned the edges of the track pad, with a needle and cloth, it stated to work again.
  12. carlyinoz macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2010
    Wait, you guys actually click? You don't tap? I'd go mental if I had to click all the time! Lol.

    But seriously though, glad you fixed it :)
  13. cagirl1022 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2015
    THANK YOU!!!

    My trackpad has been "sticky" for a week and wasn't properly registering a click. I wiped the edge with a damp paper towel wrapped around a safety pin and then around a little eyeglass repair screwdriver. First I pressed the trackpad down fairly hard while cleaning, then I lifted "up" using the pin as leverage, per other posts.

    This totally did the trick!

    I'm mostly a tapper, but not having the "click" sound or feel when I needed it was driving me nuts!
  14. crun3le macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2016
    This is an old post but still a current problem.

    The trackpad being weird or 'click held down' can be a real pain. From other posts here and elsewhere, Apple centres have been fixing this FOC, but there's the aggro of making the appointment, waiting for the appointment... etc. etc. This might just help if you are stuck!!

    click pad / track pad / macbook / macbook pro Cause:
    likely to be
    battery bloated / swollen? go to apple centre / change battery.

    switch faulty / worn out? some options available good info on you tube

    crap under the track pad?

    This is the one thats worth a try...
    I'd seen posts giving good results form pressing down across the whole trackpad for 5 to 7 seconds. didn't work for me but I could 'feel' there was crap / grit / rubbish under it...

    Fire up the airline! (or go borrow one from garage/ repair shop or friend!)
    start on the vents just below the screen with the Macbook in its normal operating position, blast it with compressed air! Then place one of the side vents 'down' on the table / desk / flat surface, do the same again. Air goes in under the screen again. Rotate 180 degrees to put the other side vent 'down'. Same again. after both sides have been flat and 'down', blow back through all the vents and any other connector holes you can find. You should have seen clouds of crap and dust coming out?

    Worked for me... :)
    good luck.

    Thanks for the OP for posting the question..

  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    bulging battery. replace it
  16. DudleyD3 macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2019
    Hey there to anyone still having this issue, not sure if this solution has been posted yet but my track pad was stuck in place like I was permanently pressing down on it. To fix this issue I actually used a suction cup and pressed it hard down on the trackpad then pulled back on the suction as I was moving it around my trackpad. I then removed the cup and used some air duster in the cracks all around the trackpad. I did that process twice and it actually worked! I can now highlight item and move my open windows amongst other things! Hope this was helpful to somebody out there.

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