New Macbook trackpad causes fingertip pain

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cowboytaketwo, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. cowboytaketwo macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    I read some other posts about this. Trackpads work like this...

    There is a charge underneath them that creates an opposite charge in your finger. The computer figures out exactly where that interaction is happening, in order to know where your finger is. This means that there are electrons being moved (either pushed or pulled) through your finger tip as you use the trackpad.

    The nervous system is a highly electrical system and the hands are especially sensitive instruments!!!

    Most people may not be bothered by the interaction. I'm sensitive to small electric current. The trackpad of my 2012 Macbook Pro causes me fingertip pain, and I can feel the current easily even on palms resting on either side. It has nothing to do with finger pressure or some kind of slow reacting allergen, as guessed on other posts. It's an instant and immediate sensation, relieved upon removal, but leaving a dull ache that I can quickly massage out.

    I've used laptops since like the 1940s, but whatever is going on inside this particular one is unacceptable for me. Has Apple bumped up the charges to gain more precision I wonder? OK, it's fluid and sensitive as ever a trackpad was, but it's not worth nerve damage inside the vessel that carries my soul. Also, just because the electricity doesn't bother you, doesn't mean it aint there, works the same as everybody else.
  2. AppChat macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2012
    the trackpad is made of glass

    you must be using ur macbook trackpad wrong
  3. zigzagg321 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2011
    the wire
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's not accurate. Read up on Capacitive sensing to get the facts.
    There is no electric current running through your fingers.
    Obviously not, as they weren't commercially available until 1981.
    It is absolutely impossible for a trackpad to cause nerve damage. I suggest you consult a psychiatrist, rather than Apple, for a solution.
  5. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    You're deluded, or you have some allergy to the trackpads' coating.

    This sentence indicates you don't have a clue about electricity.

    Smells like a troll post to be honest, not sure if serious.
  6. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Nail in the coffin.
  7. Tander macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2011
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Yeah..the fact that the trackpad is made of glass, means you're doing something wrong or have issues with using trackpads.

    Secondly - using laptops since the 1940's hey?....okay.
  8. Sylon macrumors 68020


    Feb 26, 2012
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
  9. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
  10. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Not DC, but there should be some minimal AC current as that is usually how capacitive sensing goes. From the Wikipedia article you linked.

  11. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    Not only did the OP make a huge mistake by claiming he's been using Laptops since before personal computers were invented, but he's apparently using a MBP that hasn't even been announced yet, let alone released. (2012 model? Seriously?)
  12. Nissy macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    I know this is a really old post but as you can guess I found it through Google during my search on the described symptoms which I know all about.

    I have had the exact same symptoms since I first bought my macbook pro.

    I am not to claim anything about the tech behind because I don't know anything about it. I love working with my mac, but lately (the last 3 months) it has become a more serious problem to me (eventhough I have been aware of it since I first bought it back in 2009).

    I try to still work on the mac - I have even tried to put paper and thin fabric on the metal where you rest the hands, but it very fast (30-45 minutes - sometimes as less as 5-10 minutes) gets too much. It is difficult to describe - but very small random shocks and an icy kind of overall feeling is what best describes it, I guess.

    Even my girlfriend could feel it vaguely without me telling her about it beforehand, of course.

    Not anyone else having similar experiences?

    I remember that people talked about it back in 2009...

    I hope you will not dismiss my post - I am a regular, pro mac user and professionally I can't do without since many of my programmes are for mac only...

    All best


    Just to clear up the following post a bit:

    I too can feel some kind of "thing" going on on the pad if I rest the fingers for a while but mainly the problem is the alu frame itself.

    I anyone has a creative solution to the problem like gloves of some kind or anything - it would be most welcomed.

  13. Montymitch macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    Relax, this is called hyperbole and is not meant to be taken literally.
  14. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I think BS is closer. ;)
  15. Helical-dNTP macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    If its not too big an issue I would try and direct the current to a part of your body that doesnt have as many nerve endings as your hand, such as your arm. You could try using a stylus but the current will still travel into your hand, although the stylus might insulate you from some of it. If you still experience the problem with a stylus, try using an anti-static wrist strap. Clip the strap to the stylus and put the band around your arm/wrist. You could also try using a glove with the strap stylus combo to insulate your hand even further.

    I know it might be a little complex and cumbersome but the problem is that the trackpad needs to be in electrical contact with your body in some way or another. I don't know the details of how the pad works, I remember from physics it has to due with changes in capacitance due to your body's own electrical current but don't quote me, i'm a man with a passion for biology and a computer nerd hiding inside, always looking to help others.

    But I did some experimenting with this trying to help a man who was an amputee and had to use a typing aid to use his computer. The typing aid was not capacitive and he had just bought a macbook but couldn't use the trackpad. I suggested the strap/stylus idea to bypass the lack of a hand. I found that if you wear gloves (depending on the thickness) the trackpad won't work, and if you insulate yourself from the stylus the same thing happens. However a wire wrapped around my wrist and attached to the stylus worked to bypass the the sock I had wrapped around the stylus as insulation.

    Just an idea. Try experimenting with similar methods, you might find something that works and is a bit more comfortable than my complicated setup.

    Good luck my friend, I wish you the best in your search for answers. And don't worry about being 1 of 2 people in the world experiencing this problem. It doesn't surprise me at all, the human body is a very complicated and diverse organism. Some of us are more sensitive to certain things than others. Some people have exceptional hearing, others have better than 20/20 vision, still others can sense minute changes in electrical properties such as current or voltage....
  16. Mack7777 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2015
    Yes I have the same issue with the MacBook pro trackpad. The fingertip pain definitely seems to come from a charge although I understand you all seem to say there isn't one. It's a cold charge feeling that builds until it begins to pain. Glad I'm not the only one! Reminds me of the feeling of when I used to have a windows lapto in my lap feeling the mega radiation of the battery (although nowhere near as intense). Still it's annoying when scrolling the Internet for an hour or so. Fingertip gloves I guess :/
  17. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    There is no way you have been using laptops since the 1940s. Want to know why? THEY DIDN'T EXIST! HELLO?

    Whatever the case, there is no current going through your fingers. You probably just burnt your finger on some hot pizza. Give it a day and you'll be fine.


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16 March 24, 2012