MacBook Core 2 Duo

Model A1181 / 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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What can I do to keep my trackpad button from failing?

My trackpad button on my trusty old MacBook has been a little odd for a while now (clicking feels uneven; I get a nice, solid click from the left side, a soft click from the right, and almost no tactile feedback in the middle).


Yesterday, The button was clicking when I was just typing. I don't have tap-to-click enabled, and I definitely was not pressing the button. The most common causes of this problem appear to be spill damage and a swelling battery. I've never spilled anything on this computer and my battery does not appear to be swelling.

The button seems to be back to "normal" today, but this made me very concerned that I would either have to get a new top case or disable my trackpad (I would hate to carry a mouse around with me everywhere).


So even though my trackpad is working "fine" now, it may have problems again in the near future. What maintenance can I do to keep my flagship machine in usable condition?

Is there a way to remove the button and remove dust from that area? Since this computer is in its 5th year of use, I'd imagine there's some amount of dust in it. Either way, I'd like to have a look at the components that make it up - maybe some spring is no longer working properly or something.

I'm familiar with replacing the upper case, which I did for my sister's MacBook, so I'm mainly wondering which side to attack this problem from.

Any and all information you have on this subject is helpful! Thanks!

Mentioned Items

MacBook Core 2 Duo Upper Case Image


MacBook Core 2 Duo Upper Case Replacement

by iRobot Difficulty: ModerateNo estimate

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No, there's no way you can simply remove the Trackpad button. However, I must tell you that, after getting an Upper Case replacement for a broken plastic issue, I still felt my Trackpad really tight in the middle, to the point it wasn't clicking at all. I tried removing my battery, and it worked just nicely.

Ended up my Macbook wasn't digesting well the cheap chinese battery I gave it, so with another economic battery the trackpad resumed operating.

Also, I've heard about people abandoning their laptops for a long time, and getting some dust inside the trackpad that goes away with use.

So my suggestion is keep a close eye on the trackpad, trying how it works with no battery, and, generally, don't fret about it until it's unusable at all.

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+ Besides what Stefano has suggested, I will add, pay attention to how the laptop is sitting when it acts normal and when it is misbehaving. Is it on a flat solid surface or sitting in your lap, etc.... Also pay attention to where your hands are located. Are they up in the air or is one or both of them resting on the palm rest? If the case is flexing it will put pressure on the track pad and it's button(s).

by ABCellars

On that issue, I'll add that I had to scrap a "bowl-shaped" cooling pad (with the shape of a conch, and a single, small fan in the bottom part) because, whenever I used it, both the trackpad, both the DVD started acting up. When I switched to a flat-shaped cooling pad, all returned nice and fine.

by Stefano Gigante

+ Thanks! I'm using it on my lap (no pressure on the middle of the bottom) and the button seems to be working fine... I'll definitely keep an eye on things

by Adam Hintz

My experience allows me to give you another advice: don't shell out lots of money for an ergonomic or designer laptop cooling pad. Get a flat one, and you'll be fine, it'll keep your laptop even colder. On the top of it, don't balance it precariously, even on your knee, and it'll work even more nicely.

by Stefano Gigante

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