Introduction

While some people like the tap-to-click feature of the Magic Trackpad, other users, such as myself, prefer a click that we can feel. After months of use, sometimes the trackpad will get stuck and will no longer click in on one side or the other. This repair guide will have your Magic Trackpad clicking again in under 5 minutes.

Parts

No parts required.

Get your Magic Trackpad out and prepare to fix it. Unscrew the battery door by turning the screw counter-clockwise with a flat edge screwdriver, coin, plastic opening tool, or fingernail. Remove the batteries to prevent any short-circuiting while fixing your Magic Trackpad.
  • Get your Magic Trackpad out and prepare to fix it.

  • Unscrew the battery door by turning the screw counter-clockwise with a flat edge screwdriver, coin, plastic opening tool, or fingernail.

  • Remove the batteries to prevent any short-circuiting while fixing your Magic Trackpad.

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Use a plastic opening tool to separate the adhesive securing the back panel's left, right, and top edges. Do not pry along the bottom (the edge opposite the battery compartment). There are a bunch of retaining clips that may break if you start from the bottom.
  • Use a plastic opening tool to separate the adhesive securing the back panel's left, right, and top edges.

    • Do not pry along the bottom (the edge opposite the battery compartment). There are a bunch of retaining clips that may break if you start from the bottom.

    • Be extremely careful in lifting off the lower panel. The primary CPU/chip on the circuit board (marked in red in the second photo) is affixed to the back panel with a blob of glue. Failure to carefully slice through the glue from the chip/panel can result in the chip being torn from the circuit board, which WILL destroy your trackpad.

  • After slicing through all the adhesive, the lower panel lifts right off.

Note that the first photo in step 2 shows the bottom (which you shouldn't try to pry) being pried. This is confusing, to say the least, and cost me one of my connecting tabs. Indeed, the glue is quite strong. After getting a pry-back started, look in to the gap, and use a narrow screwdriver to pinpoint peel off the adhesive. Worked great for me.

Scott Hards - Reply

My Magic Trackpad completely broke

Charles - Reply

I carefully cut and pried- using a thin flat tool to cut through the adhesive all the way across the back without having to pry it to risk damage.

I removed the t6 screw and the 6 phillips screws holding the 'clicker' piece to the chassis. I used an alcohol pad to clean underneath it (there was an oily thumbprint from someone at the factory that built it).

I then put everything back together, cleaned up the extra "adhesive" (this stuff is really just like the gummy gunk used on address labels affixed to magazines, or affixed to the back of a credit card when it comes in the mail).

I figured these minor adjustments would leave me with a like-new track pad to use for many more years.

I figured wrong. .

Be careful! Even with care, it seems that some of these trackpads (like mine) are easily damaged during teardown. There was no evidence of any damage while I was tearing down, cleaning or putting it back together. I know my way around a soldering iron and this wasn't "my first rodeo".

JoeYak - Reply

If I wasn't clear- mine is now 100% dead.

JoeYak - Reply

Agree, don't pry at the bottom at all (don't do what the pic shows). The rest of the guide worked fine. In my case, the adhesive that holds the little rubber feet to the plastic cover has degraded and no longer really holds them allowing them to slip and "jam" the clicker until you slide it back. I used a very very small amount of glue to re-adhere it, so hopefully that lasts a while.

I didn't have issues with the chip coming off because I didn't use any excessive force. The key, folks, is to go slowly. I've got the full toolkit from iFixit, so I used the metal spudger to apply gentle slow pressure until the adhesive released.

ZackLoggins - Reply

This worked just fine for me. Mine was glued pretty tightly, but came up with a gentle pry.

michaeleck - Reply

The first picture is very misleading. I thought "bottom" referred to the portion of the trackpad offscreen to the bottom of the picture. In fact, the picture shows prying of the very area you instruct not to pry.

I now have broken retaining tabs.

marionh9 - Reply

no problem for me, except that the plastic tabs that clip the back in place broke off. but there's enough glue on it that it sticks right back on. amazed that such an expensive bit of kit fails like this so often. one small turn of the screw and it's working again. if you're reading this, Apple, just put a small hole to allow access to the adjustment screw.

Ben Avery - Reply

lol I didn't know I could remove a surface mounted part like that so fast...

gpbyars - Reply

Fix the darn picture since bottom and top are competely relative to your perspective, and it sounds like the picture is just showing you how to break your trackpad!

dunxd - Reply

This tore one of the circuit components off my the board :(. Notice one of the large black square in the image has a some glue on it and a corresponding imprint in the back of the white panel backing... glue trumped circuit in my lost oreo esque battle....

Gregory Schwedock - Reply

Yeah seriously, wtf? The picture shows you prying open the side that you're not supposed to be prying open.

AndrewNoNumbers - Reply

The center of the plastic was glued to a chip. Removing the edges of the plastic removed the chip from the board underneath. Trackpad is now dead.

Rodeo - Reply

More than just a WARNING is required re the excess glue and potential damage to circuitry. On my trackpad there was a blob of glue specifically affixing the main CPU of the pad to the outer shell. It's right in the middle, and WELL glued on. Thus, removing the cover ripped the chip off. Trackpad is a complete write-off. Fellow Do-it-yourselfers BEWARE!!!

Inspired Earth - Reply

I got stuck at the very first step! My blue plastic pry tool (which looks exactly like the one for sale above) wasn't able to get in the groove. Then my fingernail was, and I started prying. My tool slipped and the thing snapped right back together as if I hadn't pried at all

Then my fingernail wouldn't lift it up again because it had been creased and weakened by the original prying. No luck with other fingernails. So I literally cannot get the back off. Methinks I'm going to stop now and just sell it as is.

Andrei Androsoff - Reply

Use a T-6 or T-7 Torx bit to adjust the tightness of the little screw highlighted in red in the bottom-left corner of the device (top-down).
  • Use a T-6 or T-7 Torx bit to adjust the tightness of the little screw highlighted in red in the bottom-left corner of the device (top-down).

    • If the right click works but the left click doesn't, you'll need to turn the screw clockwise.

    • Note: right and left clicks are determined by the Trackpad top, not the view from the bottom as you are adjust the screw.

    • If neither the right click nor left click work, turn it counter-clockwise if there is no movement at all, and clockwise if there is movement but it is too soft to click.

The Torx screw was very tight at first. With slow, steady pressure it started to turn. In my case, my left click was soft so I turned clockwise and went too far which made both sides not click at all. Had to go back and now left click is very responsive!

dgnguyen - Reply

Torx was very tight so go slow and apply pressure but not too much.

Mike RS - Reply

I think I just killed my track pad.

I can see that it would work if you DON'T START FRONT THE BOTTOM.

The first picture in step clearly shows starting from the bottom including the retaining clip. I would suggest swopping the 2nd picture for the 1st. In fact detail the 1st picture.

It is my own fault for rushing.

The trackpad action on a laptop is infinitely better than this lash-up piece of hardware. Of course it is going to fail, but then I guess that if the idea for profit hungry Apple.

Paul C - Reply

My problem was that my trackpad would not click at all on the right side. Left side was fine.

I started to pry up the back cover, starting from the battery side as instructed, and had the cover almost removed when I noticed that one of the rubber feet was missing! I looked in my bag, and found the little bugger. It had the round dome, and a larger white background. It turns out all I had to do was pry up the cover (watching I didn't break the tabs at the bottom) and slide the button back into place.

Pushed the cover back down, and now my Magic Trackpad is 100% back to normal! I didn't need to touch the screws, the problem was only the missing button.

dazifixit - Reply

Reverse the steps to put the plastic back on the bottom of the Magic Trackpad.
  • Reverse the steps to put the plastic back on the bottom of the Magic Trackpad.

  • Your Magic Trackpad should be as good and new and ready to use!

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

70 other people completed this guide.

jkgarrett17

Member since: 09/28/2010

1,635 Reputation

1 Guide authored

44 Comments

DO NOT DO THIS! My trackpad had the central chip glued STRONGLY to the plastic piece. Pulling off the plastic plate ripped the chip right off. My trackpad is now completely dead. I repeat: DO NOT DO THIS FIX! Your trackpad might not be glued, but I have ruined this thing.

Chris Beyer - Reply

Chris, I just did the same thing to mine and had the same result. I wish I'd read your warning first! Perhaps some heat at the center of the plastic backing would have helped release the adhesive from the chip/backing.

To anyone attempting this fix, if you feel anything in the center of the plastic back cover sticking, do not force it off. It might be possible to get a blade in there to slice through the adhesive, but it really didn't take much force at all for the chip to break free of the circuit board.

David -

I have updated the guide with your warning. I would recommend in the future not pulling anythng apart that could cause ripping. You'll notice the original instructions recommending cutting through the glue, not ripping it apart. Those recommendations were from a breakdown guide and have worked for multiple users. I myself have repaired trackpads 3-4 times following the above instructions.

jkgarrett17 - Reply

I have also updated the difficulty to moderate from easy.

jkgarrett17 - Reply

I could not turn the screw in Step 3. It seemed completely locked. However, I did lift up the whole switch plate which put some extra bend into the 2 thin metal "spring hinges". This restored the click-drag functionality that I was trying to fix.

Leo - Reply

Great guide! It fixed my sticky left button! Thanks. I would suggest not prying from the bottom and just go around the edges.

Ben Anderson - Reply

Worked for me. iFixit metal spudger set helped with the prying and glue slicing. Before putting the plastic plate back in its glued position I drilled a small hole for accessing the T-6 adjusting screw - for after the fix fine tuning. Cheers. /criss

Criss Hyde - Reply

Nice tip about drilling a hole before reassembly! I took my time and it now works perfectly again.

johnhoodjr -

In my opinion Criss's tip on drilling a hole is the best, lowest risk path. Using the excellent pictures here, I scaled the image to reality and find that the adjusting screw centre is 10.9mm up from the bottom aluminium edge and 20.8mm in the left hand edge. I stuck a sliver of masking tape on the plastic and drew a +. As well as allowing a pencil to be used, the tape stops the drill head skating. I finger drilled with a 3mm bit and the T6 socket appeared in the dead centre of the hole.

In my case, both left and right clicks were sluggish so I swung the screw a full turn clockwise and the same anticlockwise. I then stepped through to find the best clicking setting.

3mm is a very neat hole but I have stuck a sliver of scotch tape over to keep bugs & Sahara sand dust out (I live in the S of France). Job done. Thanks everyone!

Robin Marshall -

Take care of the strong glue, and watch out the photo of step 2 that can be confusing.

Saying that, be patient, take your time -specially in the central area of the circuit- follow the instructions and voila!. I usually do not write comments but my magic trackpad was driving me crazy (I use it a lot for photograph purposes) and now IT'S BRAND NEW! Very happy! :)

Raul - Reply

Hi guys,

I just completed this guide on a track-pad with A LOT of glue, and it worked 100%! (But I was also extremely careful!)

To all of you guys being afraid of doing this. Don't be afraid. . Consider whether you are willing to take the risk, and can afford a new trackpad if you ruin it. . If you can, and are tired of your missing physical click. Just go ahead, but please be careful when removing all that glue.

I used:

- My thumb-nail

- An old credit-card

- a small utility knife with a long blade

Gently removed the yellow glue around the circuit-board with the credit-card. . hereafter gently using the utility-knife to remove the white glue on top of the micro-chip.

Hope the best for all of you trying to do this. It is not impossible - it just needs the gentle touch :)

Kasper

N.B. otherwise i guess this fix is more or less risk-free:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXrKzzMU...

Kasper - Reply

I followed the directions and mine is dead, not working at all.

graciehomer - Reply

Maybe I was just lucky but I have Just used the guide, without any special measure to avoid detaching chips etc, and it worked perfectly. I substituted optician's screwdrivers (flat and Phillips) for both tools, and used a flat metal paper knife at each side to GENTLY pry the thing apart, with only a little twist along the top edge needed. Screwed the little torq screw down, clipped it all back together, using the perfect result as I speak. No glue needed to reassemble, it went back together just fine. Many thanks - it was going in the bin until I thought to check this excellent site!

Ian - Reply

I just completed this fix and was very careful not to rip the chip off. I recommend going very slow and using a sharp knife to reach in and separate the glue, especially when you get to the chip in the very center.

As an alternative, the center of the screw in question is about 1/8" to the left of the "D" in "Developed by Apple...". If you use the sharp tip of a knife or a razor blade and very carefully twist a small 1/8" diameter hole, you'll reveal the screw, and you can gain access to adjust it without ever taking off the plastic backing, avoiding the risk of destroying the electronics. That's how I'd do it if I had to do it again.

Good luck!

Bryan Owen - Reply

The tip to open a hole w/o removing the back is excellent.

Just did it using a 1/8" drill bit turned gently in my hand to initiate the hole (until just a bit of steel was showing as the plastic was on the verge of being fully penetrated). Finished the opening with with a razor blade.

The screw is now right there for adjustment.

hugh -

Thank you, Bryan Owen! I had a hard time trying to pry off the lower panel and stumbled upon Bryan's comment. Using a utility knife, I cut a small hole in the back as Bryan suggested. Voila! it exposed the little screw. I now have a perfectly-functioning Magic Trackpad.

pat4cars - Reply

my trackpad is busted too, now. the glue was highly adhesive and partially ripped the board out. the power still comes on but my trackpad is no longer recognized by my computer or my wife's computer. i'm !#^&@@ that i attempted this.

Judah Parness - Reply

I carefully pried off the back and was OK. (Mine didn't have much glue plus I saw the other warnings.) The problem was that right-click (left as viewed from the back) clicked strong, right-click was weak. I ended up tightening the adjustment screw all the way.

Then I cleaned off the rubber pads on the back of the feet, shot canned air where it seemed like crud might lurk, squirted contact cleaner where it seemed right, and carefully ran the corner of a sheet of typing paper under the metal plate that appears to get distorted and snap back to produce the "click." Then I put the back, back on.

Right now everything works great.

bill1 - Reply

I just fixed my left click rubber nipple which had become messed up in the pad using this guide..... it took ten seconds and I am back up and running....

thanks.

guybrummel - Reply

This is a good guide. It took me a few go's to get it working correctly, but I've had this annoying problem long enough that this fix is worth completing. (My left button would click and stick, not returning to top position). I've never had functionality of a 1-finger right click from the pad. I always hold CTRL + click from my old Mac days.

Norris Mantooth - Reply

READ THIS BEFORE START!

Thanks for guide. I agree, first picture of step 2 is misleading. Pry along either sides of the track pad first, not the side with lettering which is referred to as the bottom(side away from the batteries). Do not pry panel more than 2-3 mm if you start from the bottom. Start at the 7 o'clock position and loosen panel in a counter clockwise direction lifting the lid no more than 1 cm. By the time you get to the 5 o'clock position the white panel should be mostly free but not fully open like the third picture in Step 2. Look underneath to make sure glue is not sticking to central chips. Then you can open lid up as shown in photo 3 of step 2.

Junkbondman - Reply

This is a great guide and now my track works great again. Thanks.

But be warned Apple/Foxconn use some strong glue in this device.

I pried the top 1 cm of white cover up and placed a bamboo kebab stick across the whole width of the trackpad. Then slowly pulled down towards the bottom/front holding to both ends of the exposed kebab stick. After seeing how much glue is involved I would probably point a hairdryer at it for 10 min before starting next time.

Rick Anstey - Reply

This worked for me! Thanks so much. Saved me a trip to the Genius Bar!

Jong Codamon - Reply

I've done this - getting the plastic off was difficult, and I did break one of the retaining tabs despite reading the warnings. BE VERY CLEAR THAT THE RETAINING CLIPS ARE AT THE THIN END OF THE TRACKPAD THAT WILL BE NEAREST YOUR BODY WHEN USING IT - that is a lot clearer than "opposite the battery compartment". Anyway, I managed to get the thing apart without completely breaking it. The rubber feet have come unstuck, which is a bit annoying - everything else is glued so securely. Without the feet attached, my random click issue seemed to have gone away - however, you need the feet and the click to do certain operations such as dragging to select for a screen grab. Back to the drawing board.

dunxd - Reply

Mine was glued as well and thank you for adding the warning. It worked like a charm and saved me from going out and buying a new one!

Mike RS - Reply

Thank you so much! It worked like a charm!!!

ioannicut - Reply

When your TrackPad does not restore after clicking, probably one of the rubbers has gone lose. Follow this guide to open your trackpad. When it's open use glue to reattach the rubber. Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry and make sure you remove traces of glue. Close the trackpad and it's working again.

Pim Snel - Reply

Couple extra tips: after carefully prying the edges open, (and with batteries removed!), insert some plastic inserts on 3 sides to keep the edges open. Place the trackpad on top of a coffee mug of steaming hot water, so that the apple logo is down towards the coffee mug. Wait 10 minutes. It should now be easier to cut the glue and carefully remove the bottom panel. Carefully dab away any water residue.

mark30 - Reply

I was fighting with my keyboard and just about gave up until I came upon your suggested fix....AAAAnnnnnnnnddd it WORKED. Thank you so much.

Armando Olivares - Reply

Worked for me. It might help to use a blow dryer to heat the trackpad a bit next time to loosen the glue a bit.

zuzuelf - Reply

Amazing. All done in less than 10. A cutter helps a bunch.

paulailincai - Reply

Works, but WAY finicky to get right... I used a hair dryer to help loosen the glue. Worked best to get a wedge at the top (next to battery tube)on the right side and then another one on the left side. Kept hair dryer on, 5 or 6 inches from white plastic for a few minutes, then twisted the pry tool to open the gap a little wider, move it downward a half inch at a time. Just take your time. I think the KEY is that you do NOT need to move the adjustment screw much... at all. Like MAYBE 1/4 turn. If you watch what the adjuster DOES it becomes more obvious what you may need. When you put the white plastic back in place it is CRITICAL that you have it aligned exactly perfectly or it won't work at all. Fixed mine... and I was seriously ready to toss it. WAY happier now. Thanks for the knowledge!

pvaglienti - Reply

MANY THANKS!! It works great and has saved me ££s on a new trackpad - they're overpriced here but invaluable for photo work. The hairdryer is a good tip but mine wasn't glued too badly. Also a pointed blade can get under the plastic grid and poke at the wiring on first starting to prise so care needs to be taken - a gradual short insert, twist the blade gently to slowly raise the plastic from the glue then in a bit further; work from both top corners towards the chip at the centre. I took extra care then, gently raising from both sides a little at a time. That said it still only takes 10mins. I drilled a 3mm hole (handholding the drill - the plastic is very thin) from the inside face of the plastic to keep the inside hole edge tidy (you can see where the centre needs to be if you hold the plastic plate up to the light). I found I needed to fine tune the adjustment after I replaced the plate so the hole is an excellent tip. Thanks to all who sorted this problem for me.

Raukopf - Reply

First off the lift-bar screw appears to have red loctite on it but when a screw only has two threads, it's not going to do much. My advice is to put a tiny dab of glue near the threads once you have adjusted it so as to prevent the need for future adjustment. It's a design flaw, that over time, clicking on the trackpad will unscrew that pivotal screw.

Second, the right and left click are irrelevant, there is no top or bottom. The click is determined by the click-bar at the bottom, nothing else.

Lastly, turning the screw clockwise (tightening it) will raise the lift-bar, turning the screw counter-clockwise (loosening it) will lower the click-bar mechanism (backwards from what the article suggests).

Max Power - Reply

This was a really good fix!!! I had no issues. Piggybacking off of this just be very careful when removing the bottom panel. I slightly cracked mine even after taking my time. I don't have an iFIXIT tool so a flat headed screwdriver was used. My fault... but I'll live!!!

tfordchevy - Reply

No issues for me. I used a Tekton iPhone repair tool set that included tools for prying and slowly working through the glue, My 2012 model A1339 was glued in three places, with gum about 2cm in from each of the corners adjacent to the battery compartment, and a very strong foam tape in the dead center atop the main IC. You're really trusting the solder on the IC to hold, so it's not without risk. The Tekton pry tool has a wedge section to apply steady pressure, and that's what I used. One turn of the screw and back in business.

As a side note, it would make me feel a lot better about how much Apple charges if things weren't pasted together like macaroni art.

C Cherry - Reply

AMAZING! An Apple Authorised place refused to acknowledge a problem when it hardly clicked... this fixed it in 60 seconds. A half turn was all that was needed. THANKS!

Ben Abelman - Reply

Piece of cake. A T6 torx did for me. No issue with the glue on the chip—I went slowly and the back came loose on my 7 year old first gen Magic Trackpad. Took 1/8 turn and it popped back together in a second. Thanks!

michaelthalloran - Reply

OMG thank you, i use this trackpad for work and i am really efficient with it and could go to using mouse again. These things are way to expensive to replace and this tip worked excellent for me to fix my left clicking from sticking. I would suggest putting your warm coffee on the back like a coaster to warm up the glue within the plastic so the adhesive lets loose.. just don't melt it lol.

Travis Gillard - Reply

Excellent guide. You have to have a nice sharp spudger to get in to start prying the baseplate. Once it starts, be patient and don't rip; just gradually pull. The screw that does the adjustment isn't a screw; it's a slug so the movement is limited a couple of millimeters and then it falls out. I also found I had to bend the metal plate (to which the screw is attached) to give it a little extra springiness. It appears that between the adjustment and the bending, my trackpad has been restored! Thanks EVER so much.

ibrown000 - Reply

I did Robin's improved method of simply drilling precisely at the specified measurements without removing the whit plastic shield, and the screw was dead center under the drill bit. (I'm in the US and only had imperial sized bits, so used 1/8".) Worked like a charm. After drilling, I used a cutting blade to clean up the plastic that was left on the screw head.

Rajiv Sarathy - Reply

I'm quite experienced in these things and I followed the directions very carefully but now I have to report that sadly my Trackpad is DEAD!

rgrtnyjjc O - Reply

Thanks a lot. It worked!! I was a couple of seconds away of trashing it! As other people say, don't rip and be patient. Start from the top (never from the bottom) and then do left and right sides with a plastic tool. Do not use a screwdriver.

Sergio - Reply

Hello

thank you the community ! I decided to make a little hole with a cutter.

The center of the screw is exactly at 10 mm from the center of the foot (see photo in the tuto), on the line between the centers of the two feet. I had not this information so I was two mm too far.

My hole is not very well done but it is very easy tu cut this white plastic. And i’m not often looking at the back of my trackpad

Onfyle - Reply

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