Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2013 1:11 PM by Miss Julia
f/stop Level 1 Level 1
Nine days ago I purchased a Magic Trackpad (S/N 8B05004NQBRDA). When it works, as intended, it is a pleasure to work with. However, most of the time the cursor behaves very erratically and unpredictably. Trying to select or highlight text is almost impossible as the cursor is uncontrollable.

Before using I updated to Mac OS X 10.6.6 and the latest trackpad software. Installed fresh batteries. I paired it with my MacPro and since the indicator light is not blinking assumed it is paired and connected. (Oddly, when you enter System Preferences > Trackpad > Set Up Bluetooth Trackpad, in the middle of the pop-up screen the words “No trackpad found” appear.)

In Systems Preferences > Bluetooth > in the left hand column it shows that the “Apple Wireless Trackpad” is connected. On the right hand side it shows that the trackpad is paired, is configured, is a favorite, is connected.

I’m at a loss as to what else I can do to solve the problem. I have five days left in which I can return the Trackpad to the Apple Store. Time is of the essence so if you have a solution for the erratic behavior please let me hear from you ASAP!!


Apple MacPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Joseph Albanese2 Level 1 Level 1
    I'm having similar problems on my mid '10 iMac. Suddenly the magic track pad isn't so magic. I tried all of the above but no luck.
  • rouven Schmidt Level 1 Level 1
    I have exactly the same problem. No solution found yet …
  • SBeattie2 Level 2 Level 2
    Servers Enterprise
    I have had a Magic Trackpad since late December 2010. It has worked flawlessly - never any sign of instability or erratic behavior. I am using it on an early 2010 iMac. SL 10.6.7 - It sounds as though maybe you may actually have a defective trackpad. You should show it to the Apple Store - I bet they would give you a replacement.
  • Perapoika Level 1 Level 1
    Pretty darn annoying.

    It's great when it works ... then it gets all erratic and jumpy ... then it settles down again. Never had this problem with a normal trackpad. It's a real P.I.T.A.

    Doesn't seem related to CPU load or battery strength.

    I'm hoping that it's a software fault that Apple will get around to quietly fixing one day without bothering to tell anyone. Until then, I guess we'll be suffering (happened twice whilst I was typing this).
  • tbrix Level 1 Level 1
    I probably have the same issue. I have to run of bluetooth and turn i back on to fix it. But the problem comes back again in unpredictable intervals
  • hujenhuei Level 1 Level 1
    My magic trackpad got erratic and jumpy while loading youtube videos with chrome or safari. Even downing file through chrome or ftp software would make it jumpy too. kind of annoying. whenever i turn off the youtube loading page or finishing loading, it return normal. Meanwhile the mouse and the trackpad on the mba act totally normal but the magic trackpad. >_<
  • Damien Smith Level 1 Level 1

    I've suddenly hit the same thing - Trackpad working beautifully the  suddenly acting like its being driven by a drunkman.


    Been searching forums and apple advice areas - seems the issue may be interference. I've turned off 'discoverable' in Bluetooth settings and also switched off Bluetooth on my iPhone when sat near my laptop. Fingers crossed that seems to have fixed it.


    I've seen other posts suggesting wifi or even TimeMachine (over the air) can cause an issue - so I've been working off ethernet also.




    Latest thing I'm looking at is trying to prevent RSI from using the pad!

  • David Thorpe2 Level 3 Level 3

    FWIW, I use a number of different Macs and have trackpads with them all. All have worked well apart from one paired with my Mac Pro which repeatedly would go into 'weird mode' in the way you've all described here. Switching on and off would fix for a while but then the behaviour would return.


    Swapping the erratic trackpad with one of the others would again temporarily solve the problem but then it would return (i.e. not an issue with the Trackpad itself). I also have a bluetooth keyboard attached to the Pro which works perfectly, so no problem with the bluetooth per se.


    Whilst clearing out some old drawers I found an old (5+ years?) bluetooth USB dongle. Good ness knows what version of bluetooth it supports. I decided to see if the Mac Pro would recognise it. I disabled bluetooth on the Pro, then went about plugging in the dongle and re-pairing the keyboard and trackpad. And guess what? Over a week now and not a single piece of erratic behaviour. For me, at least, this has totally solved the problem.


    I am not saying this is necessarily a universal cure but having just checked on Amazon there are USB bluetooth dongles for just a couple of £. Hardly a huge investment to see if this works for you.


    Hope that helps at least some of you.



  • Miss Julia Level 1 Level 1

    My husband is having problems with erratic mouse behavior (Logitech) and I'm having problems with erratic Magic Trackpad behavior.  This is new with Mavericks.  Neither of us has ever experienced this before.  I do not have any issues with my MacBook Air trackpad, and only experience this when my Air is connected to an external monitor + Trackpad + Keyboard.  My trackpad is not new and performed beautifully in Mountain Lion.  My husband's mouse is not new, either.


    Rebooting helps, but only for a while.


    This needs to be addressed by Apple.  Very frustrating.

  • SBeattie2 Level 2 Level 2
    Servers Enterprise

    You might want to try doing a safe boot.  Safe boot cleans up some things and might resolve the problem.


    Restart the Mac and hold down the left shift key right when you hear the boot chime.  Keep holding the shift key until you see a gray progress bar.  The gray progress bar indicates that it is booting in safe mode.


    You will then get a login screen - and you will see "Safe Boot" in red at the top of the login screen.  Let the Mac sit in the login screen for 5 minutes - without logging in.  Then login - it will appear to be slower than normal.  Let the Mac sit at the desktop for another 5 minutes.  Don't use the Mac during this time.  It is performing a cleanup behind the scenes.


    Shutdown the Mac completely - and then restart via the power button.  Hopefully this will fix your problem.



  • Miss Julia Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for the suggestion, Scott.  I gave it a try and still have a Magic Trackpad that clicks, drags, closes windows, and changes insertion point when typing text in apps, in Safari windows, etc., all completely independent of the operator. 


    I'm going to finish what I'm doing here and then reinstall Mavericks.  This becomes very frustrating.

  • SBeattie2 Level 2 Level 2
    Servers Enterprise

    Sorry that did not work - but it was worth a try.  Have you tried going into bluetooth settings and completely deleteing the trackpad - then power down the Mac - then reset SMC and also reset PRAM/NVRAM.  Then re do the pairing of  trackpad with the Mac.  I'm assuming you are using an external Magic Trackpad as well as external keyboard - while you are using the MacBook Air in Clamshell mode (thus the need for the external kbd and trackpad)?  (Google "reset PRAM"  and "reset SMC" if you need instructions on how to do that).  Just out of curiosity - do you have  magic mouse that you could substitue for the trackpad just to see if the problem is trackpad-related (or bluetooth-related).


    I'm using a 3-year old magic trackpad on a new late 2012 iMac - and it is working just fine with Mavericks.  If I get a chance - I can try that scenario using my mid-2010 MacBook Pro - in clamshell mode and see if I encounter a similar problem.



  • Miss Julia Level 1 Level 1

    I'll give that a try in the morning.


    I have since reinstalled Mavericks.  Seemed to work for a little while, then the external trackpad went wild again.


    You're right – using Apple BT keyboard, Magic Trackpad with MBA (mid 2013) running closed, or sometimes open when I need the extra screen.  There are no issues with built-in trackpad.


    I do have a Magic Mouse, and it works fine.  I tried the trackpad on my Mac mini - same problem; and on my husband's iMac - same problem.  But all the machines are running Mavericks installed at the same time.


    There's a rarely used Magic Trackpad at church I could try.  That would give another data point.

  • SBeattie2 Level 2 Level 2
    Servers Enterprise

    So - you are saying that the problem isn't only happening in clamshell mode on the MacBook Air - but also on desktop Macs (MacMini and iMac)? I think you definitely need to try the one from the church before wasting time troubleshooting further.

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