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Question: macbook pro trackpad won't scroll

Scroll won't work all of a sudden.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

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Mar 9, 2018 11:20 AM in response to UTChris In response to UTChris

Check Trackpad preferences to be sure you have configured scrolling. Have you installed any new software or updates just prior to when your problem appeared?


A Troubleshooting Protocol to Identify Problems or Fix macOS El Capitan or Later

You should try each, one at a time, then test to see if the problem is fixed before going on to the next.


Be sure to backup your files before proceeding if possible.


  1. Shutdown the computer, wait 30 seconds, restart the computer.
  2. Disconnect all third-party peripherals.
  3. Resetting your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM
  4. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
  5. Start the computer in Safe Mode. Test in safe mode to see if the problem persists, then restart normally.
  6. Use Apple Hardware Test to see if there is any hardware malfunction.
  7. Repair the disk by booting from the Recovery HD. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears. Choose Disk Utility and click on the Continue button. Select the indented (usually, Macintosh HD) volume entry from the side list. Click on the First Aid button in the toolbar. Wait for the Done button to appear. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu. Restart the computer from the Apple Menu.
  8. Repair permissions on the Home folder: Resolve issues caused by changing the permissions of items in your home folder.
  9. Create a New User Account Open Users & Groups preferences. Click on the lock icon and enter your Admin password when prompted. On the left under Current User click on the Add [+] button under Login Options. Setup a new Admin user account. Upon completion log out of your current account then log into the new account. If your problems cease, then consider switching to the new account and transferring your files to it - Transferring files from one User Account to another.
  10. Download and install the OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 Combo Update or 10.12.6 Combo Update or Download macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Combo Update as needed.
  11. Reinstall OS X by booting from the Recovery HD using the Command and R keys. When the Utility Menu appears select Reinstall OS X then click on the Continue button.
  12. Erase and Install OS X Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Apple logo appears. When the Utility Menu appears:
  1. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu and click on Continue button.
  2. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  3. Click on the Erase icon in Disk Utility's toolbar. A panel will drop down.
  4. Set the Format type to APFS (for SSDs only) or Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  5. Click on the Apply button, then wait for the Done button to activate and click on it.
  6. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu.
  7. Select Reinstall OS X and click on the Continue button.

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 9, 2018 11:20 AM in response to UTChris In response to UTChris

Check Trackpad preferences to be sure you have configured scrolling. Have you installed any new software or updates just prior to when your problem appeared?


A Troubleshooting Protocol to Identify Problems or Fix macOS El Capitan or Later

You should try each, one at a time, then test to see if the problem is fixed before going on to the next.


Be sure to backup your files before proceeding if possible.


  1. Shutdown the computer, wait 30 seconds, restart the computer.
  2. Disconnect all third-party peripherals.
  3. Resetting your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM
  4. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
  5. Start the computer in Safe Mode. Test in safe mode to see if the problem persists, then restart normally.
  6. Use Apple Hardware Test to see if there is any hardware malfunction.
  7. Repair the disk by booting from the Recovery HD. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears. Choose Disk Utility and click on the Continue button. Select the indented (usually, Macintosh HD) volume entry from the side list. Click on the First Aid button in the toolbar. Wait for the Done button to appear. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu. Restart the computer from the Apple Menu.
  8. Repair permissions on the Home folder: Resolve issues caused by changing the permissions of items in your home folder.
  9. Create a New User Account Open Users & Groups preferences. Click on the lock icon and enter your Admin password when prompted. On the left under Current User click on the Add [+] button under Login Options. Setup a new Admin user account. Upon completion log out of your current account then log into the new account. If your problems cease, then consider switching to the new account and transferring your files to it - Transferring files from one User Account to another.
  10. Download and install the OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 Combo Update or 10.12.6 Combo Update or Download macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Combo Update as needed.
  11. Reinstall OS X by booting from the Recovery HD using the Command and R keys. When the Utility Menu appears select Reinstall OS X then click on the Continue button.
  12. Erase and Install OS X Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Apple logo appears. When the Utility Menu appears:
  1. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu and click on Continue button.
  2. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  3. Click on the Erase icon in Disk Utility's toolbar. A panel will drop down.
  4. Set the Format type to APFS (for SSDs only) or Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  5. Click on the Apply button, then wait for the Done button to activate and click on it.
  6. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu.
  7. Select Reinstall OS X and click on the Continue button.

Mar 9, 2018 11:20 AM

Reply Helpful (1)

Mar 9, 2018 11:20 AM in response to UTChris In response to UTChris

I tried everything I could from this old post: macbook pro trackpad won't scroll |Official Apple Support Communities and I still couldn't get it to work. What did finally work for me was to go to system preferences>accessibility>Mouse & trackpad>trackpad options> and then I unchecked scrolling, saved, went back in and re-checked scrolling again and it finally worked!


I did try the first suggested fix by tstandfield1 using the terminal command just prior to the above steps so maybe that also had an effect: Two-finger scroll not working on MacBook Pro


I hope this is able to help someone else as I was just about to take the machine to the Apple store to go under the knife without AppleCare.

Mar 9, 2018 11:20 AM

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Mar 9, 2018 11:23 AM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

I had tried all of this and nothing was solving the problem. Perhaps it did and then the simpler solution I tried at the end somehow fixed it in conjunction with the other options? Either way, thanks for the quick response and advice!

Mar 9, 2018 11:23 AM

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Question: macbook pro trackpad won't scroll