How to fix your Unibody Macbook Pro trackpad!

Uploaded 2 days ago by Paras Chadha in Tutorials

The Glass Trackpads introduced with the unibody Macbook’s in 2008 were, and still are a huge hit! In fact, I can’t stand non-Apple trackpads now. Whenever I use a computer without one, it’s a nightmare. Of course though, not all products are perfect; Although the trackpads are wonderful, a small number of trackpads sometimes lose their ability to register every click (typically you’ll have to click them harder than usual for the click to register). Most of the time when this becomes a problem, it’s after your AppleCare expires, so I’m here to help save the day by showing you how you would go about fixing the problem.

Note: We are not responsible for any damage you may cause to your computer.

Jump to: SuppliesCompatible ModelsProcedurePrintFAQ

Supplies

Compatible Models

  • Macbook (Late 2008 only)
  • Macbook Pro 13″ (All Models)
  • Macbook Pro 15″ (Late 2008-Current)
  • Macbook Pro 17″ (Late 2008-Current)

Procedure (print instructions)

Warning: This will void your Apple warranty
If you have a removable battery, take it out and skip to step 4.

Step 1: Unscrew the 10 screws with the #00 Philips screwdriver and remove the backplate (keep note that the 3 screws on the top-left are longer than the rest).

Step 2: Unscrew the two screws holding the battery down with the Tri-Wing Screwdriver.

Step 3: Unplug and remove the battery (can be difficult, but be careful not to rip the plug).

Step 4: Here you should see the bottom of the trackpad, on the trackpad you’ll notice a screw (circled below). All you need to do is SLIGHTLY tighten/loosen the screw (1/8th of a full rotation).

Step 5: Put your computer back together (reverse above directions) and test the trackpad, you may need to open the computer back up a few times to get your trackpad working perfectly, remember to only adjust the trackpad slightly at a time, the slightest rotation makes a HUGE difference.

If you have any additional questions, read the FAQ, if it isn’t there then feel free to ask in the comment section below :)

Documentation (Printer Friendly)

FAQ

Will this void my warranty?
Yes.

Will this work on the Macbook Air?
No, the macbook air requires a different fix… if you’d like to see a how to for the air, let me know!

This didn’t fix my Trackpad, what should I do?
You will probably have to replace the trackpad (in rare cases the upper case), if you’re confident with technology, than you can buy a replacement trackpad here and follow these instructions. If you aren’t that confident with opening up technology, than you can take it to the Apple store and they’ll replace it for a fee.

My Question isn’t here
Ask below in the comment section.

  • GOGEEKSRULEzz

    I LOVE YOU! I was a little scared opening my mbp but it worked out 

  • Daveyon Mayne

    Hey. Whats the name of the connector the track pad clips onto on the logicboard?

  • zadorazamora

    maybe i overlooked the detail, but it would be good to state which direction the trackpad adjustment screw shd be turned in order to make DECREASE the fingerpressure needed to have the trackpad function correctly.

    in other words, answer this question:

    does a CLOCKWISE turn adjust the trackpad so it works with LESS finger pressure? etc.

    thanks

  • Kathy Jaggi

    Hi there: Thanks for some great instructions! I was able to do everything (except my battery ended up having three screws) but I’m still having issues with my trackpad. I’ve tried both loosening and tightening the hex screw to no avail. Aside from replacing the entire trackpad, I’m wondering if the problem could be with my battery rather than with the trackpad itself. My trackpad is more squshy than clicky, and I see that there’s a cushion of sorts attached to the battery underneath where the trackpad sits. Since the trackpad clicks just fine without the battery installed, could there be something wrong with this “cushion” that’s preventing my trackpad from working properly? Thanks so much!

    • gogeeks

      Hey Kathy!

      First off, thanks for watching! 😀

      Second, it very well could be your battery!!! A ton of people have near identical symptoms as describe in the video above, and it’s just a battery going bad! Batteries expand over time, and if they get to the point where they’re on the verge of going out, they can expand to a point where it messes with your trackpad!

      So it’s unlikely that it’s the cushion, however it’s a pretty high probability that it’s the battery pressing against the bottom of your trackpad (I’ve read a ton of YouTube comments on my channel stating that a battery swap fixed the problem for them).

      Either way, let me know how it goes for you!

      Thanks again,
      PC | Twitter.com/ParasChadha

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  • stuart meyers

    The tutorial video was great, Will the same procedure work on my Apple snow leopard notebook and if i need a new trackpad and or a battery for it can I order one from you

    • gogeeks

      Well depends on the notebook :)

      Is it a macbook pro or macbook? If it’s a aluminum unibody, it’ll work no problem! If you’re not sure what kind it is, just send me a pic and I’ll tell you if it’ll work or not.

      Unfortunately I personally don’t sell trackpads/batteries as of right now (it’s something I’m considering) BUT for now you can order them from ifixit.com, they’re a great source! I have yet to hear of an unhappy customer. Amazon has a few but read reviews! I’ll add links to a replacement trackpads & batteries in the FAQ.

  • Andre Braddox

    Hi, I was really needing to get the fix for the Mid -2011 Macbook air model trackpad. My email is andreflash1@gmail.com. Thanks……Andre

  • Sarah

    Hi, I have a 2008 macbook unibody, not the pro model. I’m having this exact issue! Only thing is, the screw you tightened for the pro model, is a tri wing screw in my model. Is this the same size as the nintendo one?

    Thanks!

    • gogeeks

      Oh geeze! I’m so sorry, just saw this comment now!

      It is the same size as the nintendo ones, the screwdriver I use in the video is actually branded for nintendo products!

      http://amzn.to/13Rh8Oq <== Here is a link to the one I use, incase you need it!

      Sorry for the delay in response, hopefully it still helps though!

  • James

    What size tri wing screwdriver do I need to get the battery out? There are so many online and I’m not sure which one to get.

    • gogeeks

      This is the one I use: http://amzn.to/13Rh8Oq

      If you are hoping to buy one locally, the specific one you’re looking for is a “Y1” Tri-wing screwdriver.

      Hopefully this helps! 😀

  • Tim

    ive been trying to replace the case on my mac book but i cant get any T6 driver to work i have used a few and none of them will fit in the opening is there anything i should look for that could help me

  • Jesse Jarjour

    I’m curious if you know if it is possible to replace a 13″ MBP trackpad with one off a 15″? My 13″‘s trackpad is cracked and my 15″ logic board is toast. There seems to be different models available but the dimensions are exactly the same.

  • Kristen Wave Snider

    About a year ago a friend spilled nail polish (god damn it) all over my trackpad I cleaned most of it off before it could seep down behind the trackpad but some of it did and the trackpad became stuck to the separator between the trackpad and the battery on my MacBook Pro Retina 15″ (mid 2012). I took it to the Apple Store and they claimed that they couldn’t replace it without refurbishing it because it had gotten on the battery. Long Story short, I decided to fix it myself. 2 things happened once I opened it up and took it apart. I found that the bastards lied to me because there was no nail polish on the battery and in fact it was IMPOSSIBLE for that to happen because they use a metal separator between the battery and trackpad so that they can glue the battery in. The main issue is that the t6 hex screw at the bottom that allows the trackpad to click was slightly stripped by the repair techs at the apple store and won’t tighten passed a certain point and that makes it impossible for me to tighten it enough to get the trackpad to click. So my question is, where can I find a replacement for that screw? or how can I tighten this screw without stripping it completely?

    • james

      If you haven’t managed to sort it or find what you need. Look on eBay. if I were you I would make a serious written complaint to Apple. Its not a full refurbishment cos of battery either. That in itself is a lie. Batteries aren’t that expensive and they didn’t even have to replace the battery. Plus why would it affect the battery if it had tried on it? Battery is sealed so it wouldn’t do a thing to it unless it was on the actual connectors. I would of made Apple replace the bolt they buggered up and warned them about this little thing called fraud.

      hope you resolved the issue.

  • Steve Levin

    Will this work with a MacBook Air mid-2011? I want to make sure the trackpad is as accessible as shown here, because i’m not very technical!

  • Matt

    How can I remove a stripped trackpad screw?