Your MacBook Pro is a powerful machine. Plus, it gives you all the features like the mouse or wireless trackpad. Moreover, the newer MacBook Pro has the magic trackpad with additional options.

Now, you want to play that famous shooting game with your friends. You download and install the game, and everything is ready. But wait, what about the mouse or wireless trackpad? You don’t want to ruin the gaming experience, do you?

That’s when you need to disable the trackpad on MacBook Pro to use the external mouse. Moreover, this guide will show you how to do that.

How do I Disable the Trackpad on my Macbook Pro?

Follow these steps if you prefer using an external mouse instead of the touchpad.

Mouse or Wireless Trackpad Options

  1. On the top-left corner, click the Apple logo.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Click on Accessibility.
  4. Now, go to Pointer Control.
  5. In the Mouse & Trackpad menu, check this box > Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present.

Here you go, you have successfully disabled the MacBook Pro trackpad. However, Mac users might want to disable the trackpad temporarily. We’ll see the reasons behind that, but first, let’s discuss in detail how to disable the Mac trackpad for a temporary period.

How Do I Turn off My Trackpad on My Mac Temporarily?

  1. Click the Apple logo on the top-left corner. That will open up the Apple menu.
  2. Now, go to System Preferences.
  3. Select the Accessibility icon. This option has settings related to a built-in trackpad and other MacBook accessories.
  4. Once you enter the Accessibility menu, find the Pointer Control options on the left-hand panel.
  5. There, click the checkbox which says ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present.

Now, the built-in trackpad of your Mac will be disabled when an external mouse or trackpad is connected. Moreover, you can also check that by following these steps:

Check If the Trackpad is Working or Not

  1. Again, go to the Apple menu.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Now, go to the Trackpad.

Inside, you will see a warning that the Mac trackpad is disabled. Below that, you will see the Accessibility button. Click on that, and enable the trackpad once again.

Troubleshoot Your MacBook Trackpad

If your Mac’s trackpad is not working, you can apply the method to troubleshoot. Besides, connecting an external trackpad to your Mac might create some issues.

When you enable the ignore trackpad option, that disables all the working of the internal trackpad. That way, you can’t use the MacBook trackpad anymore.

Moreover, the issues might occur due to the Mac OS. If you are using an external mouse, make sure both the devices are compatible with each other. If you connect a computer mouse to your Mac, the Mac OS will automatically disable the trackpad.

Mouse Keys

Imagine if your Mac touchpad stopped working, and you don’t have any other pointing device for your Mac. That’s when the mouse keys come into play.

How to Enable Mouse Keys?

The first method is easy. Press the Option key on your Mac five times. That will turn on the mouse keys. Once you do that, you can use the trackpad via the keyboard.

Now, press the Option key five times again to turn that off.

But if this method doesn’t work?

Press together Options, Command, and F5 to bring up the Accessibility options. Now, use the Tab key to control the boxes.

Go to the Enable Mouse Keys box and press Spacebar. Here you go.

Alternate Method to Enable Mouse Keys

If both of the methods don’t work for you, let’s try this method:

  1. First, press the Command, Shift, and “?” keys together to get access to the menu bar.
  2. You will land on the Help tab. Now, press the left key to go to the Apple main menu.
  3. Next, go to System Preferences and follow the previous method to enable the mouse keys.

No doubt, Apple MacBook Pro has its next-level laptop keyboard and a touchpad. But sometimes, both of them might stop working due to any reason.

So, what will you do in that situation?

How to Type on Mac Without a Keyboard?

Imagine that your Mac’s keyboard got broken. Or it suddenly malfunctions. On top of that, you need to finish an important document. That’s why Apple Inc. allows you to use the mouse keys to type a document on your Mac. Sounds amazing.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Click on the Apple logo.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Now, go to the Keyboard settings.
  4. Enable Show keyboard and emoji viewers in the menu bar. Once you do that, a menu item icon will show on the menu bar.
  5. Click on that, and select Show Keyboard Viewer. You will see a keyboard on Mac’s screen.

That’s how you can start typing using the trackpad of your Mac. However, this method might differ if you are using Mac OS older than Catalina.

You can also turn that feature on by going to Accessibility > Keyboard > Accessibility Keyboard > Enable Accessibility Keyboard.

So, these are the methods to access your Mac trackpad. However, you can try connecting a Bluetooth mouse in place of the built-in trackpad of your MacBook.

Why do Users Connect External Mouse to Their Mac?

The built-in trackpad is not enough if you want to work on some design projects. It would help if you had a cursor for that. Moreover, if you’re playing games that use the pointing device, the trackpad won’t work for you.

Therefore, always keep an external pointing device ready if a similar situation occurs to your Mac.


By following the above methods, you can easily disable the trackpad temporarily. However, you have to remember after disabling the trackpad on your Mac. Sometimes, you disable it and forget, which might cause a bigger problem for you.

If your touchpad stops working due to any reason, always check the trackpad settings. Besides, disabling and enabling that feature are the same. So you have to check/uncheck the box.