Loud Trackpad Button Solution (for the 2008 Unibody MacBook & MacBook Pro)
After several months of use, my largest gripe with the new range of MacBooks and MacBook Pros is the new buttonless trackpad. The first month was plagued by a bug that prevented trackpad clicks being registered reliably. While this was extremely frustrating it always felt like a software issue that could be resolved in time. To the relief of many, Apple fixed this with a software patch at the beginning of November.
However, hardware problems are much more difficult to overcome and it has been a hardware issue that has ruined my experience with my new MacBook Pro until now. It seems that some users (including me) are bothered by the click action of the new trackpad. When pressed it emits a loud, hollow sounding click that becomes extremely irritating in quiet environments. It feels cheap and nasty when compared to the trackpad button on my MacBook Air and even my old first generation white MacBook.
Looking for a solution I came across a few blog posts suggesting the rather drastic solution of stuffing the space between the battery and the underside of the trackpad with Kleenex. This seemed a little half-baked and maybe even dangerous (given Apples recent track record with batteries its probably not advisable to place sheets of combustible material on top of the battery).
However, after flipping over the MacBook Pro and popping out of the battery, the user can access the underside of the trackpad where they will find one tri-blade screw. Although these types of screws typically require a special tool, this particular one is easy to turn with the edge of a small flat blade screwdriver. Turning the screw clockwise reduces the travel required to execute a trackpad click and dampens the sound emitted. Turning the screw counterclockwise increases the travel and force required and increases the noise made when the trackpad is depressed.
From experience I would advise turning the screw clockwise an eighth of a turn, testing the trackpad button and repeating until the desired trackpad button action is achieved. Turning the screw too far results in an inability to click the trackpad at all. If this happens, back off a little by turning the screw counterclockwise an eighth of a turn.
After successfully adjusting my own MacBook Pro I can report that the trackpad button is now as quiet as my MacBook Air resulting in a much more pleasant day-to-day user experience.
Filed under: Apple, Hardware, MacBook Pro | 9 Comments