How to disable trackpad Mac: via a shortcut, terminal

How to disable trackpad Mac: via a shortcut, terminal

You can configure Mac OS to automatically disable the built-in trackpad of your Macbook each time your connect a mouse. In this article we will show you several methods for disabling the built in trackpad on a MacBook.

How to disable the trackpad on Mac?

Ignore trackpad

To disable the trackpad when a mouse is connected on MacOS:

  • Click on the Apple menu > System Preferences.

  • Go to Accessibility > Interacting > Mouse & Trackpad.
  • Check "Ignore trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present"

Note: On newer versions of MacOS, the Mouse & Trackpad menu is now Pointer Control

Enable mouse keys

Another method for disabling the trackpad, even if you are not using a mouse, is to Enable Mouse Keys. You can find this by going into the Alternative Control Methods menu. 

Mouse keys
© Apple

Once Mouse Keys have enabled, select Options.

Mouse key options
© Apple

Now select Ignore built-in trackpad when Mouse Keys is on. This will now disable the trackpad when Mouse Keys is on. If you don't want to enable this option, use the esc key and you will return to the previous menu and the trackpad will function normally. 

Is there are terminal command to disable the trackpad?

If you are looking for an alternative method for ignoring the built-in trackpad when a mouse or wireless trackpad is present. Enter the following code in terminal to disable the trackpad:

$ defaults write USBMouseStopsTrackpad 1 $ defaults write USBMouseStopsTrackpad 1

If you want to re-enable the trackpad, enter this code:

$ defaults write USBMouseStopsTrackpad 0 $ defaults write USBMouseStopsTrackpad 0
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