How to Disable Trackpad When the Mouse Is Connected to a Mac?

Trackpads are a really neat feature on almost every laptop. Especially, the trackpad in your Mac Book can be an excellent way for you to navigate and get your work done. But there are times when it might not feel so.

Imagine this, you have bought the best gaming mouse for Mac, and you’re happily playing Civilization V on Steam, and just when you are about to make a critical move, your cat jumps on your laptop, and all your progress goes whoosh!

It sounds extremely frustrating, right? Well, that is what you sign up for when you forget to disable the trackpad (or a touchpad, however you say it) even when the mouse is connected to your Mac.

So, let’s walk you through some very simple steps regarding how you can disable trackpad on your Mac when an external mouse is connected.

Step 1

The first thing that you have to do is, you have to go to the Apple icon on your Mac, and from there, find the System Preferences option.

Step 2

Once you are in the System Preferences tab, you have to find the next option from there, which is Accessibility.

Step 3

In the Accessibility panel, you have to trace the Mouse and Trackpad option now. You can find this option on the left-hand side along with many other interactions such as Siri, Keyboard, Switch Control, etc. Scroll down to find the option.

Step 4 

Once you have found the Mouse and Trackpad option, click on it. Then on the right, you will find several settings regarding your mouse and trackpad. From there, the last option should say something like ignoring a built-in trackpad. Whoop! That’s exactly what we want to do!

Step 5 

The rest is very easy. You will just have to check the option that mentions ignoring built-in trackpad. And there you go! Close the System Preferences option now.

Once you have completed this, the built-in trackpad cannot bother you anymore as the changes take effect immediately. Give it a go and see how well this works.

Please note that, after you have followed the steps and disabled the built-in trackpad, you can only put inputs through your external mouse, which can either be connected via Bluetooth or USB.

And as long as these external devices are connected, the built-in trackpad now will be ignored by your Mac. But the moment the external devices get disconnected, your built-in trackpad will automatically be back.

How to Disable My Trackpad Even without Having a Mouse Connected?

If you want to disable the built-in trackpad even without having an external mouse connected, all you have to do is. Check the box “Enable Mouse Keys” and click “Options” afterward.

And then you can check the box saying “Ignore the built-in trackpad when mouse key is on” and there you will have it.

If you are wondering what Mouse Key is, well, it is a function that can allow certain letters and numbers on your keyboard to help move the cursor!

Let’s teach you a fun trick here. If you want to enable your built-in trackpad without having to do all this hard work, just check the box which says about toggling mouse keys by pressing the option key five times. You should be able to turn the trackpad on and off by pressing the Option key now.

Who Can Benefit the Most from This Feature?

This feature can be useful to almost everyone. But I think it can be most beneficial to everyone who prefers to use external input devices like magic trackpad or magic mouse. I know for me, it is far easier to use an external mouse instead of using the trackpad. Personally, I feel like the space of the trackpad is not enough, and I modify the mouse sensitivity quite often depending on the project I’m doing.

Disabling the built-in trackpad can also come in handy if you are someone who doesn’t use the trackpad while having an external device connected. People who tend to do drawing on computer with a mouse find this feature handy.

And it can be a lifesaver (quite literally if you are in-game) if you are a gamer and have pets who tend to jump on you all the time.

Other than the obvious benefits, this feature can also be helpful if you are having trouble with clicking while having two devices connected to your Mac. You can troubleshoot following the steps we have already mentioned in that case, also if you are experiencing odd mouse behavior.

However, you can just as easily undo this following the same steps, just uncheck the ignoring option, and you will be all set.

Also, if your built-in trackpad doesn’t seem to function while having an external device attached, you could check the setting as well to see if it is enabled or disabled.

Final Words

This setting can be really useful if you are one of the many people who mistakenly tend to press the trackpad while actually working with an external mouse, whether it’s mechanical vs laser vs optical mouse. I hope this article helped you with its easy-to-follow instructions!

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