OS X Mavericks Affecting Trackpad/Keyboard on Older MacBook Pros?


I’ve read a few articles at different tech sites, along with some Apple support forum postings, discussing a problem with keyboard and trackpad issues on new MacBook Pro Retina systems. Apple even has a support article titled MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013): Keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive.

I don’t think this issue is limited only to newer MacBook Pro Retina systems. A day after upgrading my wife’s 13″ MacBook Pro, which is a 2010 or 2011 model (and doesn’t have a Retina Display), we experienced a similar problem. She was trying to use her laptop but the mouse cursor did not follow the movements on the trackpad. It seemed to stop responding for brief moments and then move off in a slightly different direction when it did work. I witnessed this problem myself and even checked to see if something had gotten on the trackpad that was throwing it off. Nothing had.

Because I had yet to learn of this problem I happened on the solution by accident. My wife had become frustrated so she closed her laptop and let it sleep. I grabbed it, opened the display, but it wouldn’t fully wake up (an issue that itself isn’t exactly rare). Rather than power the laptop off, not knowing what she may have left open and unsaved, I simply closed the lid and waited until the LED pulsed to indicate that the system was sleeping. Then I opened it back up. This time the system woke up properly and, once again, the trackpad behaved normally.

It’s certainly possible that something else was the cause but the problem hasn’t recurred so I doubt it’s a hardware issue. This has never happened before. In addition, a friend of mine mentioned that he also had a similar problem with an older MacBook Pro. So, if you have an older MacBook Pro that behaves this way try the solution for new MacBook Pro systems.

9 thoughts on “OS X Mavericks Affecting Trackpad/Keyboard on Older MacBook Pros?

  1. SRVwannab

    Just upgraded my 2010 (pre-Retina) to Mavericks and my trackpad is going crazy! Gestures on its own, unresponsive, etc. No problems before, now, nonfunctional. I’ve found a ton of fixes online tonight, but nothing seems to work! Ugh.

  2. Agree. It’s not just the Retina models that are effected. My 2011 13″ i5 MBP has the same issue. At least now I know that I don’t have to hard boot to recover. Close the lid, short prayer, and the box is back in business. Apple needs to fix this, but at least I don’t lose anything when it happens.

  3. bryanwtucker

    I have a late 2011 13″ MacBook Pro (non-retina) and have the same problem. It’s bad enough it makes the computer unusable. Reboot does nothing to solve it. Sleep and wake restores normal function… For less than a minute and it goes buggy again!

  4. bryanwtucker

    Apple support says this is caused by a problem during the original download & requires a reinstall of the OS. The quicker way to do this is Internet recovery from a hidden drive partition-explained here. Shut off computer, with left hand hold control-option-r & turn on computer, release left hand when you see the spinning globe. The recovery download may take 15-20 minutes, you then select your language and afterward select a reinstall of the OS. Since my machine only offered my previous OS version, we stopped there and had to go the more time consuming route-fresh download from the App Store purchases tab. They explained any of the following can disrupt data in the download & it’s best to use an Ethernet cable instead of wireless download-causes of errors: sleep, microwave oven, tv remote, emergency vehicles passing by.

  5. I’ve found if you turn Bluetooth off and on, it brings the trackpad and keyboard back to life.

    Unfortunately, if you need to do this you need a mouse with a wire, as of course I can turn off Bluetooth with my wireless mouse… but then it can’t talk to the laptop anymore and you can’t turn Bluetooth back on.

    It’s quite annoying, but has only happened when I’ve let the battery get very low (either when on or when it’s closed.) I’m on a pre-retina one too.

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