Tap to Click Not Working on Mac? Here’s How to Fix It

Apr 20, 2022 - 3 Comments

Fix Tap to Click on Mac trackpads

Tap to Click is a popular feature for Mac trackpads that allow users to tap on the trackpad to perform a click, rather than exert physical pressure to physically click down on the trackpad. Many Mac users like to use Tap to Click, so if you find it’s suddenly not working, or not working as expected, it’s understandable why you’d be bothered.

Some Mac users have found that Tap to Click is not working as expected on their MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, or Magic Trackpad, often since updating to macOS Monterey or later. If you encounter this issue, read along to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

A Quick Fix for Tap to Click Not Working on Mac

Often you can do a simple quick fix to get Tap to Click working again on the Mac, and that is simply disabling and then re-enabling Tap to Click again.

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
  2. Go to “Trackpad”
  3. Uncheck the box for “Tap to Click”
  4. Click around on the Mac for a minute with a typical pressed click, then return back to the Trackpad System Preferences and check “Tap to Click” to enable it again
  5. Enable Tap to Click on MacBook Pro

Simply turning off and turning back on Tap To Click usually remedies most issues with the feature on the Mac.

Full Fix for Tap to Click Not Working Issues on MacOS

You’ll probably want to backup your Mac with Time Machine before beginning this process, because you’ll be potentially installing a system software update, and also modifying system preference files:

  1. Quit out of every open app on the Mac
  2. Go to  Apple menu > System Preferences > and choose “Software Update”
  3. Install any available macOS software update to the Mac (eg; macOS Monterey 12.4 Update) if one is available
  4. From the Finder on the Mac, hit Command+Shift+G (or go to the Go menu and choose Go To Folder) and go to ~/Library/Preferences/
  5. Locate the files named:
  6. com.apple.AppleMultitouchTrackpad.plist
    Mac Trackpad plist files

  7. Drag these two files to the desktop, or to the Documents folder, this is serving as a backup of the trackpad preferences files
  8. Restart the Mac by going to the  Apple menu then choosing “Restart”
  9. Now go to the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences” then go to the ‘Trackpad’ preference panel
  10. Configure your trackpad per your usual preferences, and make sure “Tap to Click” is enabled
  11. Enable Tap to Click on MacBook Pro

  12. Tap to Click should immediately start working again as expected

Note About Accidental Click Rejection and Tap-to-Click on Mac Trackpads

Some Mac users have noticed that on modern MacBook Pro laptops with extra large trackpads (for example, the latest 16″ MacBook Pro line), that Tap To Click works most reliably in a smaller rectangle within the large trackpad. Some MacBook Air users and MacBook Pro 13″ and 14″ users have noticed similar issues too, but those laptops have smaller trackpads than the 16″ which may be more prone to ignore accidental input.

Explore where you are using Tap to Click, and if you find that the trackpad frequently rejects or ignores taps on the edges of the Mac trackpad, try tapping instead a little closer to the center of the trackpad, as that alone may resolve any issues you are experiencing.

Tap to Click reliability zone

For some users, tapping towards the perimeter of the trackpad surface does not consistently register Tap To Clicks, whereas tapping directly in the center of the trackpad does reliably produce a tap to click function.

This may be due to the accidental input rejection feature that is built into the trackpads, which is generally very intelligent at determining accidental input and clicks, but sometimes may be overzealous and think a legitimate click should be rejected. The most obvious example of this happening is when Tap to Click works when used more towards the center of the trackpad, but if you pick an edge of the trackpad to tap on, you may need to tap several times before Tap to Click registers.

While some of this behavior may be intentional, some of it also may be a bug in some versions of MacOS system software, which is why it’s generally a good idea to install the most recently available system software updates. For example, some Mac users experienced Tap To Click issues with early versions of macOS Monterey, but those were later resolved in later macOS Monterey system updates.

Did you fix Tap to Click on your Mac trackpad? Did you find another solution? Let us know your experiences in the comments.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Squid says:

    “Tap to Click is a popular feature for Mac trackpads” Since when?

  2. Rick Alexander says:

    I just sent a reply but neglected to enter device details. Sorry about this oversight.
    MacBook Air 2020, 256GB
    MacOS 12.3.1

  3. Rick Alexander says:

    I had not previously used Tap to Click. So I set it up. While it usefulness was instantly clear, Tap to Click was super-sensitive, resulting in almost constant clicks I never intended to make.
    If I could decrease trackpad sensitivity, I would use it a lot.
    I am going to reread the part on accidental click rejection and see if I can get past the sensitivity issue.
    Help would be appreciated.

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