Is there a terminal command in Mac OS X to disable/enable the trackpad/mouse? I know that I can disable the trackpad of my MacBook Pro when an external mouse is connected. But is this also possible without a peripherial connected?

migrated from Jun 11 '13 at 14:55

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • Checkout @SleeplessRazi answer. That works for newer macOS including Sierra. – villancikos Feb 23 '17 at 11:11

You would have to unload the kexts, which would remove support for the hardware until reloaded. I don't really recommend this.


sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTrackpad.kext


sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBTopCase.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBTrackpad.kext

I tried this in OS X 10.9.5

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBMultitouch.kext

it gives error "(kernel) Can't unload kext; classes have instances" but it disables the Trackpad successfully.

Then after

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBMultitouch.kext

it enables the Trackpad again.

  • 2
    FYI on 10.11.3 El Capitan I found this to disable the entire keyboard as well. – sming Feb 24 '16 at 22:51
  • @sming same here. what's the solution? – incandescentman Jul 25 '16 at 0:17
  • Using Sierra it works. Only disables Trackpad and not Keyboard. – villancikos Feb 20 '17 at 15:55
  • I just tried this on 10.12.5 and it disabled the trackpad... and then caused a kernel panic. – nvahalik Jun 20 '17 at 19:00
  • Same kernel panic for me :( – Tim Rudnevsky Jul 5 '17 at 8:59

In OS X 10.9 I tried

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBMultitouch.kext/

to disable a temperamental trackpad, but that gave an error and didn't do anything. But moving the extension elsewhere, i.e.

sudo mv /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUSBMultitouch.kext ~

and restarting did the trick—though for some reason it also disabled the internal keyboard (except for the power button).

FYI, Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info... > System Report... > Extensions (under Software) shows which kernel extensions are currently active.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.