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Friday, January 16, 2015

How to deactivate the MBA/MBP built-in trackpad and use a mouse instead-10.10.1 instructions

In my previous article, I wrote how to deactivate the built-in trackpad in an old MacBook and use a USB mouse instead. Those instructions applied to 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. For OS X Yosemite, 10.10.x, I had to change the instructions. 

I don’t know when or why you would want to disable the built-in trackpad in a MacBook Air, but who knows what abuse will occur to some MacBook Air or MacBook Pro that later goes up for sale? 

Step One: Turn on full access for the Tab key by pressing Control + Fn + F7. This enables it to move between all items on the screen.

Step Two: Begin opening System Preferences by pressing one of these two keyboard combinations: Control + Fn + F2 to access the Menu Bar and the  menu. Alternatively, you can press Control + Fn + F3 to access the Dock, where the previous owner hopefully left the icon for System Preferences. 

Step Three: On the Menu Bar, use your Arrow keys to move over to the Apple  menu and highlight it. Now press the down arrow key to move down to the System Preferences… selection on the drop down menu.


OS X Yosemite Apple Menu and System Preferences


Or you can choose to go through the Dock as shown below:


OS X Yosemite Dock showing System Preferences



In either case, once you highlight the System Preferences item or icon, press the Enter key to start it.


Step Four: You’re staring at the System Preferences  window showing all your installed system preferences. To move between them, press the Tab  key

Now I highlighted the General preference because I want you to notice the fuzzy blue outline around it. This is how OS X tells you which one the Tab key is on.


OS X Yosemite moving between prefernce panes using the Tab key


Now, as before, move between the items from left to right, then top to bottom, until-UNTIL!-you reach the Accessibility preference pane. Its icon is still a blue circle with an outstretched person in the center. 

Now press the Space Bar (and NOT the Enter key) to activate the Accessibility preference pane.


Step Five: You’ve reached the Accessibility preference pane…and there’s no Mouse & Trackpad option! Not to worry.


OS X Yosemite Universal Accessibility preference

Step Six: Notice the vertical box on the left-hand side. Press the Tab key to highlight its border in blue. 

Step Seven: Now use the Arrow keys to go down the list of options. Mouse and Trackpad isn’t initially visible, but it’s there lower down.

Step Eight: There’s the Mouse & Trackpad option! 


OS X Yosemite mouse and trackpad


Now use the Tab key to move between the various items in the window. When you get to the “Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present” item, STOP!


Step Nine: When the “Ignore built-in trackpad when mouse or wireless trackpad is present” button is highlighted in blue, use the Space Bar (Not the Enter key, it won’t work) to put a checkmark in the box. 


OS X Yosemite select the button

Step Ten: Plug in that USB mouse!


Step Eleven: Now to test it out. Run your finger over the trackpad and nothing should move on the screen. 

Now move the mouse. The cursor should move on the screen as you want it to move. Try out the buttons and the wheel. With the wheel, you should be able to move the contents of a window up and down. 


Step Twelve: If the keyboard sticks, too, you can use a cheap Windows USB keyboard in its place. Just remember to substitute the Windows/Super key for the Apple/Command key. Substitute Windows/Super + C for copy and Windows/Super + V for paste.



That’s the recipe for turning off the built-in trackpad in OS X 10.10.x Yosemite and substituting a USB mouse. 


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog







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