How to Clean a MacBook Pro Trackpad

Written by irene a. blake
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The MacBook Pro has a touchpad and associated button referred to by Apple as the "trackpad" and "trackpad button." These parts serve the same function as a mouse -- move the cursor and select on-screen items. Over time, dust, other particles or debris, oils and moisture can build-up on the surfaces of the pad and button or in the grooved seams around both. Regular cleaning of these parts is necessary as dirt can interfere with functionality.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Lint-free microfiber cloths
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Vacuum (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wipe the trackpad on your MacBook Pro with a dry cloth immediately any time you feel moisture on it during use. Typically, moisture comes from wet hands, condensation or humidity.

  2. 2

    Turn off and unplug your MacBook Pro to clean it and the trackpad once a week.

  3. 3

    Close your laptop and turn it so that the bottom points up. Push up on the battery release latches above the battery to unlock it from its bay. Remove the battery, set it aside and then turn your laptop so that the bottom points down and reopen it.

  4. 4

    Dampen a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth so that it feels almost dry to the touch and then wipe the trackpad gently using up-and-down and side-to-side motions. Wipe the trackpad button and the seams around it and the pad. Wipe these areas again with a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture.

  5. 5

    Disinfect the trackpad and trackpad button, or remove skin oils or other build-up, with an almost dry disinfectant cloth during the weekly cleaning or as needed. Apple recommends using Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting wipes. After you've disinfected the area, repeat Step 4.

  6. 6

    Clean up spills immediately to prevent dirt build-up and moisture damage. Vacuum or wipe away dry spills and blot away moist spills with a dry cloth. Make certain to wipe along the edges of the trackpad and around the button as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • To prevent build-up on the trackpad and button, clean and dry your hands before using your MacBook Pro.
  • Always turn off your laptop, unplug it and remove the battery when cleaning or disinfecting the trackpad.
  • Always wait approximately 10 minutes after using your laptop for it to cool before cleaning.
  • Never use cleaners, solvents, bleach (or products containing bleach), or harsh chemicals on the trackpad or any part of the computer except as noted. Additionally, don't use aerosols or abrasive materials including paper towels.
  • Spraying any type of liquid directly on surfaces can result in damage.

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