Apple should fix the new MacBook Pro’s most ‘hideous’ design flaw

“Within about 30 seconds of starting to use my new MacBook Pro, I noticed something annoying,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “My palm and thumb kept brushing against the large trackpad, both when typing and when using the trackpad.”

“This is an annoyance because it detects the brush as a tap, enthusiastically moving the cursor about the screen randomly as a result, causing all sorts of mayhem. ‘Not to worry,’ I thought. ‘I’ll just go and find the palm rejections settings and tweak them,'” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “Then I realized that there aren’t any such settings in macOS.”

“People have been complaining about this since Apple super-sized the trackpad with the release of the 2015 MacBook Pro,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “While some seem to be happy with having a larger trackpad surface area, many feel that the thing is too big and gets in the way of typing. Others like the larger trackpad but wish that Apple had better palm rejection capability built into macOS to allow the accidental brushes to be ignored by the operating system. But we’re out of luck.”

Apple's MacBook Pro and its spacious Force Touch trackpad
Apple’s MacBook Pro and its spacious Force Touch trackpad

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If would be useful if Apple simply allowed users who are having difficulty to map the usable area of the trackpad to suit their usage (let them virtually block off the sides of the trackpad in System Preferences > TrackPad).

In our experience, most users, including us, love Apple’s large trackpads on portable Macs and have no negative issues with them whatsoever.


  1. @MDN: Nah, control freaks like Apple wouldn’t do that – they know what’s best for all users, even when the users don’t. Plus, they’d consider it too complex even for “Pro” users.

    1. I haven’t had issues with the trackpad on my 15″ MacBook Pro, but the keyboard is pathetic. However, in all things Apple, I have yet to come across an Apple mouse worth a damn. That Magic Mouse with the non scroll wheel and instead has that touch sensor is absolutely horrific. Every time I reach for my mouse while in InDesign, it scrolls up or down ten pages. Absolutely excruciatingly aggravating.

      And I won’t get started with Apple’s cheap ass sheathing of it electrical charging cables for iPad and iPhone. It’s as if they were almost made by the same third party knock off that produce inferior Apple accessories crap that Apple recommends you not use. I have a “not make” recommendation for you Apple regarding your charging cables. You hear me Jony Ives?!? Hey Tim, have Apple acquire a extension cord company so they can show how sheathing electrical wires is done!

  2. I don’t have one (yet), but I assume you can turn tap to click off. This would keep brushes from moving the cursor (I’ve had a problem with this on every track pad laptop I have ever used.

    Unfortunately, you lose the tap to click (which saves a lot of wear and tear on my tendons, carpal tunnel, etc…

    So, it would be nice if there was an Apple fix that would give us the best of both worlds.

  3. I don’t personally have this issue to me the most hideous the line design flaw is the keyboard itself utter garbage. My 2017 MacBook Pro has had to be repaired twice in three months. Jony Ive had his head up his ass when he designed this item.

  4. I’ve HATED trackpads as long as they have been out and immediately use a wireless trackball instead in it’s place. Clumsy to use as your arm has to loom in front of the keyboard and functionally annoying as all get-out. However the built-in trackball of my 1992 Powerbook 170 was delightful.

    Apple needs to start redesigning this stuff and not just modest upgrades that end up in disaster and recalls.

  5. I agree with the trackpad criticisms and the keyboard remains sucky too. The ergonomics of the recent MacBook Pros are hideous. Whenever using one, I almost always plug in a trackball. With an adapter, because Apple doesn’t understand that almost all legacy input accessories still use USB-A connectors.

  6. “Within about 30 seconds of starting to use my new MacBook Pro…”

    This says a lot. He never considered that he might need a little bit of time to adjust. I hate to say it, but if he’s touching the trackpad while he types, he’s typing wrong. The hand and wrists should be well above the trackpad, both when typing and when using the trackpad. But his job gives him an audience, so yeah, go after Apple and call it a flaw.

    1. People are used to resting the base of their palms to stabilize their hands. Those not accustomed to long bouts of typing don’t realize that the ‘floating’ hand during typing may result in carpal tunnel quicker than if you get a wrist rest.

  7. ~3 months in with a new MacBook Pro and I think I have adjusted. When I first received it, I kept hitting the Touch Bar and a email compose window would appear or an email would be deleted or a safari browser tab would change etc. The keys on the keyboard had too short a throw causing ungodly loud clicks. And that gigantic trackpad seemed to attract stray touches of my hand at always the wrong moment. Last few weeks I have noticed my behavior has changed and I am generally good with the upgrade. Like many things in life, it takes a little time to accommodate oneself. No biggie.

    Next, please, Apple, let me spend some time accommodating myself to a new iMac … PLEASE!

  8. I am convinced that my 15″ 2014 MB Pro is the last Apple laptop that didn’t have rage built into it. Even with its smaller trackpad, however, I occasionally get the unexpected text edit due to inadvertent pad touch.

  9. Here’s the poor’s man version of the fix. Use two pieces of ducktape on top of each other, on both sides of this monstrosity of a touchpad (4 pieces in total). A single piece on each side won’t work – taps still register. However, if you tap in the middle and slide your finger over the two pieces of ducktape, the pointer movement will still register. This has the added benefit of warning you when dragging smth that you are about to reach the end. This won’t work with three pieces of ducktape. done!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.