Apologies for the cobwebs and spiders
I know, I know, I don't like it either
Many people have emailed me recently saying that it doesn't work on their fancy new Windows 7 Macbook Pros. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to test, as I am still on my 2007 Santa Rosa Macbook Pro and haven't had a chance to work on the code or update it since...last year :)
Currently looking into what new libraries and things are available now for this task and also thinking of rewriting it in my free time.
While you're here, feel free to try it out, but the likelihood of this utility working on the latest 2011 Macbook Pros is dubious at best!
Apple Macbook and Macbook Pro users in OS X
In OS X, this option is available and has been moved to the Mouse and Trackpad section under Universal Access in System Preferences. See this link for more information.
Non-Apple laptop users in Windows
Note: For those of you using non-Apple laptops, check to see if your trackpad uses the Synaptics driver. This option is built into those. See how to automatically disable the trackpad here.
You might need to update your driver to get this option. If so, go here.
After purchasing my first Mac, the Macbook Pro 15", I found it annoying that when I would type or try to play games, my palm would occasionally slip over the corner of the unusually large trackpad and move my cursor to either a different position in the text (or mess up my aim) and I'd mess things up (or die after shooting at the ground). Under Mac OS X, there's an option whereby if an external mouse is connected, the trackpad is automatically disabled. However, there is no option in Windows for this in the mouse properties. The only way to disable it is to go into the Device Manager, right click it and select disable. Well, I wanted something easier, and I couldn't find anyone online that made a utility that does this. So....
I built a small utility that allows you to disable and enable the Apple Macbook trackpad easily, called Trackpad Magic. It even has the automatic mode which mimics OS X's option. Since it worked so great for me, I figured why not see if anyone else has the same issue with the giant trackpads and see if this solution works for them.
Many thanks to Chauncey W. for his much needed help with Windows Vista functionality and getting it to work on his unibody Macbook! He took the time to email me with really useful details of his system and how it worked and helped me get it working on Vista. Appreciate this to the max!
Also, many thanks to all the people that have emailed me about this program thanking me if it worked or letting me know that it doesn't, and how/why. Much appreciation!
- Runs as a tray icon, allowing you to easily determine the trackpad's status based on the icon.
- Keyboard shortcut (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-M) allows quickly enabling/disabling trackpad. Works in both automatic and manual modes, giving you the ability to switch on the trackpad in case something goes wrong.
- Option for Automatic Mode to mimic OS X—detect the addition of an external mouse and automatically disable the trackpad. Removing the mouse re-enables the trackpad. Note: It takes a few seconds on my system for the automatic enable/disable to kick in. Some others say it's immediate, but YMMV.
- The manual mode (manually enabling/disabling the trackpad) is set by default.
- Absolutely free. No ads, no spyware crap, just a small quick and dirty solution to this problem of mine.
Selecting an external mouse
Notification after selecting mouse
Trackpad has been enabled.
- No longer specifically targets Apple Macbook Pros. I've changed it so that it lets you choose your external USB mouse.
- Versions newer than 5/26/2009 are tested on Windows 7 x64 on Santa Rosa Macbook Pro, older versions tested on Windows XP. Unibody Macbook Pro tested on Windows Vista.
- For Vista users, since it enables and disables a device in Device Manager, it requests for admin privileges when run.
- One person (Sony VAIO laptop) e-mailed me saying that it doesn't work. After a bit of looking at it, the system has to be able to disable the trackpad from within Device Manager. His didn't have that option (the Sony laptop had it's own software to do that) so this program wouldn't work for him.
- Removed Apple Macbook Pro specific code. Now works for all laptops. The requirment is: You, the user, select the laptop's external mouse.
- Updated to support 64-bit versions of Windows (Tested on Windows 7 x64). Still supports 32-bit, as always.
- Fixed hotkey handling code so that CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-M hotkey is always enabled.
- Made changes in the enabling/disabling logic to better handle newer versions of Windows (more device IDs to handle, etc)
- Tested non-Apple support again and (hopefully) made this stuff work.
- The new Boot Camp 3.0 that ships with Snow Leopard finally brings the "Ignore accidental trackpad input" option in the Boot Camp options under the Control Panel (as tested under Windows 7 x64). It should alleviate the issues with palms and trackpads, but if that doesn't solve it, you can still use this program.
- Tested on a newer unibody (Aluminum) Macbook (non-pro). Thanks to Chauncey W. for helping me get it to work on his Vista boot camp system.
- Now correctly requests for admin privileges in Vista (originally it wouldn't and then would just break)
Feel free to leave constructive feedback and/or bugs and how you found them: christopher dot lim at gmail dot com