Log on problem

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I've been a Mac owner for about 6 months (Macbook Air 2014, Mavericks, OS X version 10.9.5). There have been absolutely no problems whatsoever - until today. I don't know whether the problem is the Macbook or me! I could be overlooking something really basic, but I don't think so.

In normal use, I close the lid to send the Mac to sleep between sessions, and raise the lid to carry on. Occasionally I shut it down fully, or restart. Today for the very first time (for no particular reason other than to get to know my machine better), I thought I would Log Out. No problem, until I tried to log in again.

After logging out, the screen is blank except for an Apple logo near the top, and two other logos representing my user account and a guest account. However, at this point the screen seems to freeze - I can't activate my account or bring up a password window (which was the next thing I was expecting to happen) - my finger on the trackpad can make the pointer move, but there's no way I can do anything more with it. All I can do is shut down everything completely by pressing the power button till the screen is blank, then again to start it up.

What is happening? Why can't I log on again?

PS: The plot thickens...

On an impulse, just before submitting this query, I tried logging off and on again using a mouse instead of the trackpad. Result: no problem whatsoever; up came the password window as soon as I clicked on the icon representing my account.
The question now becomes, therefore, why isn't it working when I tap the trackpad to 'click', when it works perfectly when I use a mouse?
It's not the most serious problem in the world - it's just that I hate it when something illogical like this happens and I can't solve it! Any suggestions most welcome...
 

Slydude

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It's possible that things just "hung up" a bit when you tried the first time. It happens once in a while. If it never wakes when you use the trackpad try the following:

1. Open the Trackpad pane in System Preferences.
2. Select the Point and Click tab.
3. Make sure "Tap to Click" is checked.
 
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Hello Colmack - in addition to Slydude's recommendations, let me just ask if you can move the pointer over your login icon? If so, instead of simply tapping, press the trackpad until you feel a click - that's how it seems to work on my MBPro - good luck. Dave :)
 
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And in case you didn't know, just press the first letter of your name and then Enter to select your login.
 
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Log on problem - responses

Slydude: thanks for the suggestion. 'Tap to click' was already checked, but just to make sure I unchecked and rechecked it - problem still there :Confused:

RadDave: Well, this worked - thanks for teaching me something about my Macbook I didn't know! :) The required motion you describe I would call a 'press' rather than a 'tap' though. (Not a criticism of you; I'm just saying...). Is this 'press trackpad to click' is such common knowledge among the Macbook fraternity that no-one else has this problem, and I'm just splitting hairs by wanting a regular 'tap' to work? I still feel that the 'tap' that works everywhere else should work here.

Cradom: Another tip I didn't know, that works. Thanks :)
 
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I still feel that the 'tap' that works everywhere else should work here.
The problem with that is, until it gets booted up and logged in, it doesn't know if tap-to-click is turned on.
It needs to read the .plist in your Library/Preferences to find that out.

And yes, that is a mechanical click on the trackpad which needs a press rather than a tap.
 
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RadDave: Well, this worked - thanks for teaching me something about my Macbook I didn't know! :) The required motion you describe I would call a 'press' rather than a 'tap' though. (Not a criticism of you; I'm just saying...). Is this 'press trackpad to click' is such common knowledge among the Macbook fraternity that no-one else has this problem, and I'm just splitting hairs by wanting a regular 'tap' to work? I still feel that the 'tap' that works everywhere else should work here.

Well Colmack - you know I meant a click rather than a tap, so don't understand your statement 'not a criticism of you' - I assume that the suggestion helped - correct? If so, great, 'tapping' & 'clicking' seem to be different on these trackpads - we all have to learn including myself in my early times on the MBPro - cheers. Dave :)
 
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RadDave
No, I didn't know about the 'press to click' - I did it for the very first time after reading your post. (So yes, it certainly helped, thanks again!).
The implied criticism therefore wasn't aimed at you, as you weren't to know I was completely ignorant of this), so much as to all the guidebooks, posts, websites, YouTube videos etc I've studied about 'learning to use your new Macbook' since buying mine a few months ago, none of which mentioned this little trick.
Thanks again
 

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