If you’re a Mac user who has the need to run a version of Windows on a separate partition using Boot Camp, you may have noticed that your trackpad has very limited functionality compared to what’s available under MacOS, which is really annoying if you’re used to using things such as natural scrolling.
What’s even more annoying is that the Boot Camp drivers consider the trackpad as an HID-compatible mouse, so configuring the natural scrolling equivalent under Windows (called “reversed scrolling direction”) is completely out of the question.
I have crossed the Internet far and wide to find a way to tweak the touchpad the way I want and I finally found what I was looking for.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Trackpad++, a small utility that you can download from here.
What is Trackpad++ for?
Trackpad++ allows a more complete control over the built-in trackpad in Apple laptops.
- Classic MacBook Pro 13″ (mid-2009 through mid-2012 models)
- Classic Macbook Pro 15″ (mid-2009 through mid-2012 models)
- Macbook Pro Retina 13″ (late-2012 through late 2016 models)
- Macbook Pro Retina 17″ (mid-2012 through late 2015 models)
- Macbook Air 11″ (late 2010 through early 2015 models)
- Macbook Air 13″ (late 2010 through early 2015 models)
- New Macbook 12″ (early 2015 and early 2016 models)
Trackpad++ does not support iMacs or the Magic Trackpad. For those you’ll need ExtraMagic, a different utility.
Before you install it
If you run a 64-bit version of Windows, you’ll need to install another utility called Power Plan Assistant that disables the requirement for Microsoft-signed device drivers. The installation of Power Plan Assistant under 32-bit versions of Windows is optional. Power Plan Assistant is a utility made by the same developer that allows you to customize the power profile of your Mac more easily and to install unsigned drivers, such as those provided by Trackpad++. After installing Power Plan Assistant, click the OK button to reboot your computer.
Installing Trackpad++ is a simple affair: click Next a couple of times, accept the EULA, select the install location and you’re good to go. You’ll be asked to confirm the MacBook model you have and your computer will reboot automatically to confirm changes.
After your computer has rebooted, you’re free to customize the trackpad’s behaviour using the taskbar-resident application. I personally like to reverse scrolling direction because I feel it’s more natural than Windows’ default. Another thing I like to do is using four-finger swipes left and right to change the currently-active desktop. Unfortunately, swiping left or right won’t create new desktops as needed, so it doesn’t replicate MacOS’ behaviour 100% accurately, but at least it’s something!
The screenshot above shows Trackpad++’s configuration window. Here you can edit the trackpad’s behaviour to your heart’s content. You should be aware that this window will always stay on top until you press the Hide to Tray button. In order to apply your changes, you’ll need to click the Apply & Save button.
A big caveat
Despite Trackpad++ being free to download and use, your copy of it will expire every week, forcing you to re-download it and re-install it every seven days and the same applies to Power Plan Assistant. The only way to avoid this is by donating to the developer. The suggested donation is 17 US dollars, but you’re free to give more (or less) than that. I suggest you try it first and then decide whether you want ot donate or not.
All things considered, however, I think that Trackpad++ is a good utility that will make using Windows on a Mac much more enjoyable, especially if you don’t plan on using an external mouse to overcome Apple’s awful trackpad drivers.