Magic Trackpad 2 Compatibility with Older Macs

Trackpad 2 back 6c

Earlier this week, Apple announced the all-new Magic Trackpad 2 for $169 (CAD) alongside the new iMacs with 4K Retina display. Following a number of queries about whether the new Apple peripheral works over USB, or just Bluetooth and whether it also works with the older Macs, Jason Snell from SixColors, has done a bit of research to find out the answers to these questions. Here’s what he says:

“Magic Trackpad 2 comes with a Lightning-to-USB cable, for charging as well as the plug-to-pair feature that makes it easy to move it from one Mac to another. So I plugged the Magic Trackpad 2 into my iMac, and they worked just fine. Then I turned off Bluetooth on my iMac. And they worked just fine. So that’s one mystery solved—they definitely work over USB without Bluetooth”.

Now Apple claims that Magic Trackpad 2 requires OS X El Capitan and a Mac that supports Bluetooth 4.0. To find out the device’s compatibility with older Macs, he plugged the Magic Trackpad into an 2009 iMac and nothing happened. It didn’t recognize it at all, and he was unable to pair it using Bluetooth either. Here’s what happened next:

“But the iMac was running Yosemite. So I upgraded it to El Capitan and tried again—and sure enough, when I plugged the Magic Trackpad into the iMac, it worked—everything, including Force Touch, was supported. Then I unplugged the trackpad… and it still worked”.

Well, there you have it. Since the older iMacs don’t support Bluetooth 4.0, they will drain the battery of the Magic Trackpad 2 rather quickly, but it still works just fine.

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  • Gary Bowen

    Hmmm, for those with Bluetooth 2.0 Mac’s, I’m wondering if you could use it with the lightening charger plugged in 100% of the time.

    I have a 2009 Mac Mini running El Capitan; If force touch works, I wouldn’t mind using it with the cable. As a desk setup, it doesn’t necessarily need to be wireless 99% of the time.

  • KIII

    Will these work with the iPad pro ?

  • Gary Bowen

    The Magic Trackpad won’t; but as per regular iPad’s, the Magic Keyboard should.

  • KIII

    Why wouldn’t the trackpad work?

  • Z S

    Why would it? The iPad doesn’t have a cursor. It doesn’t support mice or trackpads.

  • KIII

    Never owned one so being the iPad Pro is new had been only thinking of how the 6s Pro has force touch.Thank you for the info.

  • Chuck Kahn

    I have a 2011 MBP and the Apple Store employee told me it wouldn’t work. I was going to look for a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle but now it seems that isn’t necessary.