Dozens of users on Apple’s Discussion boards have reported an issue in which keyboard, trackpads and mice stall, pause or freeze under varying circumstances. One anecdote:
- Sandra Guzdek: “This started happening to me Monday night, the 22nd (well, I first noticed it Monday night) when the mouse and cursor disappeared while I was editing a document (thankfully after hitting Save!). Had to hard reboot. It was starting to become more and more of a problem: keys were repeating, the cursor would randomly disappear… I even noticed that I’d click on the Mail icon in the Dock and a Finder window would open!”
We also reported on this issue in conjunction with the update to Mac OS X 10.6.3, in which the problem is typified by the cursor freezing in place, or text input becoming suddenly interrupted then catching up a few seconds later.
It now appears that some cases of this problem are caused by the presence of Adobe Flash, and can be resolved by updating to the Flash Player 10.1 “Gala” preview release, which includes H.264 video hardware decoding on Mac OS X 10.6.3 and thereby dramatically increases playback performance and decreases CPU usage on compatible Macs.
Several reports on Apple’s Discussion boards report relief from the keyboard/mouse/freezing issue after applying this update:
- Josh Hinton: “Ever since updating Flash to the ‘Gala preview release’ I no longer have this problem. It’s been a whole day without trackpad or keyboard problems.. which is actually a long time.”
- jmrSeattle: “I uninstalled all previous versions of Flash and then installed the Gala Preview. Had it on for 5 hours without a problem. Prior to this move, my keyboard would have acted up within an hour. I hope this solution sticks.”
This would suggest that some instances of this problem are caused by suddenly spiking CPU usage induced by Flash.
If simply updating to the Flash Gala release does not resolve your freezing issue, you may need to uninstall and then update to the new release, as described here.