Macs introduced the world to multiple handy ways of working with a computer. But one of these innovations feels confusing to many users. This unusual thing is the absence of the right-click button on Apple trackpads and mice. Still, there are several ways to perform the action called a “control click” or a “secondary click” which is the same as a right click.
Before we start
Right-click not working for you? Then you might have a malware problem. Use MacKeeper to scan for and remove any digital nasties.
- Open MacKeeper, and click Antivirus
- Click Start scan
- Wait for the scan to finish
- If MacKeeper finds malware, take the recommended action to remove it
With any luck, your Mac will be virus-free. But it’s always a good idea to have some protection in place. Try out MacKeeper for free now.
Learn how to right-click on a Mac with different devices:
Are you ready? Let’s dig in.
How to right-click with a Magic Mouse
The most common way to right-click on Mac is by using a mouse. This option is especially popular among iMac users, while those who have MacBooks mostly enjoy the functionality of the highly-sensitive and responsive touchpad.
Apple’s Magic Mouse, as well as its older Mighty Mouse, doesn’t have the right-side button, but you can easily activate this function. Before proceeding, make sure your mouse is connected via Bluetooth or plugged in a USB port.
To enable right-clicking with Magic Mouse:
1. On your Mac, go to Apple menu
2. Select System Preferences
3. Click Mouse
4. Navigate to the Point & Click pane
5. Check the checkbox next to the Secondary Click option
6. Choose the most comfortable way to right-click on your Mac mouse from the options listed in the drop-down menu:
- Click on the right side: This is the default option and it assigns the right-click function to the right side of your mouse
- Click on the left side: This option is for all the lefties out there and it assigns the right-click function to the left side of your mouse, which is very helpful because most left-handed people use the mouse with their left hand)
7. Now you can close the window; your new settings are saved
In case you experience any difficulties, check out our article on fixing Apple Magic Mouse problems.
How to right-click with any mouse on a Mac
If you have a non-Apple mouse with two buttons you can simply click the right button. If this doesn’t seem to work, perform a right-click by clicking and holding the Control button on a keyboard.
Another issue you might encounter with a non-Mac mouse is that it scrolls in the opposite direction. If you find it inconvenient, just change the Scroll direction settings in the Mouse window.
How to right-click on a Mac trackpad
The trackpad on your Apple laptop— MacBook Air or MacBook Pro—can perform all the functions you usually do with a mouse, including the right click.
To be able to right-click on a MacBook, you need to enable the secondary click function in System Preferences.
To enable right click on your MacBook trackpad:
1. Go to the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple logo at the upper left corner of your Mac’s screen
2. Select System Preferences
3. Choose Trackpad
4. Navigate to the Point & Click pane from the Trackpad window
5. Check the checkbox next to Secondary click
6. Open the drop-down menu by clicking the down arrow
7. Choose from the next options:
- Click with two fingers: This option allows you to right-click by slightly tapping your touchpad with 2 fingers
- Click in the bottom right corner: This option allows you to right-click by clicking on the bottom right corner of your touchpad
- Click in bottom left corner: This option is mainly for left-handed people, as it allows you to right-click by clicking on the bottom left corner of your touchpad
8. Now you can close the window; your new settings are saved
To set up tracking speed, stay at the Trackpad window in System Preferences and use the slider.
Note: You can also perform multi-touch gestures to enable additional functions of your trackpad.
How to right-click on a Force Touch trackpad
MacBooks released in 2015 and later have an improved version of a trackpad called Force Touch trackpad. It allows you to open new options depending on how hard you press the trackpad.
Although you can right-click on Force Touch Trackpad the same way you do on any other trackpad, you can also right-click here by applying a certain pressure on the trackpad (press and hold), which might feel more natural than the other approaches.
To adjust the pressure of your Force Touch trackpad, follow these steps:
- Open Apple menu
- Go to System Preferences
- Select Trackpad
- Navigate to Point & Click pane
- Find the Click pressure option and adjust a slider according to your preferences
- If you want to turn off Force Click, deselect the Force Click and haptic feedback option
Note: What Force Click does varies depending on the app. Most of the times Apple prefers to reserve the Force Click for such features as preview, editing, etc.
How to right-click on a Mac using a keyboard
There is another alternative option for right-clicking on a Mac laptop if your trackpad or mouse doesn’t have a right-click button.
You can easily open a drop-down menu with additional functions by holding down the Control key on your keyboard while you click.
Another way to right-click on your Mac is by using Accessibility options.
To right-click on your keyboard using Accessibility options:
1. Press Option + Command (⌘) + F5 to open the Accessibility window
2. In the new window, select Enable Mouse Keys
3. Click Done to confirm the action
4. Now you can use the combination of Function + Control + I to right click in the selected area
Keep in mind that while the Enable Mouse Keys function is turned on, some keys on your keyboard might not function properly. Therefore, you need to turn the function off as soon as you’re done with right-clicking.
Why right-click on a Mac?
The right-click option can be used for numerous actions such as:
- Copy and paste
- Edit text formatting
- Learn file parameters (its size, resolution, date of creating, and other)
- Change file or folder titles
- Change desktop settings and view options in the folder (arrange icons, create a new folder, and more)
- Check recommended options for misspelled words and words’ synonyms
The scope of such actions mostly depends on the application you’re working in and the range of possibilities it provides to users. In any case, the right-click function is aimed at enhancing your professional and personal experience on your computer.
- How to Screenshot on a Mac
- How to Get Split Screen on Mac
- Copy & Paste acting up on Mac? Here's how to fix it