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Mac 101: Enable Right Click on Macs

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To right click on any Mac without changing any configuration:

  1. Click “crtl+Mouse button”
  2. A right click menu should pop up

To enable right click on an Apple desktop with an Apple mouse connected:

  1. Go to “System Preferences”
  2. Click “Keyboard & Mouse”
  3. Click the “Mouse” tab
  4. A picture of the mouse will show up. Click the drop down menu on the right hand side and select “Secondary Button”
  5. Now whenever you click on the right hand side of the mouse, a right click menu will appear

To enable right click on newer Apple laptops:

  1. Go to “System Preferences”
  2. Click “Keyboard & Mouse”
  3. Click the “Trackpad” tab
  4. Click the checkbox “For secondary clicks, place two fingers on the trackpad then click the button”
  5. Now whenever you have two fingers on the trackpad and click the mouse button, a right click menu will appear

To enable right click on certain older Apple laptops please see this article (The article was written about enabling two-finger scrolling, but the software also allows two-finger right click).

13 Responses to “Mac 101: Enable Right Click on Macs”

  1. Anjali Ghosh

    Why can’t apple deal with the right click situation in an ordinary way like every other OS x?

    Either they should create a system not requiring right click in the first place, and every thing should work with a single click.

    I was so used to the older ‘two finger tap’ right click, until my OS crashed and i had to get it re-installed. And now its “two finger tap and also click blah dee blah”. So annoying!!

  2. Morgan

    thank you for the info. :] it was very frustrating not having the right click. now i can show my parents who are not tech-savvy in any way. haha

  3. 1. Control-Click is a two-hand operation.

    1a. I know I COULD train myself to use one hand for control click, but that would mess me up when I’m using an external mouse.

    2. Control Click follows a different code path than right-click (which still boggles me… the lack of a proper input manager in OS X is a big problem) and not all applications follow the guidelines on control-click (particularly ported applications).

    2a. I know I could be politically correct and spurn all non-conforming apps, but I got my computer to do work, not to be politically correct.

    The bottom line is, Apple needs to get over the whole “one button mouse” thing, both on the trackpad and on the passive-aggressive “mighty mouse”.

  4. Now if only they’d actually put a second button on the trackpad so you could really right click without having to touch the trackpad and risk joggling the mouse pointer you’ve got hovering over the right spot…

  5. I really like the clicking option for trackpads. Just tap once for a click or double-tap for double click. I sorely miss the feature when using someone’s laptop to show them something. And it’s quieter than clicking the trackpad button.

  6. Of course, just connecting ANY two-button mouse will also “enable” right clicking on a Mac.

    In fact, this article should be re-titled “Enable Right Click on the Apple Mighty Mouse and some recent Apple Laptops”, since there is NOTHING required to enable right clicking in any version of OS X–it’s always enabled in the operating system.


  7. Sometimes I think we take stuff like this for granted. Then we use a computer where this is not setup and react, “wtf? no right click?!” I didn’t realize this could even be toggled on/off anymore. Good to know.