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How to right click on a Mac

You can do it even if your mouse only has one button.

Published onSeptember 9, 2020

Macs still ship with a mouse or trackpad that has just one obvious button, but you can still right click regardless of the input device you have. You can even customize the click for your tastes. We’ll show you not only how to right click on a Mac, but how to set it up if it isn’t already enabled on your computer.

How to enable right click on a Mac

how to right click on a mac

To start, you’ll need to make sure right-clicking is enabled. Here’s how to turn on right click on a Mac with either a compatible mouse or trackpad, and even customize it for left-handed use.

  1. Open System Preferences and click either Mouse or Trackpad depending on the device you use.
  2. In the Point & Click tab, make sure Secondary Click is checked.
  3. If you use a mouse, Click on Right Side is selected underneath by default. Click that and choose Click on Left Side if you prefer to switch where the click takes place.
  4. If you use a trackpad, choose the gesture you want to perform for a right click. By default, it involves pressing two fingers on the trackpad.

How to right click on a Mac

Once you’ve enabled a right click, performing the action is simple. On the Apple Magic Mouse or Mighty Mouse, you typically just have to click the appropriate side of the mouse — it may be one physical button, but the device can tell which side you’ve pressed. If using a MacBook trackpad, the gesture you set (by default, pressing two fingers) will perform a right click.

Third-party mice work like they do in Windows and other computers, where the right mouse button usually performs the click. If you have an older Apple mouse or have disabled Secondary Click, you can still perform the action. You just have to hold Control on your keyboard while you click.