The subject of how to right-click on a Mac or MacBook is still questioned despite the abundance of two-button mouse available for use with Macs, so you’re not alone if you don’t know how to do it. The legacy of Apple’s infamous decision to favour a one-button mouse over the two-button mouse that Windows users liked has been a great deal of uncertainty on how to right click on a Mac.
But we presume that Apple mice aren’t the only thing leaving so many Mac users baffled about how to right click. Since the majority of Mac customers probably use laptops without mice, they must learn how to use Apple’s trackpad, which lacks a clear means to indicate a left or right button click. It is understandable why Mac users are unable to right-click on MacBooks. Other users might be confused since they switched from a PC to a Mac and don’t know the key combinations for actions like cutting and pasting on a Mac.
In reality, there are several ways to right-click on a Mac; we’ll go over each one below, but to summarise, they are as follows:
- Press control while clicking your mouse
- Press control while clicking the track pad
- If you have an Apple Magic Mouse you can set up a corner for Secondary Click in System Preferences
- Press your trackpad with two fingers
- Assign a corner of the trackpad to be a right click
- Use a two button mouse check out our round up of the
best mice for Apple Macs.
Press Control to right click on a mouse or trackpad
With a Mac, you can right click by pressing the Ctrl (or Control) key while using the mouse or trackpad.
Don’t mix up the Ctrl with Alt (or Option) keys. On a Mac, the Ctrl key is located at the very end of the keyboard, on either the right or left side. It is not the key adjacent to the space bar.
Learn how to type special characters on a Mac, including,, #, and @.
Use right-click with an Apple Magic Mouse
If you own an Apple mouse, also known as the Magic Mouse by Apple, you might be unsure of how to right-click as there are no buttons on the device.
Many of the multi-touch motions used by the trackpad are also used by Apple’s mouse, however the location of your click on the Apple Magic Mouse ultimately decides the type of click you are making.
Using an Apple Magic Mouse, you can actually click on the right of the mouse, which is fairly intuitive.
You might need to set it up in System Preferences if this doesn’t work.
- Open System Preferences (either by clicking on the cog icon if it is in your Dock, or by clicking on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and then System Preferences.)
- Select Mouse.
- Click Point & Click.
- Beside secondary click choose Click on right side (or left side).
Get an Apple Magic Mouse directly from Apple or read our article on the best pricing for Apple Keyboard and Mice for more information.
Learn how to repair an Apple Mac mouse here.
Use two fingers on a Mac trackpad
Use two fingers to click with the right mouse button if you have a trackpad.
You may need to configure it in System Preferences if this doesn’t work. This is how:
- Open System Preferences.
- Click on Trackpad.
- In Trackpad Preferences select: Click with two fingers beside Secondary click.
You may set up a lot more motions here:
Tap a corner of the trackpad
How to utilise the trackpad on a MacBook.
Maybe right-clicking with two fingers isn’t the most natural motion for you. In that instance, if you wish to right-click, you might select to click on the trackpad’s corner.
You must open System Preferences once more to configure this choice.
Right-clicking on a MacBook with Force Touch trackpad
This time, choose either Click in the bottom right corner or Click in the bottom left corner instead of clicking or tapping with two fingers.
The Force Touch trackpad employs taptic feedback to deceive you into believing that you can achieve clicks with varying degrees of pressure.
An additional deeper click that displays a contextual menu with more options is available in addition to the regular right-click capabilities.
Use a two button mouse
To right-click, use two fingers to touch, set the cursor to the bottom or right corner as described above, or press and hold the trackpad to simulate a right-click.
You should be able to use the right-click as you would anticipate if you buy a two-button mouse to use with your Mac.
Why right-click on a Mac?
There are some excellent choices in our roundup of the top Mac mice.
Right-clicks enable additional contextual options that aren’t accessible to single clickers, enabling a new degree of interaction.
A Word or Pages document, for instance, can have choices for cut, paste, changing the font, and even looking up the definition or synonyms of a term.
On the Dock, you can quit an open application by performing a right-click on its icon.
The right-click choices are likely to add an extra layer of detail that you would be lost without depending on the sophistication of the software you are using.