How to Right-Click on a Mac

Performing a right-click in Windows is an uncomplicated task. But what steps should one follow when utilizing a Mac?


macos right click

The possibilities of what you can achieve with a simple mouse click are already quite impressive. However, with the added functionality of a right-click, you can unlock even more capabilities, such as editing a photo, copying and pasting, unpinning an app, printing a document, reopening a closed web page, and numerous other tasks. But how do you perform these actions from the trackpad on your Mac? Since modern Macs no longer come with physical trackpad buttons to press, it’s not as straightforward.

You have the option of purchasing a mouse for your Mac, but it’s not necessary since macOS offers built-in features to handle these tasks. Let me help you through the essential information you need to know to make the most out of your Mac’s trackpad functionality.

Right Click on a Mac Without Mouse

Control-Click With the Keyboard

On a Mac, performing a Control-click is akin to executing a right-click on Windows, as both serve a similar purpose and offer comparable functionalities. To initiate a Control-click action, simply press the ‘control‘ key on your Mac’s keyboard and simultaneously click on the item displayed on the screen. By doing so, a shortcut or contextual menu will appear, providing you with relevant options based on the location and context of the click. It’s essential to note that the outcome of a Control-click varies depending on its location, but it represents one of the primary methods to execute a right-click on a Mac without using an external mouse.

Two-Finger Tap on the Trackpad

For those who find holding down the Control key and then clicking on an item to be cumbersome, there is an alternative method to enable right-click functionality on a Mac using the “Tap with Two Fingers” gesture. This gesture allows you to perform a secondary click, similar to a right-click, by tapping the trackpad with two fingers. To enable this feature, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Click on the Apple menu () located at the top left corner of your Mac’s screen.
  2. Choose “System Settings” from the drop-down menu.
macos trackpad settings
  1. In the System Settings window, select “Trackpad.”
  2. Within the Trackpad settings, navigate to the “Point & Click” tab.
  3. Look for the option that says “Secondary click” and “Click or Tap with Two-Fingers.” The wording might vary depending on your macOS version.

Right-Click a Corner of the Trackpad

For quite a while now, numerous individuals have relied on laptops as their go-to work companions. However, once we make the transition to a Mac, a wave of nostalgia overwhelms us, yearning for the tactile right-click key that nestled below the trackpad on our previous devices. Our fingers may even dance reflexively toward the right corner, reminiscing a time when that very gesture held a different purpose.

For those who find themselves yearning for the convenience of a right-click option on their Mac, here’s a delightful discovery: the right corner of your Mac’s trackpad can serve as the solution! No need to tinker with any settings or third-party tools; this feature is built right in. Follow the simple steps below to unlock the right-click functionality in the right corner of your trackpad:

  1. Open System Settings on your Mac.
  2. Scroll down in the sidebar and click the Trackpad option.
  3. Now, head to the Point & Click tab.
  4. Here, click the list beside the Secondary click option.
macos trackpad settings right click
  1. From the drop-down menu, select the Click in Bottom-Right Corner option.

Presently, to execute a right-click action on your Mac, simply click on the bottom right corner. If you prefer, you have the option to assign the secondary click function to the left corner instead. To achieve this, just select the “Click in the Bottom-Left corner” option during the final step of the process.

Right-Click With Accessibility Options

An Accessibility shortcut is available on your Mac, enabling you to perform a right-click action without relying on the physical mouse button. This feature proves particularly useful in situations where your Mac’s trackpad fails to register clicks. Let’s explore how you can activate and use the Accessibility Keyboard Shortcut for right-clicking on your Mac.

accessibility shortcuts macos right click
  1. Simultaneously press the Command + Option + F5 keys on your Mac’s keyboard to open the Accessibility Shortcuts menu.
  2. Choose the Mouse Keys option from the list, then mark the checkbox next to it before clicking Done.
  3. Currently, if you wish to perform a right-click on a Mac, simply glide the cursor over the desired item and then simultaneously press the Function + Control + I keys.