How to Right Click on a Mac? (5 Proven Ways in 2021)

By Anna | Posted to Home > Howto, on October 22nd, 2021

Summary: Your Magic Mouse doesn’t have a right-click button, how do you right-click on a Mac? This post lists 5 ways to perform the right-click on Mac.

how to right click on Mac

Using a right-click button on a mouse to perform right-click function has become a part of our daily life. But if you’ve bought an Apple Magic Mouse recently, you’ll find the Magic Mouse that comes with the Mac doesn’t have distinctive buttons like Windows.

And this brings the question - how to right-click on Mac without a right-click button? Don’t worry. In this post, you’ll find 5 easy ways to right-click on Mac with different devices:

Use Control + click to right-click on Mac

If you rely more on the keyboard, this is a pretty intuitive and quick way to right-click on an Apple Silicon Mac or iMac. Just press and hold the Control key (not to be confused with the Command key) and single click using the trackpad or mouse. This will register as a right-click.

In addition to using Control + click to right-click on Mac, below are more ways to enable right click on Mac. Keep reading to find out which one works best for you.

Right-click on a MacBook with trackpad:

The trackpad on a Macbook (or the Magic Trackpad) is a single piece of brushed aluminum that includes a full range of multi-touch gestures. It's easy to enable the right-click functionality on a Mac trackpad, then modify the settings to your preference.

  • Go to the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple logo at the upper left corner of your Mac’s screen.
  • Select System Preferences > Trackpad.
  • Navigate to the Point & Click tab from the Trackpad window.
  • Check the checkbox next to the Secondary click.
  • Open the drop-down menu by clicking the down arrow.
  • right click on a Mac with trackpad
  • Choose from the next options:
  • Click or tap with two fingers: This option allows you to right-click by slightly tapping or clicking 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 the 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.
  • Now you can close the window, your right-click settings are saved.

If you need to set up tracking speed or click pressure, stay at the Trackpad window in System Preferences and use the slider.

Right-click on Mac with Magic Mouse

People who have MacBooks mostly enjoy using the trackpad to perform right-click on Mac while iMac users are probably more willing to right-click on Mac by using an Apple mouse (Magic Mouse). An Apple Mouse also uses many of the same multi-touch gestures as the trackpad.

Apple’s Magic Mouse doesn’t have a separate right-click button. Instead, the entire top part of the mouse is clickable. If you click on the left side of the mouse, it will register as a left-click. In the same way, just click on the top-right section of the Magic Mouse for a right-click. Before proceeding, make sure your Apple mouse is connected via Bluetooth or plugged in a USB port.

To enable right-click option with Magic Mouse:

  • On your Mac, go to the Apple menu.
  • Select System Preferences > Mouse.
  • Navigate to the Point & Click pane.
  • Check the checkbox next to the Secondary Click option.
  • Right click on Mac with Apple Magic Mouse
  • Choose from the options listed in the drop-down menu to right-click on Mac:
  • 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 very intuitive for left-handed Mac users and it assigns the right-click function to the left side of your mouse.
  • Now you can close the window, and your new settings are saved.

Right-click on Mac with non-Apple mouse

If you connect a non-Apple mouse with your Mac, it works the same way as on a Windows PC. MacOS smartly recognizes that you are using a mouse with two or more buttons. And it automatically maps them accordingly. In short, just click the right mouse button to perform a right-click on Mac.

If you find your non-Mac mouse scrolls in the opposite direction when using it, just change the Scroll direction settings in the Mouse window.

How to right-click on a Mac with a key combo

There is another alternative option for right-clicking on a Mac computer. You can easily open a drop-down menu with additional functions by using key combinations.

Right-click on your Mac by modifying Accessibility Preferences:

  • Open System Preferences and click Accessibility.
  • Click Pointer Control > Alternative Control Methods and check the box for Enable Mouse Keys. If you are on an older version of macOS, click Mouse & Trackpad and check the box for Enable Mouse Keys.
  • Right click on Mac with Accessibility
  • From now on, press Control + I keys or fn + Control + I key combinations to right-click.

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. And you can also press Option + Command + F5 to bring the accessibility shortcut, then enable and disable Mouse Keys quickly.

Right-click on Mac not working, why?

However, when Right-click on Mac not working, it often makes you frustrated. This kind of situation is very rare, but if right-click does not work on your Mac, try to restart your Mac. This should fix the issue.

If it doesn’t, open System Preferences > Trackpad/Mouse > Point & Click > ensure “Secondary click” is enabled.

FAQs about how to right-click on Mac

1. Why right-click on a Mac?

The right-click option on Mac opens an extra contextual menu for you to have better interaction with your Mac. For example, you could right-click on Mac Trash to empty Trash or open Trash.

2. How do you right-click on a Mac without a mouse?

Without a mouse, you can still press Control + I keys or fn + Control + I key combinations to right-click on Mac. But before using this key combo, you need to open Accessibility in Spotlight, then Click Pointer Control > Alternative Control Methods and check the box for Enable Mouse Keys.