There is no native mouse “right click” functionality on the Mac. In fact, at one time, if you were to say “right click” to a Mac user, they would have told you with no uncertainty that you cannot right click on a mac. That’s because a Mac mouse has traditionally only had one button, so the operating system has been designed around the single-button mouse.
There is more than one way to skin a cat – here are four ways to accomplish a right click on today’s Mac.
Control Button Method
Press the Control key while clicking on a single button mouse. Press and hold the Control key before you click the mouse button.
- Release the CONTROL key after clicking.
- Identical to a right click.
- This method works on any single button mouse or on a trackpad.
Choose a menu item with a second click from the context menu.
- The example below is a contextual menu of a file on the desktop using a right click.
Two Finger Trackpad Method
Open your Trackpad preferences. Under the Apple menu, click System Preferences, then click Trackpad.
Click on the Point & Click tab. In that window, enable the Secondary click checkbox, and from the menu, select Click or tap with two fingers. You will see a short video example of the proper way to click.
Then just use two fingers on your trackpad for the effect of a right click:
Open your Trackpad preferences as you did above. Under the Apple menu, click System Preferences, then click Trackpad.
Click on the Point & Click tab. In that window, enable the Secondary click checkbox, and from the menu, select Click in bottom right corner or bottom left corner.
Then just tap the bottom right or left corner to simulate a right click.
This method works with the Apple Trackpad.
Apple Mighty Mouse Method
Apple Mighty Mouse. Understand that any two button mouse can be programmed to work with a right click. Similarly, some seemingly one button mice manufactured by Apple such as the Mighty Mouse or the Wireless Mighty Mouse can be programmed respond to a click on the right side.
Open your Trackpad preferences as described above. Under the Apple menu, click System Preferences, Services then click Services Preferences.
Change the setting on the right side of the mouse to be the “Secondary Button” as shown in the example below:
Ass you can see, you have several options for “right clicking” in an operating system that seems to do everything it can to pretend that it doesn’t exist. Now you know the secret!