How to Right Click on a Mac: Trackpad and Keyboard Tips

Right-clicking on a Mac with a trackpad or keyboard is a breeze once you get the hang of it. If you’re new to Mac or have always wondered if there’s a more efficient way to do it, you’re in the right place. Simply put, you can either use the trackpad with two fingers or assign a corner of the trackpad to act as the right-click. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard in combination with the trackpad or mouse to perform a right-click action. Now, let’s dive into the details so you can become a right-clicking pro on your Mac!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Right Click on a Mac with Trackpad or Keyboard

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what we are trying to achieve. Right-clicking on a Mac can open up a world of shortcuts and additional options that you might not otherwise have access to. It’s a fundamental skill that can enhance your productivity and overall user experience.

Step 1: Use two fingers on the trackpad

Place two fingers on the trackpad and click.

This method is probably the simplest. By default, your Mac trackpad is set up to register a right-click when you press down with two fingers. You don’t need to change any settings for this; just give it a try.

Step 2: Assign a trackpad corner

Go to the Trackpad settings and assign a corner for the right-click.

If you prefer to use one finger, you can set up a specific corner of the trackpad to act as a right-click when you click on it. To do this, you need to head over to the System Preferences and then select ‘Trackpad’. From there, click on the ‘Point & Click’ tab and choose the ‘Secondary click’ option to assign a corner.

Step 3: Use a keyboard modifier

Hold the ‘Control’ key and click the trackpad or mouse.

For those who are using a mouse or prefer to use the keyboard, you can hold down the ‘Control’ key (not the ‘Command’ key, mind you) and then click on the trackpad or mouse. This combination will also perform a right-click action.

After completing these actions, a menu should appear, giving you additional options that are specific to the item you right-clicked on. For example, right-clicking on a file might give you options to rename, move, or delete it. Right-clicking in a web browser might offer options like refreshing the page or opening a link in a new tab.

Tips for Right Clicking on a Mac with Trackpad or Keyboard

  • If you’re using an external mouse, you can right-click just as you would on a PC.
  • Remember that the ‘Control’ key for right-clicking is different from the ‘Command’ key, which is used for keyboard shortcuts.
  • You can change the speed of the cursor and other trackpad settings in System Preferences to make right-clicking easier for you.
  • If your trackpad is not working properly, check for updates in the App Store under the ‘Updates’ tab.
  • You can also use the ‘Accessibility’ options in System Preferences to enable alternative methods for right-clicking if you have difficulty performing the standard gestures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I right-click on a Mac without a trackpad?

Yes, you can use an external mouse or the keyboard ‘Control’ key in combination with clicking.

If you’re using an external mouse, it will work just like it does on a PC. But if you’re using the keyboard, remember to hold down the ‘Control’ key as you click.

How do I enable a secondary click on a Mac?

Go to System Preferences, then Trackpad, and select the ‘Secondary click’ option.

In the Trackpad settings, you’ll find various options for customizing how your trackpad works, including enabling the secondary click which is the Mac version of right-click.

Can I customize the right-click options on a Mac?

You can’t customize the options that appear after right-clicking, but you can customize how you perform a right-click.

The options that appear after a right-click are contextual and depend on the app or the item you are clicking on. However, the way you perform a right-click can be customized in the Trackpad settings.

What if right-clicking is not working on my Mac?

Make sure that the ‘Secondary click’ feature is enabled, and check for any updates or system preferences.

If right-clicking isn’t working, first make sure the feature is actually enabled. If it is and the problem persists, check for system updates, as a software bug may be causing the issue.

Is there a way to right-click on items on the Mac menu bar?

No, right-clicking does not work on the Mac menu bar.

The menu bar is designed for left-clicking only. Right-clicking is used mostly within apps and on the desktop or Finder.


  1. Use two fingers on the trackpad.
  2. Assign a trackpad corner for right-click.
  3. Use the ‘Control’ key and click.


Right-clicking on a Mac might seem a bit tricky at first, especially if you’re transitioning from a PC. However, with a bit of practice, it will become second nature. Whether you’re using the trackpad or the keyboard, you now have the knowledge to right-click with ease. Remember that right-clicking can significantly enhance your workflow by providing quick access to additional functions and settings. So, go ahead and give it a try – your productivity will thank you. And if you ever find yourself stuck or in need of a refresher, just revisit these steps on how to right click on a Mac with trackpad or keyboard. Happy clicking!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Categories Mac