How to Right Click on a Mac without a Mouse

There’s no doubt that the right-click function on your Mac is an important feature, and if you primarily use a mouse with your computer, you may not even realize how often you use right-click. That is until you don’t have your mouse connected and need to use your trackpad.

The most common methods for right-clicking on a Mac without a mouse are using the control button along with a regular click or pressing with two fingers on your trackpad. If you don’t like those methods, it’s also possible to configure your trackpad to use its corners to right-click.

My name is Eric, and as a software engineer for over 25 years, I know that there is always more than one way to accomplish a task on your Mac. There are a few alternatives for right-clicking without a mouse, and I will show them to you here.

Use the Control Button

Using the Control button is probably the most straightforward way because it requires no configuration. You can use it with any pointing device, whether it is your trackpad, magic mouse, or even your regular mouse. Hold the CONTROL key down while clicking, and this will perform the same as a right-click.

Two-Finger Trackpad

If you are using a trackpad with your Mac, the two-finger method is a simple method that is usually already configured by default. Press on the trackpad with two fingers, which will be the same as right-clicking. If it doesn’t work, you can configure it using the method I will show in the next section. 

Trackpad Corners

If you don’t like the two-finger method, you can configure your trackpad to use either corner as a right click. Just follow the simple instructions shown below. You can also use it to check and configure your trackpad to use the two-finger method if it is not already configured.

Step 1: From the Apple menu at the top right corner of the screen, select System Preferences.

Step 2: Select Trackpad.

Step 3: Make sure the Point & Click tab is selected.

Step 4: Click on the Secondary Click section.

Step 5: From the dropdown list, choose the action you want to use as your right-click. You can select Click with two fingers, Click in bottom right corner or Click in bottom left corner. This normally defaults to Click with two fingers, as shown.

Your trackpad should now be configured to right-click your chosen way.

FAQs

Learning how to right-click on your Mac without a Mouse may spark a few questions. Below I will briefly discuss some common things people often want to know about right-clicking on your Mac.

Why Do I Need to Right-click?

Right-clicking on your Mac is not only convenient but can be an essential feature. While you can set it up to do other things, you would most commonly use it to bring up the context menu for whatever object you right-click.

What is a Control-click or a Secondary Click?

Control-click and Secondary click are just other names for right-click. Mac owners often use them for pointing devices that don’t have the right button. Using the control button with a trackpad or Magic mouse is referred to as a control click. Using two fingers or the corner of a trackpad is often called a Secondary click.

Can I right-click without a trackpad or Mouse?

Yes, it is possible to do a right click without a mouse or a trackpad. You can do this by first turning on Mouse Keys which is an accessibility feature. Once Mouse Keys are on, you can press the FN+CONTROL+I keys simultaneously to simulate a right click.

Conclusion

We often rely on using the context menus on our Mac to quickly perform actions. To do this, we need to be able to right-click. It may not be obvious how to right-click without a mouse, but as I have shown above, there are at least three easy methods you can use.

Control-click, two-finger trackpad click, and corner trackpad click are the best methods for right-clicking without a mouse on your Mac. I use the two-finger trackpad click because I feel it is the most convenient. It is configured by default and requires only one hand. You can decide which one works best for you.

As usual, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.

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