6 Common and Useful Magic Mouse Gestures

The Magic Mouse is a wonderful device, allowing you to easily navigate your desktop and do it wirelessly, but that’s not all. It can do so much more. This may be surprising to many. Although it has no moving parts, the Magic Mouse can sense movements called gestures.

You can use Magic Mouse gestures to perform many actions on your computer, and here we will cover 6 of the most common and useful. They are secondary click, scroll, Smart Zoom, Mission Control, swipe between full-screen apps, and swipe between pages.

My name is Eric, and as a software engineer, I am always looking for ways to work more efficiently and effectively. Using a Magic Mouse and its gestures can help you to be more productive in using your computer, and I can show you some of the most commonly used.

Keep reading below if you would like to see the six most common and valuable Magic Mouse gestures, learn what they are, what they do, and how to perform them. If you are new to the Magic Mouse or have never taken advantage of these great features, you will be on your way to using them in no time.

What is a Gesture?

Before we look at the gestures, I would like to explain what a gesture is for anyone unfamiliar with these actions. You may have heard this term used for other devices, such as your phone, tablet, trackpad, touch screen, gaming console, or other devices.

A gesture is a hand or finger movement that a device can recognize and interpret as a command. Gestures allow you to perform commands and actions on a device such as your phone or computer by making simple movements rather than typing them in.

6 Magic Mouse Gestures

Now that I have explained a gesture let’s look at six common and useful ones that you can use with your Magic Mouse. Below, I will explain what the gesture does, show a picture of it with the Magic Mouse, and explain how to perform it.

Secondary Click

Also known as a right-click, the secondary click is often used to display the context menu for an item on your desktop, such as a file or folder. This gesture is often used and can confuse those comfortable using a right-click on a traditional mouse.

The confusion often comes in because the Magic Mouse has no physical moving buttons like a traditional mouse. The sensors inside the Magic Mouse detect where your fingers are touching or pressing and take the proper action, unlike a traditional mouse with an actual button.

Image courtesy of Apple.com

Although the feel is quite different, the action is very similar to the traditional mouse in that you simply tap your finger on the right side of the mouse, and this will perform secondary click functions such as bringing up the context menu for the selected item.


You can use the scroll feature to move up or down a page in an application displaying data that does not all fit in one screen or window. You probably use this most often when looking at web pages on the internet ( like this one ) to scroll up or down while reading the page.

Image courtesy of Apple.com

This action is similar to using the wheel on a traditional mouse. To scroll on the Magic Mouse, you need to slide one finger up or down along the mouse’s center. Applications and web pages supporting scrolling will then move up or down with your finger.

Smart Zoom

This feature allows you to quickly zoom in or out on text in an application or browser to make it easier to read. It only works on applications that support Smart Zoom, and it is a great way to use your Magic Mouse to zoom in or out when needed.

Image courtesy of Apple.com

To perform the Smart Zoom gesture, double-tap in the center of the mouse to zoom in and repeat the gesture a second time to zoom back out. If the application supports zoom features, it will zoom in and out with your gesture.

Mission control

If you want or need to see a high-level view of all the open windows, desktop spaces, and any applications in full-screen or split view, Mission Control is the tool you will want to use. It is handy for those who multitask and have many things open on their desktops.

Image courtesy of Apple.com

Since it is such a helpful tool, having a gesture that allows you to use it quickly and easily makes sense. Double-tap with two fingers near the front of your Magic Mouse, and Mission Control will show you what’s happening on your desktop.

Swipe Between Full-Screen Apps

If you use multiple desktops or like to work in full-screen mode, switching between them can be tricky, but the Magic Mouse makes it quite simple. You can move between full-screen apps and desktop views with one simple gesture.


Image courtesy of Apple.com

To move between full-screen applications and desktops, use two fingers and swipe left or right near the front of the Magic Mouse. If you swipe in one direction and nothing happens, try swiping in the other direction to see if there are any other desktops or full-screen applications.

Swipe Between Pages

Did you know that there is an easy way to move between pages in an application or browser? Using a Magic Mouse gesture, you can easily move forward and backward between any pages in your current application or browser.

Image courtesy of Apple.com

If you want to move between pages quickly, just swipe left or right with one finger near the front of the Magic Mouse, and you can navigate through pages in an application or the pages you have gone to in your web browser. It’s just like using the back and forward buttons in the top left corner of your browser.


Below are a few questions often asked when discussing Magic Mouse gestures. 

Why use mouse gestures?

If you have a Magic Mouse, learning to use different gestures can help you to be more productive and complete everyday tasks and actions quicker. Learning them can take some time, but once you use them, you will notice the difference, and they will eventually become second nature to you.

Do gestures work on both versions of the Magic Mouse?

Yes, the original Magic Mouse 1 and the Magic Mouse 2 support these and other available gestures. They work the same on both versions of the mouse.

Do these gestures work on the trackpad?

Trackpads do have gestures, but they are different due to their physical differences. Apple support has a list of gestures you can use with your trackpad.


The Magic Mouse is a great productivity tool that can do many things, and you can use gestures to do most of them. Above I have shown you six of the most common, and I hope these can help you become more comfortable using them to accomplish your tasks.

Do you know any other useful gestures? Let me know. I would love to hear about others that you find useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *