How To Right-Click On A Mac Machine In A Variety Of Ways!

how to right click on a mac

Even though Macs have a lot of two-button mice, people still ask how to right-click on a Mac or MacBook. If you don’t know how to right-click on a Mac, you’re not the only one.

Years ago, Apple was known for insisting that a one-button mouse was better than the two-button mouse that Windows users liked. Because of this, many people don’t know how to right-click on a Mac.

We don’t think, though, that Apple mice are the only reason why so many Mac users don’t know how to right-click.

Most Mac users probably use computers without a mouse, so they’re probably trying to figure out how to use Apple’s trackpad, which doesn’t make it clear whether you’re clicking the left or right button.

It’s no wonder Mac users don’t know how to right-click on MacBooks. Other users might not know because they switched from a PC to a Mac and don’t know how to do things like cut and paste.

There are a few ways to right-click on a Mac. We’ll go over each one below, but here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Press control while clicking your mouse
  2. Press control while clicking the trackpad
  3. If you have an Apple Magic Mouse you can set up a corner for ‘Secondary Click’ in System Preferences
  4. Press your trackpad with two fingers
  5. Assign a corner of the trackpad to a right click
  6. Use a two-button mouse – check out our round-up of the best mice for Apple Macs.

Press Control to Right-Click on A Mouse or Trackpad

On a Mac, you can right-click by tapping the mouse button or trackpad while holding down the Ctrl (or Control) key. Don’t mix up the Ctrl and Alt (or Option) keys. On a Mac, the Ctrl key is not next to the space bar.

Instead, it is at the very end of the keyboard, on the right or left side.


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Use Right-Click with An Apple Magic Mouse

If you have an Apple mouse, which Apple calls a “Magic Mouse,” you might be thinking about how to right-click since the mouse doesn’t have any buttons.

Many of the multi-touch gestures on Apple’s mouse are the same as those on the trackpad, but where you click on the Apple Magic Mouse decides what kind of click you are making.

Right-clicking on an Apple Magic Mouse is pretty obvious since you can click on the right side of the mouse.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to set it up in System Preferences.

  1. Open System Preferences (either by clicking on the cog icon if it is in your Dock, or by clicking on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and then System Preferences.)
  2. Select Mouse.
  3. Click Point & Click.
  4. Besides the secondary click choose Click on the right side (or left side).

On a Mac trackpad, Use Two Fingers


If you want to right-click on a mouse, you can click with two fingers.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Trackpad.
  3. In Trackpad Preferences select: ‘Click with two fingers’ beside Secondary click.

There are a lot of other things you can do here: How to use the trackpad movements on a MacBook.

Tap a Corner of The Trackpad

Maybe clicking with two fingers isn’t the most obvious way to right-click. If that’s the case, you can choose to right-click by clicking on the corner of your mouse.

To change this setting, you need System Preferences once more.

Instead of choosing “Click or tap with two fingers,” choose “Click in bottom right corner” or “Click in bottom left corner” this time.


When You Right-Click on A Force Touch Trackpad MacBook


Taptic input is used by the Force Touch trackpad to make you think you can click with different amounts of pressure. In addition to the normal right-click feature, there is a deeper click that opens a contextual menu with more options.

If you want to right-click, you can tap with two fingers, set it to tap in the right or bottom spot, or press and hold the trackpad.

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Use A Mouse with Two Buttons

If you buy a mouse with two buttons to use with your Mac, the right-click should work as you would expect. We’ve put together a list of the best Mac mice, which has some great choices.

Why Do You Right-Click on A Mac?

When you right-click, you can access extra choices based on the context that isn’t available when you just click once. For example, you could right-click on a Word or Pages document and see choices to cut, paste, change the font, and even look up the meaning of a word or find similar words.

You can close an open app by right-clicking on its icon in the Dock and choosing “Quit.” Depending on how complicated the program you’re using is, the right-click choices may give you extra information that you wouldn’t know what to do with otherwise.