How to Enable Tap To Click in OS X for All Mac Trackpads

Jan 28, 2014 - 8 Comments

Tap to Click on a Mac Trackpad The tap-to-click ability is enabled by default on most PC laptops, while on the Mac side of things it’s usually disabled by default. For the unfamiliar, tap-to-click means that a single tap or touch on the MacBook trackpad or Magic Trackpad is registered as a click, thereby preventing the need to actually press down the trackpad to click on a screen item.

Many users really like the touch-tap feature for it’s ease and low intensity, but it’s certainly not everyones cup of tea and others users find it annoying. Because it’s turned off by default in OS X, you’ll need to adjust the setting manually, which we’ll show you how to do easily through System Preferences. The feature works on most trackpads built into relatively new MacBook Pro and Air models, including any with multitouch support.

Turn On Tap To Click with OS X Trackpad Preferences

The best way for most users to enable touch tapping on their Mac is through System Preferences:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and open “System Preferences”
  2. Choose “Trackpad” and go to the “Point & Click” tab
  3. Check the box next to ‘Tap to click’

Enable Tap To Click on a Mac Trackpad

The setting takes effect immediately system wide, there is no need to relaunch any apps or restart the Mac. You can immediately test the setting out by moving the cursor over anything, then simply touch tapping on the trackpad (rather than pressing) to click.

Tap to click on the Trackpad in Mac OS X

By default this will also enable the touch-to-click setting for the system-wide secondary click, which is done with two fingers rather than one, or by setting a literal right-click on the lower right portion of the trackpad to to be a tap target instead.

(Above animated gif was recorded from the animation played in the OS X System Preferences Trackpad settings of Mavericks)

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

8 Comments

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  1. Ian Dean says:

    Where is the more through, terminal method?

  2. Michael Williams says:

    The headline says “… for All Mac Trackpads”. Not mine. I have an older Macbook Pro, and even though I’m running 10.9.1 the System Preferences >> Trackpad looks very different from what is shown here. I’m sure that’s because my hardware doesn’t support Tap-to-Click.

    Not a big deal, but please correct the headline to say “… for RECENT Mac Trackpads”.

  3. Bernard says:

    How to Enable Tap To Click in OS X for All Mac Trackpads:
    touch-tap feature for it’s ease – its.

    Get the Obsidian Black Menu Bar in OS X Mavericks:

    preferred choice for it’s simplicity – its

    OSX Daily seems to not understand the difference between “it’s” and “its”. It is really quite simple.

    • Paul says:

      Hi Bernard,

      Thanks for editing these posts for us! Autocorrect can be overly aggressive and replace words or apostrophes you don’t want it to, both are fairly easy to overlook when they aren’t caught by the spell check. Perhaps I should turn it off ;)

      Anyway, thanks again, it’s appreciated!

  4. Javier says:

    Though this says it will take effect system wide it does not work on my login screen. It does not work on my default guest account. The first one I don’t see any way of fixing this, the guest account has to be manually set each time I log in to it (since it resets at log out).
    Is there a way to do this *truly* system wide?

    thanks
    Javier

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