How to Right Click on Mac
Performing a Right Click on Mac is easy, despite the fact that the Mac trackpads and mouse do not include an actual right-click button the Mac does have a right-click equivalent. This is important because right-click / secondary click functionality often grants access to additional contextual menus and features, and thus is a critical part of using Mac OS and many apps.
This article will show you several different ways to perform a Right Click on a Mac, including performing a right-click on an Apple Magic Mouse, Apple Magic Trackpad, USB/Bluetooth third party mouse, or the built-in trackpads on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook. Note that often the Right Click is referred to as a Secondary Click on Mac.
How to Right Click on Mac with MacBook Pro, Air, Trackpad, or Magic Mouse
To perform a right click (secondary click) on any MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, Apple Magic Mouse, or Mac Trackpad, simply do the following:
- Click the trackpad with two fingers to perform a right-click on Mac
Using two fingers to click will perform the secondary click or right-click action on a Mac. It’s as simple as using two fingers to click instead of one finger to click.
Once you remember that using two-fingers to click is a right-click on a Mac, you’ll likely come to prefer this method because it’s really great.
You can also place two fingers like your index and middle finger on the trackpad and then click with your thumb to perform a right-click.
This secondary click behavior setting can be changed to turned on or off in the Mac Trackpad or Magic Mouse settings located within System Preferences, but virtually every user should keep this feature turned on which is the default setting. In the same settings section you can also learn how to enable a literal right-click on Mac laptops and trackpads if that sounds helpful to you.
How to Right Click / Secondary Click on Mac with Control Key
Another way to perform a right click / secondary click on Mac is by using the Control key on the Mac keyboard as you are clicking something.
- Hold the Control key on the Mac keyboard then click on something to perform a secondary click / right-click
The control-click method of performing a secondary click is helpful to remember for a variety of use cases, particularly if the primary two-finger click method has been disabled, or if the Mac is much older and has a macOS, Mac OS, or Mac OS X version that doesn’t support that capability.
How to Right Click with a USB or Bluetooth Mouse on a Mac
Most USB mice and Bluetooth mouse from the PC world will instantly work on a Mac by simply connecting the mouse to the Mac, and this works just like right-clicking does in the PC world of Windows and Linux, despite being on Mac:
- Click the right-most mouse button to perform the right-click / secondary click on a PC mouse connected to Mac
Using a PC USB mouse or Bluetooth mouse on the Mac works great, and not only will the right-click button perform a secondary click in Mac OS, but other buttons like the scroll wheel will work fine on the Mac too.
Right-Click is a Secondary Click is a Control Click is a Two-Finger Click on Mac
Some background on terminology may help to better understand the topic of the Mac Right Click and Secondary Click functionality.
The phrase Right Click comes from the PC world because nearly all PC mouse and trackpads have multiple physical buttons, including a button that is furthermost on the right, and that becomes the right-click on those mice. But of course no Mac comes with a right-click button like that, though Macs can use almost any USB mouse even if they have multiple buttons and in doing so the right most button on those PC mice works to perform a right-click on the Mac too.
Technically speaking, the Mac refers to the right-click as a “Secondary Click” but some users colloquially refer to it as a Right Click or Control Click or a two-finger click because those are other methods to achieve the same result.
So, for the Mac, a Right Click is the same as a Secondary Click and that’s the same as a Two-Finger Click and that’s the equivalent to a Control Click; the action and end result is all the same.