How to right-click on a Mac computer in three different ways

  • You can right-click on a Mac computer by using the control button, two-finger tapping your trackpad, or connecting an external mouse to your device.
  • The right-click function on a Mac can be used to bring up menus, copy and paste text, save or delete files, customize your view, and more.
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When the first Apple computer that used a mouse came out, a feature common to PC hardware was conspicuously absent: a right-click button. While today your Macbook Pro or Air will work seamlessly with just about any mouse you connect, for a while, the struggle to right-click was real.

Right-clicking on a computer is useful for many reasons. When you right-click on a Mac's desktop, you'll see the option to create a new folder, change your view settings, and more.

Right-clicking on a document, image, or other file allows for easy copying, moving, renaming, or even deletion. And when you right-click on a link, you can choose to open it then and there, to open it in a new tab or new window, to copy the link, and so on.

How to right-click on a Mac computer

1. Use a mouse with a right-click button.

Surely the easiest solution, you can simply connect a mouse that has a right-click button built in. Whether wired or wireless and connected by USB dongle, a newer Mac will instantly recognize just about any mouse on the market and will respond when you click that right side button.

2. Hold the "control" button as you click.

On a Mac, the control button is indeed the one that says "control." It's placed differently than the CTRL button on most keyboards designed for a PC, so note which is which before you get to clicking. While the control button is held, you can use the left button — or the only button, as the case may be — on your mouse as a right-click, or you can tap on the trackpad.

3. Use two fingers on the trackpad

When you tap your Mac's trackpad with two fingers spaced within an inch or so of one another, the result will be a right-click. If your computer isn't recognizing your two-finger tap, then check your trackpad's settings in your System Preferences.

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