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How to right-click on a Mac

Some things you can always count on. Spring will follow winter, day will turn to night, and Mac users will wonder how in the heck they’re supposed to right click on their computers. Does that sound like a familiar problem? We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to right click on your own terms, no matter what Apple device you’re using.

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On the Apple mouse


The Apple mouse isn’t clearly divided into separate click zones and sometimes doesn’t support right clicking out of the box, which can be very frustrating. If you’re a little bewildered by the Apple mouse rules, don’t worry! There are customization options to set the mouse how you prefer it. Let’s look at your options.

  • Press the Ctrl key, and then click your mouse. This is usually the default method of right-clicking with an Apple mouse. The Control key, when held down, switches the mouse to right-click mode. We know that this sounds a little weird, but some people actually prefer this approach. Try using this option for a little while and see what you think. If you can get used to it, great! If you’re still making a yucky face, let’s talk about option two.
  • Mouse Secondary ClickYou can customize your mouse to respond a certain way to match your past habits. Start by heading over to System Preferences in the menu bar, and then select Mouse. For the average Apple mouse, this should open up a window with two tabs. Make sure you are in the Point & Click tab, and look for an option that says Secondary Click. This option should be check-marked. There is a dropdown immediately below this selection that allows you to set the secondary click to the right or left side of the mouse. You probably want to choose the right side—Apple has little videos that show you what the current effects are if this gets confusing. Then exit out and experiment with your mouse! Unfortunately, there’s no option to directly control the sensitivity of these right/left clicks. We suggest you experiment a little and see if the Apple mouse is working for you or if you need to consider a replacement. After all, you don’t have to use any particular mouse.

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