How to Right-Click on a Mac

By Andrew Tennyson

Pressing the “Control” key while clicking or tapping on your Mac is the quickest way to mimic the right-click functionality of Windows computers. But it’s not the only way. How you go about accessing right-click functionality on your Mac varies slightly depending on both whether you’re using a mouse or trackpad and how your settings are configured in OS X Yosemite.

Using Right-click

If you’re using a trackpad or Magic Mouse with default settings on your Mac, press “Ctrl” and tap or click your mouse or trackpad to view the right-click contextual menus. Depending on your Mac’s settings, you may also be able to access Windows-like right-click functionality by clicking your trackpad or Magic Mouse with two fingers or by tapping with your thumb while laying two fingers on the trackpad or Magic Mouse surface.

Setting Right-click Functionality

To customize right-click trackpad settings on your Mac, click the “Apple” menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.” Click “Trackpad” and then select the “Point & Click” tab if it’s not already selected. Place a check mark in the “Secondary Click” check box, click the associated drop-down menu below the check box and select “Click in Bottom Right Corner.” With this option selected, the bottom-right corner of your trackpad works just like the right button on a standard mouse.

Other Right-Click Functionality

You can also use the Point & Click tab to set custom right-click functionality. When you place a check mark in the “Secondary Click” check box, several options are made available on the associated drop-down menu. As an alternative to assigning secondary click functionality to the right corner of the track pad, you could also select “Click With Two Fingers” or “Click in Bottom Left Corner.”

Customizing Magic Mouse and Gesture Setup

If you have an Apple Magic Mouse connected to your Mac, you customize its point and click setup using a different area of the System Preferences panel. Click the “Apple” menu in the top corner of your screen, select “System Preferences” and then select “Mouse” to load the Mouse setup screen. You can also change some mouse settings by selecting “Accessibility” on the System Preferences screen and then selecting “Mouse & Trackpad.”You can configure other trackpad and mouse actions and keys from the Mouse & Trackpad pane as well, including trackpad gestures, mouse key assignments, and click and scrolling speeds.