How to Right-Click on a Mac

Updated on by Tom Harrison in mac os x

Apple loves the one-button mouse, but that doesn’t mean you have to. There are indeed ways to right-click on a Mac.


Like you, I like my context menu. It’s full of useful options, and having it available at right-click is very helpful. Here are four methods of getting there when you’s using a Mac with OS X.


Hold down the CTRL key and click or tap. The context menu will appear. No prior configuration is necessary, and you can do this regardless of whether you’re using a trackpad or a one-button mouse.

The Two-Finger Tap

A right-click can also be initiated by tapping the trackpad with two fingers at the same time. My MacBook had this feature enabled by default, but if yours doesn’t then here’s how to turn it on:

  1. Click the Apple symbol.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click Trackpad.
  4. Place a check mark next to Secondary click.
  5. Choose Click or tap with two fingers from the drop-down menu.

Use the Trackpad Corners

Alternatively, you can configure a single tap on the Trackpad to be interpreted as a right-click when you touch one of the bottom corners. To turn this on, navigate to the same Trackpad preferences pane:

  1. Click Apple → Preferences → Trackpad.
  2. Place a check mark next to Secondary click.
  3. Choose Click in bottom left/right corner from the drop-down menu.

Now whenever you single tap one of those corners, the context menu will appear.

Get a Two-Button Mouse

This is my preferred option when I’m using a Mac at an actual desk. I’ve just never been a fan of Apple’s mice. Over the years my mouse of choice has been various iterations of the Logitech Wireless MX Performance mouse. It’s ergonomic, precise, and has more than one button. Any mouse should work fine with your Mac. Who says you have to stick with the Apple brand?