How To Fix Right-Click Not Working On A MacBook

When you first get a MacBook, you will quickly find out that the trackpad does not have right-click enabled. The trackpad itself does not look like a normal mouse or trackpad that is seen on other computers. 

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro both have similar trackpads that are blank and are clickable and malleable throughout the space of the pad. However, there is no separate button for a right-click function or a left-click function. 

So, how do you copy and paste, edit text, or do any other function on a MacBook without right-clicking? You can right-click on a MacBook. It just takes a few extra steps within your settings. 

There is a whole slew of ways you can right-click on your MacBook by using your trackpad, a mouse, or a Magic Mouse. The MacBook allows you to completely personalize your settings so it is adjusted to your liking and preference. 

How do you enable right-click on a MacBook trackpad?

There are a few steps to the process of enabling the right-click on a MacBook. You may also be wondering if there are different steps if you have a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro. Both computers have the same system settings, so the steps are identical. 

To enable the right-click function on a MacBook, be sure to follow these steps:

  1. Launch System Preferences
  2. Click on the Trackpad icon
  3. Select the Point and Click tab
  4. Check the checkbox that states “Secondary click”

Once you have selected the “Secondary click” option, you do not need to press apply or a save function. The MacBook will automatically save your preference. 

When you enable secondary click, you can freely right-click on your MacBook by either tapping with two fingers or clicking the trackpad on the right side. 

In the settings option of the trackpad preferences, you can also select if you want your right-click function to be used on the right or left side of the trackpad. This allows you to have full control over your user preference and do what feels right for you. 

Having a personalized computer allows you to function more quickly and perform in a way that is best for you, rather than having to mold yourself to how the computer functions. 

How to enable right-click on a MacBook using a keyboard?

One interesting function a MacBook allows is to right-click using the keyboard. Using the keyboard is a great alternative if you do not want to adjust your customized settings on your trackpad. 

To enable right-click on your keyboard there are a couple of different ways to adjust your settings. 

Using the “Control” key.

One way you can enable right-click on your keyboard is to hold down the “Control” key. Once you do this, a drop-down menu will appear with added functions. You must do this while you click on what you need to right-click. 

In this option, you must do everything in simultaneous motion. So you highlight what you need to right-click, and then hold down the “Control” key. 

Using the “Accessibility” options.

Another option to enable the right-click on your keyboard is to open up the “Accessibility” options on your MacBook

To do this you must go through the following steps:

  1. Hold down the subsequent combination of keys: Option + Command + F5. These keys will open the Accessibility window. 
  2. Once the window is open, select “Enable Mouse Keys.”
  3. Press “Done” to save your enabled function. 

When you have completed all of the steps, you can select what you need to right-click. Once you have selected your needed text or folders to right-click, you will simultaneously use the keys, Function + Control + I. 

You must keep in mind that while these functions are enabled, there are some keys on your keyboard that may not work correctly. So, when you are done with the function, you should turn it off so your keyboard can function properly. 

How to enable right-click on a MacBook with a Force Touch trackpad?

If you have a newer MacBook, it may have an improved trackpad known as the “Force Touch” trackpad. These trackpads come with the MacBooks released from 2015 to the present. 

The Force Touch trackpad is a new and improved trackpad that allows you to use different pressures on the trackpad to enable certain functions. 

You can easily right-click on a Force Touch trackpad, the same as you would on older trackpads. However, you can also enable the pressure functions on it. This will allow added customizations for your liking. 

To enable right-click on the Force Touch trackpad with added pressure, use the following steps: 

  1. Open your Apple menu
  2. Go to System Preferences
  3. Select the “Trackpad” options
  4. Go to “Point & Click”
  5. Find the Click pressure option and adjust the slider to your preference. 

Once this is enabled, you can change the preference at any time. If you end up not liking this feature or need to turn it off, you can go through the previous steps, but instead, uncheck the Force Click and haptic feedback option.

How to enable right-click on a MacBook with a Magic Mouse?

If you own a Magic Mouse for your MacBook, right-clicking may be much easier than adjusting your trackpad. 

Using a Magic Mouse with your MacBook is highly functional as the mouse itself is quite sensitive and quick. Even though it is an additional tool, many laptop and MacBook users enjoy the tool to aid their day-to-day functions. 

The Apple Magic Mouse does not have a right or left side button. However, you can enable this function in your settings. 

To enable right-click on the Magic Mouse, use the following steps: 

Enable your mouse using Bluetooth or a USB port

  1. Go to the Apple Menu
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Click on the “Mouse” function 
  4. Go to the Point & Click option
  5. Check the “Secondary Click” option
  6. A drop-down menu will appear with options on what you can enable. Here, you can adjust your preferred way to right-click on your Magic Mouse. The drop-down menu will show two options: 
    • Click on the right side. This option will allow you to right-click using the right side of the mouse.
    • Click on the left side. This option will assign your right-click function to the left side of the mouse. If you are left-handed, this may be an important function for you. You will be able to easily use right-click options using the left side of the mouse. 
  7. Your settings will save automatically and you can close the window. 

Once you are done with these personalized settings, you will be able to use the Magic Mouse in your most preferred way. 

Can you enable right-click on a MacBook with any mouse?

If you do not have a Magic Mouse and would rather use a different mouse, you may be wondering if this is an option for your MacBook. You may have your own preference as to what mouse you want and how you want it to function. 

Apple allows you to use any mouse on your MacBook, so you can easily right-click without changing too many preferences in your settings. 

To use any mouse with your MacBook is very simple. To use one, you plug in the mouse using either Bluetooth or a USB and you can right-click freely using the mouse. As long as the mouse has two buttons for the left and right-click, you are able to right-click without adjusting any settings.

You may notice that the mouse that is not from Apple will scroll in the opposite direction. If this confuses you or you find it inconvenient, you can go to your settings and change the scroll direction. 

Final Thoughts

Even though a MacBook does not automatically have right-click enabled, it can be easily adjusted through your System Preferences. The MacBook itself allows for easy personalization based on what you prefer. 

You can right-click on your MacBook using the trackpad or even the new Force Touch trackpad. If you want to use a mouse, you can use any mouse with your MacBook or use Apple’s Magic Mouse with added personalized functions. 

The MacBook gives you the ability to choose how your laptop functions rather than having to adjust to the computer itself. While it does take a few extra steps, it only benefits you in the long run by being able to personalize your settings and functions.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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