How to Right Click on a MacBook Pro

right click macbook pro

If you’re a new MacBook Pro owner, you might be left scratching your head when someone tells you to “right-click” since the trackpad has just a single button.

Even though the traditional left and right mouse buttons are no longer on MacBook Pros, you can still right-click by pressing down with two fingers on the trackpad or holding the Control key and pressing on the trackpad with one finger.  

I’m Jon, an Apple tech expert and owner of a 2019 MacBook Pro. I routinely use both of macOS’s right-click functions, and I put together this guide to show you how. 

If you don’t know how to right-click on your MacBook Pro, don’t worry; we will explain how to do it both ways and an option to custom configure your trackpad to right-click based on where you tap.

How to Right Click on a MacBook Pro

Even though a MacBook Pro does not have a right-hand button, you can still complete the right-click function.

The easiest way to right-click on your MacBook Pro is with these two methods:

  • Hold down the control button and click with one finger
  • Click the trackpad with two fingers

By default, the MacBook Pro’s trackpad will “right-click” when you press it with two fingers. But, you can change how to right-click with the trackpad with these steps:

Step 1: Open the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and click on System Preferences.

Step 2: Click on the Trackpad button.

Step 3: In the Trackpad menu open, click on the Secondary Click option. It will give you options of how you’d like to utilize the right-click features.

This menu allows you to change how to use the right-click (Secondary click) function. You can choose 

  • Tap with two fingers
  • Click in the bottom right corner
  • Click in the bottom left corner

It’s a personal choice as to what is easiest and feels best for you. I personally like click or tap with two fingers options as it is pretty easy to pick up and relatively intuitive.

Why is it Called Right-Clicking?

Yeah, I get it. Why call it a “right-click” if there are no “right” or “left” buttons on the MacBook’s trackpad?

Well, it’s mostly because there were right buttons on Mac’s trackpad long ago, plus many windows computers and mice still have two buttons.  

And while “right-clicking” is technically not the right term for it on MacBooks, almost everyone will intuitively know what you mean. It’s like saying, “film this with your iPhone” or “roll up your car window”– these are both terms that don’t technically make sense, but the meaning is easily understood. 

Final Thoughts

On MacBook Pros and other Macs, the names secondary click or control-click are catching on. But many will still refer to it as right-click for years to come. 

You can right-click on your MacBook Pro by tapping the trackpad with two fingers or holding the Control key and tapping the trackpad with one finger. You can also change settings to use different trackpad taps to right-click. 

And while it is not “technically right-clicking,” the function does the same thing as a right-click would. A more accurate name is “control-click” and “secondary click” since Macs don’t have right or left buttons. 

What method do you use to right-click on your MacBook Pro?

About Jonathon Jachura
Jonathon is a mechanical engineer with over ten years of experience. He is an Apple fan who currently holds a Macbook Pro (512 GB, 16GB RAM), iPad Pro 12.9", iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch 3, and 4x Acer 23" monitors.

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