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How to right-click on Mac without a mouse or trackpad

A resource to get out of more than one tight spot.

How to right-click on Mac without a mouse or trackpad
David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

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Apple offers us a clever solution for those moments when we don’t have a mouse or trackpad for our Mac, or when these devices might stop working, for example, due to battery issues. This solution is called “Mouse Keys,” a built-in feature in macOS, including macOS Sonoma, that allows us to perform all mouse functions, including right-clicking, using only the keyboard.

Apple Support DOWNLOAD

How to activate Mouse Keys

To start using Mouse Keys, the first step is to activate the function in the system. We’ll do this by following these simple steps:

  1. From the Apple menu (), select System Preferences.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Choose Pointer Control.
  4. Click on Alternative Control Methods.
  5. Activate Mouse Keys.

How to perform a right-click using the keyboard

It might seem like a simple question, but the system isn’t that intuitive if we haven’t used it before. Additionally, the right-click, or secondary click, is crucial in certain tasks we might need to perform, like reconnecting the mouse if the battery dies.

Performing a right-click is as easy as placing the cursor where we want using the keyboard, holding down the Control key (⌃), and pressing the letter “i”.

This key combination emulates the right-click function in macOS, which we can use by holding the Control key and clicking as we normally would. This allows us, reminiscent of how we used System 7, to navigate situations such as connecting our Mac to an external monitor without having a mouse at hand.

Apple Support DOWNLOAD

Mouse Keys is a genuinely useful feature in many situations. Despite not being widely known, and even less so how to use it for right-clicking on our Mac, it can get us out of quite a few tight spots. While it might not be something we use regularly, when we do need it, as we can see, using it is very, very simple.

David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

Architect | Founder of hoyenapple.com | Apple Technologies Trainer | Writer at Softonic and iDoo_tech, formerly at Applesfera

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