A Guide to Accessibility Options for Right-Click Challenges

As our gadgets get smarter, we also need to get better at making sure they work for everyone. Take the right click in MacBook for example – it’s a breeze for some but a hurdle for others, especially if they have a disability. 

The good news? Macs offers a bunch of alternatives that make right-clicking (and a lot more) way more doable. So, let’s chat about these cool features that are opening up the digital world to everybody.

Enable Secondary Click: For folks who struggle with the dexterity required for that classic right-click maneuver, this setting is a game-changer. Instead of having to properly click that secondary mouse button or do the two-finger tap dance, you just hold down the Control key and click the primary button instead. Boom – instant contextual menu access with way less coordination required. It’s such a simple toggle in System Settings, but empowering for users who have limited mobility or issues with finger isolation.

Keyboard Shortcuts: While we’re on the keyboard accessibility train, let’s hear it for good reliable hotkey commands! Rather than having to contort your hand into some claw grip just to pull up context menus, you can simply mash the Control key before your desired click. It’s a seamless way to integrate right-click functionality into your normal typing flow. No visual hunting for menus, just the pure tactile familiarity of keyboard shortcuts. Keep an eye out across apps for those handy right-click shortcut tips!

Third-Party Software: For all the built-in accessibility tools Apple provides, sometimes you just need a bit more versatility. That’s where handy apps like BetterTouchTool, iBoysoft MagicMenu, SteerMouse, and X-Mouse Button Control can swoop in and save the day. These allow ultra-granular remapping of virtually any input to any desired action, including tons of right-click shenanigans. Whether you need specific gestures, key-combos, or to turn your numpad into a giant clickable surface, these apps have you covered.

Voice Control: Raising your voice has never felt so empowering and productive! With Voice Control, you can navigate menus, edit text, and effortlessly handle right-click actions just by literally asking for it. No more wrestling with finicky hand inputs – just say “Show me the context menu here” and consider it handled. There’s a liberating feeling to fluidly controlling your computer with mere spoken decrees. Just mind not drooling on the mic too much in the heat of dictation.

Accessibility Keyboard: For users who can’t reliably grip or manipulate traditional input devices, the ability to map virtually any key or key combo to handle right-clicks is huge. Thankfully, macOS includes an Accessibility Keyboard that provides an on-screen keyboard with customizable options. Hence, you can use this keyboard to simulate right-click actions and perform other functions. This opens up a whole new world of unconventional input methods. 

Custom Gestures: Rather than conforming to Apple’s prescribed trackpad or mouse gestures, you can easily customize maneuvers that make the most sense for your specific needs. If a firm two-finger tap is too strenuous but squeezing the side of your Magic Mouse is easier, go for it! Assigned gestures become muscle memory very quickly. The flexibility of custom gestures puts control back in the user’s hands (and fingers).

Mouse Keys: For users who can’t physically maneuver a mouse at all, being able to whip the cursor around via the numpad’s easily distinguishable keys is genius. It allows super precise pointer movements with just a few finger taps on that number grid. Right-clicking is often as easy as hitting a modifier like 5 or +. Small adjustments can open up big new access opportunities.

Switch Control: This function allows you to use your Mac with the choice of controlling it through the input of devices such as a keyboard or a switch device. Switch Control gives you command of menus, selection of items, and actions such as right-clicking using a series of switches or key presses. Such an alternative mode of interaction can be helpful, especially to individuals with low mobility or who totally depend on assistive devices for input.

Dwell Control: Dwell Control is designed for users who have limited physical ability to control a mouse or trackpad. It allows you to perform actions, including right-clicking, by hovering the cursor over a specific area of the screen for a predetermined amount of time (the “dwell” period). This can be a valuable alternative for users who struggle with precise clicking or tapping motions.


Getting a handle on right-clicking with a Mac is easier than you might think, thanks to some handy accessibility features. You can set up a secondary click, learn a few keyboard shortcuts, play around with the Accessibility Keyboard, and even personalize your touchpad gestures. These tweaks make your Mac more user-friendly, so you can work in a way that suits you best.

By Richard

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