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How to middle-click on a Macbook

A trackpad or touchpad can support all sorts of gestures but it seems that a middle-click doesn’t always make the cut. On Windows 10, it can be enabled pretty easily. On macOS, and for MacBooks, it’s not as easy. The good news is, you can enable middle-click on a Macbook with a free app called MiddleClick.

Middle-click on MacBook

Download and install MiddleClick. Run it and allow the app Accessibility access under the Security & Privacy preference.

Once the app is running, you can tap with three fingers and it will execute a ‘Middle click’. The only problem is that on macOS, the three-finger tap gesture is already reserved for the ‘Look up’ feature that basically selects and looks up whatever you tap on.

With this option enabled, you will be able to middle-click on a Macbook but it will also execute the default Look up function. If you want to disable it, open the System Preferences and go to the Trackpad preference. Uncheck the ‘Look up & data detectors’ option and you can middle-click without anything popping up.

About MiddleClick

MiddleClick hasn’t been updated in a while. To be precise, it hasn’t changed since November 2018. That said, it has been updated to run on Mojave and it does work flawlessly with the current Catalina public beta. It’s unlikely that any update to macOS will break the app. There’s also the chance that should it break, the developer might update it. It works fine in its current state so there’s no need for an update just yet.

MiddleClick is a simple, one-purpose app but it’s not the only app that can execute a middle-click on a Macbook. BetterTouchTool does this too and many Mac users already have it installed. This app isn’t free. It costs $21 for a lifetime license and has a 45 day trial period as well. It’s also in active development so if you do end up buying it, you know it’s going to be supported for a long time. Try the trial version out to see how much use you get out of it.

Use a mouse

While not the same thing, if you connect a mouse with your Macbook, whether it’s a wired or wireless one, you can easily use it to execute a middle-click. The limitation is really only with the trackpad that comes built-in with a Macbook. It may not be the best solution considering you need extra hardware with it that you will have to carry around but it works.

1 Comment

  1. The open source middle click app is no longer maintained. I’ve developed a similar application, called Middle (https://middleclick.app). Mind that it is not open source and not free.

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