Do you need help performing a right click on a Mac using Windows?

In an earlier article, I covered how to right click on a Mac, but yesterday I received a question about how to do a right click on a Mac that is using Windows as an operating system. While this scenario won’t occur for a lot of people, those who use their Macs for both OSX and Windows will need to learn how to right click on both systems, and doing so is actually a different process for both.  Read on to find out more…

How to right click on a Mac using Windows

If you use your Mac for both OSX and Windows, and aren’t using a program like Parallels (you should be, it’s awesome!) to run Windows, you’re most likely already familiar with the process of booting your computer into the Windows operating system. After you boot your MacBook or iMac into Windows, you have to use your standard Apple keyboard and mouse or trackpad to interface with Windows, which can present some issues.

Side note here – if you are the type of Mac user who also needs to use Windows software and you haven’t seen Parallels yet, go check it out now.  It’s an amazing piece of software that allows you to run Windows on your Mac side by side with your regular applications, and really helps you save yourself a ton of time and headaches.

One such issue you’ll run into when using Windows on your Mac is performing a right click.  Unlike OSX, Windows programs rely heavily on the right click feature to open up extra menus and options you can’t access elsewhere.  Fortunately for you, there is a solution – albeit a bit of a messy one.

Since there are a wide variety of iMac’s, MacBook’s, and Mac Mini’s that you can be using to run Window’s on, I can not give a simple answer here for performing a right click when your Mac is booted into Windows, but I’ll do my best to break the answer down as much as possible.

Performing a right click on a MacBook using Windows with a trackpad

If you are using a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air and have booted into Windows, you should be able to perform a right click by putting two fingers on the trackpad and clicking.  I say should here because this method does not always work with older MacBooks, but in my personal experience it works most of the time.  If you are at all familiar with ‘multitasking gestures’ then chances are you’ll be able to right click by using this two finger method.

right click How To Right Click On A Mac Using Windows

Performing a right click on a Mac using Windows with a mouse

If you are using an iMac, or Mac Mini with a magic mouse, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, since the magic mouse is already capable of performing a right click by itself. For those of you who are trying to perform a right click using one of the older Apple mice with only one button, the process is a little convoluted.

The key to performing a right click with a one button mouse is the keyboard combination of the Shift Key + F10.  Using this keyboard combination will simulate a right click of the mouse, just make sure to have your mouse pointer over the area you want to right click, and after you press the Shift + F10 keyboard combination, you will see the results of your ‘right click’.

The Shift + F10 keyboard combination will also work using a MacBook as well, so if the two finger click does not work for you, try the keyboard combination.  Unfortunately, like i said earlier there is no simple solution for this issue, it’s just a side effect of running an operating system on a computer that was not designed around Windows. That being said, one of the two above solutions will net you the result you are looking for.

And don’t forget…if you use your Mac to run Windows software, invest in Parallels, you will be happy you did.  Aside from saving you a ton of time constantly rebooting your computer, you can take advantage of the ‘Coherence Mode’, which allows you to launch Windows applications right from your OSX desktop.  I’ll be doing a more in-depth review of Parallels here soon, so look out for it!

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- By Jim Sabellico