Switching from Windows or any other platform to macOS can serve you some compatibility problems and one such is, how to middle-click on macOS devices using the Apple trackpad or Magic Mouse.
This is because, upon switching from Windows, you immediately feel the void of not having the scroll wheel and middle click in the Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse, or your MacBook’s trackpad. You won’t even find any toggle or feature to get the middle click activated within the Mac Operating System and this is what makes it more challenging to have a middle click on macOS machines.
However, if you have a strong desire and want to have the middle click somehow, then there’s is a way to have one. However, you’ll have to rely on third-party facilities in order to get the feature.
How to get Middle Click on Mac PCs
Since there is no built-in toggle or feature to get the middle-click functionality somehow on a Mac.
Hence we’ll have to rely on 3rd-party means to get the middle click feature. By using some 3rd-party applications the middle-click functionality can be emulated on the Mac system and here are those apps.
Starting with a completely free way to get the middle-click on Mac PCs, use MiddleClick. It is a free and open-source application that offers you to impart middle-click features to the Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse, and the MacBook’s trackpad. Being a free utility program, there are slight limitations to MiddleClick.
It restricts you to only a 3-finger tap or click that, in comparison to other paid apps on this list that provides lots of customizations, is slightly less impressive. But hey, its free and there is absolutely no issue in using it if you are OK with just 3-finger tap/click usability.
How to install & Use MiddleClick
The setup of MiddleClick can be a slight hassle as it requires a comparatively more time-consuming process to get it up and running.
1. Head over to the MiddleClick GitHub page and download the latest release.
2. Open the downloaded zip file and extract it.
3. Upon extraction, get a MiddleClick.app file. You can either drag it into the Applications folder or can run it from the current location.
4. Open the MiddleClick utility. The macOS may block you from opening the app.
In such a case, open System Preferences and go to Security & Privacy > General, and click on Open Anyway.
5. Now, you’ll have to grant MiddleClick permission to control the system. For this, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
6. Switch to the Privacy tab and go to Accessibilities.
7. Finally, checkmark the MiddleClick option.
Once you are done with all the above steps, the MiddleClick will get onto action and you’ll now be able to middle-click on your mac.
If you are using a magic mouse, tap on it with a 3-finder to perform the middle click. And for the trackpad, you can either tap or click using 3 fingers.
Note: For trackpad users, the 3-finger tap/click is also used by macOS to activate the Look Up functionality which is not a good thing as it will be distracting. You can disable it by going to System Preferences > Trackpad, switching to the Point & Click tab, and unchecking the Look up & data detectors option.
You may also want the MiddleClick to start functioning automatically every time the system starts up so that you don’t have to do it manually every time. To do so, go to System Preferences > Users & Groups and select your profile.
Switch to the Login Items tab and add MiddleClick as a startup item by clicking on the “+” icon and selecting the app from the Applications folder.
Starting with the paid apps to enable Middle-Click on Mac, MultiTouch is a really great option with a ton of customizability at a decent price. The app is much known for offering custom gestures and a much more streamlined and intuitive user experience.
The utility offers you loads of gestures and clicks with 1,2,3 and 4 fingers that can further be set for various operations, including the middle click. Adding clicks and gestures is really simple.
1. Just download and open MultiTouch, click on “+” in the Trackpad tab, select the gesture, and then choose middle Click as its action.
You can also choose other actions as per your choice and click on Done.
2. After this, you can use the new gesture immediately.
Its settings allow you to set things like Touch precision, Swipe sensitivity, and dominant hand in order to eliminate accidental execution of the set gestures.
Further, you can tweak how the app works by default. For instance, you can set it to run automatically on startup.
The app comes with 30 day free trial period which is more than enough to know if MultiTouch is suitable for you or not. Afterward, the app costs $14.99 for lifetime use.
The next app on our list goes by the name BetterTouchTool which in my opinion might be an overkill of features if you are looking for just a simple middle-click on your Mac PC.
However, if you are looking for something that can offer a long list of customizations for any of your Mac pointing devices, the BetterTouchTool is the one for you.
The app even allows you to set specific clicks and gestures for your Touch bar which can be a helpful feature for those who are used to their MacBook touch bar.
Using the app is also pretty simple and straightforward.
1. After downloading and installing the app and providing the required permissions, select your pointing device (trackpad, mouse, touch bar, etc.) from the top menu and click on the Plus icon.
2. Then, select the gesture and its action at your convenience.
The app also provided you with the flexibility to restrict the set gestures to a limited number of apps. For instance, if you want to a gesture in some specific app like Google Chrome, you can do that as well.
Simply, add the application in the extreme left pane and start adding gestures for that particular application as usual. The app comes with 45 days of the free trial period which is quite good and afterward, charges $8.50/2yrs.
If you are someone for whom the MultiTouch application (Download) was not as valuable for money and don’t want a very highly customizable feature set then you can look at the Middle app.
It is a toned-down version of the MultiTouch app made by the same developer, that solely focuses on providing the Middle-Click feature at an even more affordable price.
Like any other app on the list, it works with the Magic Trackpad, MacBook’s trackpad, and Magic Mouse.
With a very specific set of gestures, the app offers a pretty straightforward and simple user interface with no customization options. After installing the application, launch it, select one of the 4 predefined gestures and that’s it. Your set gesture can now be used for performing the middle click.
The Middle application is just a very simple version of the MultiTouch application that is dedicated specifically to adding the Middle-Click to the system only. If your only purpose is to get the middle click on the macOS system and nothing else, then you can opt for the Middle app.
However, in such a case you should consider the MiddleClick app as it is open-source and free and offers the same functionality. Though its setup may bother you is a one-time setup.
Anyways, Middle comes with 7-days of trial and charges $7.99 for lifetime use.
5. Magic Mouse Utilities (Middle Click on Windows using Magic Mouse and Trackpad)
The last app on the list belongs to the Windows Operating System and will help those who are using the Apple magic mouse on Windows and are missing the middle click. The Magic utility application (Download) is used to provide the best compatibility of the Apple Magic Mouse with the Windows OS.
It automatically installs all the required drivers along with options to provide the scrolling and middle-clicking facility. Its other dedicated version works in the same fashion for using the Apple Magic Trackpad on Windows.
Simply download the app from their website and install it. Launch the app, and you’ll see a dedicated Middle Click section that can be set to different gestures by selecting it from the dropdown menu for Magic Mouse. In the case of the trackpad version, there will be a 2 Finger Gestures section to get the middle click.
The Magic Utilities application comes with 28 days of a free trial. In order to continue afterward, its charges $14.90 for a year. Now, this is quite a steep price but is also the best and most reliable way to fully utilize the Apple pointing devices on the Windows system.
In a nutshell, my personal preference and advice would be to use MiddleClick if you are seeking just a simple middle-click functionality on Mac. But since the app has an extremely narrow to no passage for customization, you may need to turn towards the paid ones.
The Middle app is also more or less similar to MiddleClick which, in fact, charges for providing just a middle-click functionality. Hence either use MiddleClick or go for BetterTouchTool/MultiTouch apps if you are ultimately willing to pay.
Lastly, for Windows with Apple pointing devices, there is no option other than using the Magic Mouse/Trackpad Utilities application which is also a paid utility.
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Gotta love apple products, where I have to pay for an app to fix basic functionality of the machine I own.