Since iPadOS 13.4 introduced full mouse and trackpad support, the entire iPad experience has been nothing short of amazing. The slider performs surprisingly well, with subtle animations providing plenty of feedback whenever it interacts with the various elements of the iPadOS user interface.
If you are using a trackpad or mouse with your iPad, you can make the experience even better by enabling the right click capability. iPadOS is littered with incredibly useful context menus that otherwise require you to press / click and hold – or worse, a long press to bring up. Right clicking will help you access it much faster.
Note: The following instructions are written for the Magic Keyboard with Trackpad, Magic Trackpad (2nd generation), and Magic Mouse (2nd generation). Screen shots may appear slightly different for third-party trackpad and mouse accessories.
How to activate the right click on the trackpad
To enable right-click on a trackpad (such as Magic Keyboard with Trackpad or Magic Trackpad 2), first open the Settings app on your iPad. Then click on General in the sidebar. Follow by clicking on the Trackpad option.
On the screen that follows, turn on the switch next to Two-finger secondary click. You can now right-click on your trackpad, just pressing the trackpad with two fingers to do so.
You can also enable the slider next to Tap to click to avoid physically pressing the trackpad. This also applies to left click and makes it easier to interact with the trackpad.
Other screen options include natural scrolling, which lets you determine the direction when scrolling with the trackpad. You also adjust the speed at which the cursor moves using the Tracking Speed slider near the top of the screen.
How to activate the right click on the mouse
If you are using an external mouse such as Magic Mouse (2nd Generation) with your iPad, you can easily activate the right mouse button.
Go to the iPad Settings screen. Then click on the option labeled General. Follow by selecting Trackpad and Mouse.
Click the option labeled Secondary Click.
From the menu that follows, select Right. You can now click with the right mouse button. You can also bind the operation to the left mouse button if you want.
You can also change the scroll direction and cursor pointer speed via the Trackpad & Mouse screen.
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Tips for Right Clicking on iPadOS
In iPadOS, there are many instances where a simple right click can help you get things done much faster. Let’s see a few.
Icons and widgets
Since right-clicking mimics a long press gesture (or left click and hold), you can now access quick action menus in any Home screen icon in a split second. For example, you can open a Private tab in Safari directly by right-clicking the Safari icon and selecting New Private Tab. Do this a few times and you’ll start using quick actions a lot more than before.
Files and other applications
Right-clicking on a folder or file brings up a nifty context menu that lets you easily perform tasks like copying, tagging, and renaming. You can also right click on vacant areas to create new folders and paste items.
The same is true when you right-click on items in apps like Photos, Mail, etc. – expect to see familiar menus that would otherwise need a long press to display. From a productivity standpoint, it works wonderfully.
You can right click on any web link to bring up a context menu filled with interesting actions. In Safari, for example, you have the choice of opening a link in the background, adding it to the reading list, or copying the URL to your clipboard.
The Control Center plays a major role in managing your iPad with quick network access, playback, and display related options. With a right click, you can easily dig into each control and access additional options. For example, right-clicking on the Brightness slider brings up toggles for Dark Mode, Night Shift, and True Tone.
Right-clicking on various elements of applications can often yield interesting results. If you’re immersed in multiple pages in a native iPadOS app, for example, right-clicking the button to return brings up a menu of previous pages.
You can then select the exact page you want to return to instead of clicking the button multiple times.
Do it right
Enabling the ability to right-click on your trackpad or mouse is essential to staying productive on iPad. Some apps have yet to implement better mouse interactivity on the iPad (Google Docs, anyone?). But the iPad has come a very long way, given that the device was completely devoid of any mouse support as little as a year ago.
Click on the link below to check out the seven best ways to use the Universal Search feature on the iPad.
Last updated on Oct 3, 2020
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