bootcamp right click.jpg

It’s nice that with Apple computers you can now run the Windows operating system using Boot Camp, but they don’t tell you how to do things like right-click. For the longest time I didn’t notice any problems because I often have my MacBook Pro hooked up to an external mouse and keyboard, and the mouse has two-buttons just like most standard computer mice. The MacBook Pro, however, has just a single mouse button. When running the Mac OS that’s not a problem because a two-finger tap on the trackpad simulates a right-click, or you can hold down the Control key and click for the same results. What about when running Windows with Boot Camp?

One day I was running Vista in Boot Camp without using my external keyboard and mouse, and that’s when I realized the lack of being able to right-click. I did notice that you could simulate the Delete key by pressing Fn+Backspace, but I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to right-click. Eventually I stumbled across Apple’s rather counter-intuitive method for right-clicking: put two fingers on the trackpad, and then press the mouse button. It’s a bit crazy, but it worked and I was happy.

If you don’t have a trackpad, but are still confined to a one-button mouse in Windows you should checkout the free Apple Mouse Utility (download mirror) written back in 2002. Just download, extract, and run the Apple Mouse Utility. After that you’ll be able to right-click by simply holding down the Control key and pressing the mouse button. The program says that it’s designed for Windows NT/9x, but I tested it in Vista and it works just fine.

There Are 26 Comments

  1. it simply blows my mind that apple doesn’t get with the program and switch to a two button mouse. in general, i’ll give them plenty of points for usability, but this is one case where being different is just stupid.

    • Have you heard of this thing called Google? It lets you check facts before posting and looking like a moron.

      Mac mice have had multiple buttons for years now.

      Mac touchpad’s have been able to generate right clicks in lots of, user configurable ways, including but not limited to 2-finger clicking and clicking on the, surprise, right-hand side of the trackpad button.

  2. I’m sure you know about the 2 finger scrolling, but did you know that you can zoom in on the mac by holding Ctrl and doing the 2 finger scrolling?

  3. i am using windows xp in my mac book pro using parallels, i have a swiss german key board. in the windowds mode i cant use @ key, have you any idea how to find the @ key in xp. i have check in the net, few people have faced the problem,i have send mails to parallels, but no reply from them. u hv any idea about that. thnkx in advance.
    partha

  4. Eww… Mac people have to go through that much trouble to simply perform a right-click?

    • Nope, just the ones that don’t know how to Google.

      And of course the usual MS-fan bois who like to make shit up.

    • Yes they do (I do!). And to answer Edward: I am a Mac AND Win user. I do GOOGLE A LOT. …ALL the time for 1000 reasons. The difference is that with WIN, you have to google for complicated things. But with apple, you have to google to find out how to do absurdly basic things. You also have to learn not to swear when your mouse diseappears, when your external drive is suddenly not recognized, when you want to find a file on your computer. If you have time to waste, and are a casual user. Or if you want to keep your kids busy searching on Google so that they don’t go out and hang out with street gangs, then Mac is your choice. When a company makes an OS (lion in my case) that is so underdevelopped that you have to google for about everything you want to do, it DOES mean it is not well designed. Period. When you are a serious user of any platform, you don’t have time to waste searching about how to do simple things. Time is money buddy.

  5. JK wrote:
    it simply blows my mind that apple doesn’t get with the program and switch to a two button mouse. in general, i’ll give them plenty of points for usability, but this is one case where being different is just stupid.

    This is one of those areas that, in my opinion, makes it a little more difficult to switch from using Windows to using a Mac. A right-click button would definitely be nice.

    • right click is simple as shit on a mac. simply CLICK on the RIGHT side of your mouse or track pad….or two finger click on the track pad… simple as shit… mac doesn’t need TWO mouse buttons, it can tell that your clicking on the right side of the mouse or track pad…. boo yah!

  6. Anonymous wrote:
    I’m sure you know about the 2 finger scrolling, but did you know that you can zoom in on the mac by holding Ctrl and doing the 2 finger scrolling?

    Yep, I did know that actually. Although I believe that is Mac-only (doesn’t work in Boot Camp).

    partha wrote:
    i am using windows xp in my mac book pro using parallels, i have a swiss german key board. in the windowds mode i cant use @ key, have you any idea how to find the @ key in xp. i have check in the net, few people have faced the problem,i have send mails to parallels, but no reply from them. u hv any idea about that. thnkx in advance.

    Unfortunately I don’t know how to help you since I have an English keyboard.

    Pieter wrote:
    Eww… Mac people have to go through that much trouble to simply perform a right-click?

    Yeah, it’s not optimal, but I do have to say it’s nice being able to do a two-finger tap to right-click.

  7. I’ve become so use to using the Control key for mouse clicks, that when I use a laptop it seems odd having a “right-click” on the trackpad. One hand is near or remains on my keyboard anyway, so I just use my pinky or inex finger to hit the key .

    I guess it’s all what you are use to ;-)

    JK wrote:
    it simply blows my mind that apple doesn’t get with the program and switch to a two button mouse. in general, i’ll give them plenty of points for usability, but this is one case where being different is just stupid.

    This article really only pertains to the laptop trackpad, not mice. Apple’s standard mouse, the Mighty Mouse, has four “buttons”, which are really user defined touch-sensitive areas, so it can be a one, two, three, or four button mouse — whichever you prefer. Additionally, the scroll ball does horizontal and vertical, or 360 scrolling. I guess it’s almost as high-tech as that MS mouse that came with my PC ;-)

    Still… It’s all a matter of personal preference.

  8. Meh. Over-edited that last comment, and it doesn’t read anything like I meant it to. Sure wish there was an edit/delete comment function. Anyway, what I meant to type was: I’ve become so use to using the Control key for mouse clicking on Macs, that it seems strange having a “right-click” available to me when using a PC laptop.

  9. redfish wrote:
    Meh. Over-edited that last comment, and it doesn’t read anything like I meant it to. Sure wish there was an edit/delete comment function.

    Registered users can edit comments.

    redfish wrote:
    I’ve become so use to using the Control key for mouse clicking on Macs, that it seems strange having a “right-click” available to me when using a PC laptop.

    I’ve actually gotten used to the two-finger tap-to-click on the Mac trackpad. When I’m using Windows in Boot Camp, or on a PC, I find myself pressing the right-click button when I meant to press the left-click. That’s because having the one large single mouse button has caused me to click the right-side of the button.

  10. partha wrote:
    i am using windows xp in my mac book pro using parallels, i have a swiss german key board. in the windowds mode i cant use @ key, have you any idea how to find the @ key in xp. i have check in the net, few people have faced the problem,i have send mails to parallels, but no reply from them. u hv any idea about that. thnkx in advance.
    partha

    I noticed that the “swiss german” keyboard layout is slightly different in MacOS and in Windows. Squared brackets, curly braces, the backslash and the @-sign are at different places. In MacOS you type option-G, whereas in Windows you would type ctrl-alt(option)-2 for the @-sign.

    HTH

  11. partha wrote:
    i am using windows xp in my mac book pro using parallels, i have a swiss german key board. in the windowds mode i cant use @ key, have you any idea how to find the @ key in xp. i have check in the net, few people have faced the problem,i have send mails to parallels, but no reply from them. u hv any idea about that. thnkx in advance.
    partha

    Hi Partha,
    Use Alt gr + “q” instead of Alt gr + “l”. I accidentally found this out yesterday (zum Glück!)

  12. wow…this is an awesome tip…really appreciate it. Thank you!!!

  13. Thanks for the tip. It took me about an hour to find out how to right click using my MacBook running Vista. I was beginning to wonder if it could be done at all!

  14. I just tested it out, the two finger click works fine in Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro, so I don’t know what they are talking about.

    Maybe Apple updated drivers after this was published or something?

    • It’s not new. It was in the beta for Bootcamp way back when.

      What is new is that you can configure the trackpad so that clicking on the right side of the clicky-area is a right-click.

  15. two fingers on a mouse pad and click works on windows 7. It was amazing to see that it worked. i must have tried dozens of combinations and nothing worked. it so funny that worked !! thanks !!

  16. FYI, the mouse you say is one button is a programmable mouse that can be set with right click in System Preferences/Mouse. This has been true for more than 4 years. If you switch to a Mac, you need to keep up with the hardware functionality.

  17. abelkaludzu, Mzuzu Malawi

    wow! Man YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!! It has worked for me just fine!!! wow!!! thanx!!!

  18. go to windows 7 control panel, select BootCamp from the list, click on the Trackpad & check all three options & click apply and you are good to go for right click feature on bootcamp windows 7 professional

  19. hello
    i can not see boot camp on control panel windows 7 ?

    • Bottom right on the tool bar, click the little triangle. Then click the bootcamp icon (a grey diamond) and then choose Bootcamp Control Panel…

  20. Thanks a lot. The program is working fine in windows 7 which is installed on mac bootcamp.

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