Trackpad Gestures on MacBook

Trackpad Gestures on MacBook comes in quite handy while working on the Apple machines. I have got my hands on a MacBook recently, and the gestures work good to quite some extent, but can be a little better. Here is the default list of trackpad gestures available on the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

Tap to Click

By default the trackpad requires a push/click on the trackpad to do a mouse click. But this can also be override in System Settings > Trackpad.

Enable ‘Tap to click’, and you can now do the mouse click with just a tap on the trackpad.

Not sure why Apple doesn’t do this by default, as it’s a standard now.

Right Click (Secondary Click)

The right click is used to open up the context menu, that gives more action options for the item in focus.

This is done by clicking on the trackpad with 2 fingers. But this can be enhanced with the same ‘Tap to click’ option, and then a 2 finger tap can also activate the right click.


Slide 2 fingers up/down to scroll through a page.

Swipe Between Pages

Slide 2 fingers left/right to go to previous/next pages. Works great on web pages.

Zoom In & Zoom Out

Pinch Out/In anywhere to zoom in/out of pages. Works great on web pages, images, pdfs.

Smart Zoom

Double tap with 2 fingers to zoom in/out. Works great on PDF and webpages.


Move 2 fingers around each other to rotate. Works great on photos.

Open Notification Center

Use 2 fingers to swipe from the right edge of the trackpad to show the notification center.

Show Desktop

Drag 4 fingers outward to show the desktop.

Show Launchpad

Drag 4 fingers inward to show the launchpad.

Mission Control

Drag 4 fingers towards the top to show the mission control with a snapshot of all the applications.

Swipe between full screen Apps

If you have any full screen app open, then swiping left/right with all 4 fingers will slide between the full screens and the other app on desktop.

App Exposé

Drag 4 fingers towards the bottom to see all the windows of the active app.

Look up and data detectors

Use 3 fingers to tap to look up a word or to take actions with addresses, phone numbers, dates and other data.

Three Finger Drag

Use 3 fingers to drag items on to the screen, and then click/tap to release.

You can read more on these gestures on the apple website link, or for more Apple related posts, click here.

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