Chromebooks don’t have separate left and right buttons on the trackpad, a design quirk that leaves some users wondering how to right click on a Chromebook.
The answer may seem obvious, even natural to many.
But new owners are sometimes left stumped having become used to the way their Windows laptop or netbook did it.
So if you’re wondering how to right click or middle click on a Chromebook, this article is here to help.
Chromebook Touchpad Basics
Chrome OS enables “tap-to-click” by default. This means you don’t need to physically press down anywhere on the touchpad to click.
The lower half of most Chromebook touchpads are still a pressable button, though. You get feedback, you hear a click, it feels natural.
But as on Apple Mac laptops “clicking” in the lower right-hand side of the touchpad does not create a ‘right-click’ response. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you click on the touchpad you’ll still be clicking normally.
Tap-to-click is used in Chrome OS to perform regular right click and middle click actions.
How To Right Click on a Chromebook
There are two ways to right click on a Chromebook using the touchpad, neither of which require you to pair a bluetooth pointer or plug in a USB mouse to do it.
The first of this is the simplest: tap once on the touchpad using two fingers. This will open the right-click menu wherever you are.
On the ‘desktop’ the right-click context menu offers options to change the wallpaper and move the shelf to a different location; on web-pages it shows actions like copy, paste, etc. Right-clicking on an app tile in the App Launcher divvies up options to remove apps, view more info and pin them to the app shelf.
The other, less popular method, is useful if you can’t quite master the double-tap.
Press the Alt key and single tap (or physically click) on the touchpad at the same time to open the right-click context menu.
How to Middle Click on a Chromebook
If you’ve ever used a mouse with a clickable scroll-wheel you’ll know how useful ‘middle click’ actions are.
In Chrome OS middle-click can do a number of things, depending on what is being clicked on. The two most common uses are:
- Middle click on a link to open it in a background tab
- Middle click on an open tab to close it
Chromebook middle click is done using a three finger tap on your trackpad.
Three fingers tapped on the touchpad at the same time can take some to master. If you cant quite get to grips — should that be tips? — with the middle click gestures you can also hold the Ctrl key and click on a link to have it open in a new background tab.
How to Scroll on a Chromebook
Chances are you’ve already figured this one out by yourself, but we’ll recap it for completions sake anyhow.
To scroll a webpage on a Chromebook you need to place two fingers on the touchpad then move them up or down (depending on your desired scroll direction) to make the page travel.
You can enable so-called ‘Australian Scrolling’, where pushing two fingers up the trackpad makes the page move up by changing the option in Settings > Touchpad and Mouse > Scrolling.
Easy when you know how, right?