Is there any keyboard short-cut or key for Mac to make mouse right click? It feels me very frustrating to touch the mouse every time to view options. Is there any way like windows option key?

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Added image for more details.

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    So what's wrong with user495470's answer, preetam and @melchior? you probably won't get any more answers until you state more specifically what you don't like about that one. – owlswipe Jul 28 '16 at 22:56
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    This is ridiculously annoying ; can't right clic without removing my hands from the keyboard. And apparently it's the only way to access the context menu on selection, its to move your mouse there... – Gil Sand Oct 11 '16 at 12:58
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    I'm looking for keyboard short-cut or key thats what I written in original question – preetam Nov 2 '16 at 7:42
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    So frustrating that there is no solution for this issue: right click on currently selected item (not mouse pointer) like how Windows' [Shift]-[f10] – Ted May 11 '17 at 20:16
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    @danielAzuelos The specification from the OP is clear: do not include the mouse/trackpad in any answer on how to achieve the right click. – javadba Aug 8 '17 at 6:09

I don't know any way to show a context menu for items selected with the keyboard like what the menu key does in Windows.

To assign a keyboard shortcut for performing a secondary click at the current coordinates of the pointer, you can either:

  • Use a private.xml like this with Karabiner:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
        <name>Right Mousebutton</name>
        <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::OPTION_R, PointingButton::RIGHT</autogen>
  • Use BetterTouchTool:

  • Use Keyboard Maestro:

  • Download MouseTools and assign a shortcut to MouseTools -rightClick.

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    There is no point in do it at current mouse coordinates.. it should be a current selection.. is possible? – Arnold Roa Feb 13 '16 at 12:33
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    @ArnoldRoa Agreed. Any way to do this at the current selection or cursor position not the mouse location? – J Spen Oct 12 '16 at 14:53
  • @ArnoldRoa @J Any luck with this? – Doug Jun 17 at 9:51

For difficulties using the mouse, you can turn on Mouse Keys: Located in System Preferences > Universal Access > Mouse tab.

As it states "Use the Keyboard in place of the mouse". Also several options are available to choose from that may meet your needs.

Apple's support notes for each OSX version have more information:

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    I can't find. my os ver is 10.8.5, which is yours? – preetam Feb 3 '14 at 11:24
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    The Universal Access preference pane has been called Accessibility since 10.8. – Lri Feb 3 '14 at 19:07
  • @Nixx: I am able to use keyboard for navigation of mouse pointer only. However option key is not working and thats my requirement – preetam Feb 4 '14 at 12:41

If you can't enable it in the first method, use the second method.

Method 1

Go to System Preferences > Accessibility, find Mouse & Trackpad, then enable "Mouse Keys". If you want, go to the options menu and enable "Press the Option key five times to toggle Mouse Keys".

System Preferences

Method 2

Press Option-Command-F5, and a window will pop up. Select "Enable Mouse Keys".

Accessibility Options

How to use Mouse Keys

To right click press Fn-Ctrl-I. Sometimes you might want to turn Mouse Keys off as some keys on your keyboard won't function properly. If you are using an external keyboard, just find the equivalent to the function key. To map keys on a Windows keyboard with a Mac, visit this guide.

  • couldn't find this option, using macbook, without mouse – preetam Oct 25 '16 at 6:10
  • It works! but its useless, cause I must have mac's Fn key around to do it. and if I have it around, it means I'm working on the actual laptop, meaning I would probably use the trackpad. it's for the times where I'm using external keyboard that this functionality becomes handy. only that I couldn't find a way to map my Windows-Option key on my HP keyboard, to the Fn key. – kumetix Oct 25 '16 at 12:43
  • @preetam - What version are you using? – abc Oct 25 '16 at 15:07
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    Without a number keypad, the "some keys" that won't work under Mousekeys are 7, 8, 9, U, O, J, K, L, which could be a problem... – Tom Gewecke Oct 25 '16 at 15:39
  • @TomGewecke I know, that's why I showed how to quickly activate and deactivate mouse keys/ – abc Oct 25 '16 at 23:37

There is some builtin feature you can access by System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Keyboard (sorry I have the german OS X installed so this is my rough translation).

There you can find a keyboard shortcut called "Focus to menubar" (my shortcut is set to CTRL-F2.

Activate it, select the file and hit the shortcut keys, then you get the keyboard focus on your menubar. Navigate with the cursor keys to the "Services" menu, select the service and hit Enter.

Voila, the service is executed on the selected file


Here's a solution using Automator and Python. It's a bit slower than a real mouse (~0.5 second delay), but it works and requires no third-party software.

Open Automator and create a new service:

Automator service menu

Choose Service receives no input in any application .

Search for "shell" and drag the "Run Shell Script" action to the storyboard:


Paste the following code into the Run Shell Script action:

from Quartz.CoreGraphics import CGEventCreateMouseEvent, kCGMouseButtonRight, CGEventPost, kCGHIDEventTap, CGEventCreate, kCGEventRightMouseDown, kCGEventRightMouseUp, CGEventGetLocation

def mouseEvent(type, posx, posy):
          theEvent = CGEventCreateMouseEvent(None, type, (posx,posy), kCGMouseButtonRight)
          CGEventPost(kCGHIDEventTap, theEvent)

event = CGEventCreate(None)
position = CGEventGetLocation(event)
mouseEvent(kCGEventRightMouseDown, int(position.x), int(position.y))
mouseEvent(kCGEventRightMouseUp, int(position.x), int(position.y))

Save the service (cmd+s). Use a descriptive name like "Perform a right-click".

Go to System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Services.

The services menu

Look for your service (it should be near the bottom of the list) and assign a keyboard shortcut.

You should now be able to use your shortcut to perform a right-click.

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    The problem with this solution is that the click happens exactly where the mouse is. So if you are scrolling items with the arrow keys (like the desktop icons say) and then use the shortcut the popup will not show the icon properties but the properties of the item your mouse is currently on... – Manfredo Jun 6 '17 at 9:16

Install Karabiner. If you are running MacOS 10.8, you will have to choose KeyRemap4MacBook-8.4.0 (accessible from the main page).


Since I am testing it on Yosemite, I will give you screen capture and results which are tested on this version of MacOS. This answer might not work on Lion (if this is the case, signal it ASAP).

Open Karabiner preferences from the Menu bar drop down menu:

Karabiner Preferences...

Scroll down to the settings group for Change Option_R Key:

Karabiner Change Option_R Key

and open it.

Scroll down to the predefined setting to map Option_R key to a right click: Karabiner Option_R to RightClick

Activate it and close the Karabiner preferences window.

Check it, and confirm if it fails or works.

  • 2
    This does not meet the OP requirements of "not installing 3rd party tools". However .. karabiner is almost an extension of mac imho: it's far more prevalent and useful than any other mac keyboard software. So I am going to upvote. – javadba Aug 8 '17 at 6:14
  • @javadba: I share your analysis. I used Karabiner on 4 diferrent versions of MacOS X, it's free, and I would enjoy the 1st commercial product with such a quality. – dan Aug 8 '17 at 11:09
  • For macbook air (2011), modify the instructions to control_L Key ( Control_L to RightClick ) as there is no control key on the right. – Nasri Najib Nov 14 '17 at 13:27
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    Does this actually simulate a right click on whatever is selected, or is this another right click where the mouse is – chrismarx Jun 6 '18 at 15:14
  • Just try it. As I did before taking time to make screen captures and write an answer in correct english. This is the exact remapping of Option_R to RightClick. – dan Jun 7 '18 at 17:10

I am on High Sierra 10.13.2. could not install Karabiner, and Keyboard Maestro provides click only for the given location (did not try to find cursor point and refer it). Installed Shortcat and seems fine so far, also Vimium is super useful, but works only in browsers.

  • I didn't even tried as it looks weird to install some third party tools and apple didn't provide this simple. – preetam Oct 30 '18 at 8:30

Tab to the link or item and either press return or the space bar to select and activate, then press return. enter image description here

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    it may select/activate, but its not making "right click". – preetam Oct 25 '16 at 6:08
  • I see what you mean. The challenge for lifelong mac users is knowing how to answer this question without more info about your end goal. One of the things I loved when I was using Windows was that nearly everything had a keyboard shortcut or a way to use the keyboard to execute an action. What is the command you are trying to execute with the right-click? – Tunes Mar 10 '17 at 8:28

In Mojave, simply two finger click on the trackpad will generate right click effect, such as spell check over red squiggly lines words on text to correct the spelling.

  • The target of the question is to use the keyboard only because a mouse or a trackpad are too slow (for some of us used to type fast). – dan Aug 11 at 12:09

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