I've run into an interesting issue while trying to migrate to MacOS.

Whenever I go to right-click something, a click event will be fired on the initial mouse-down event, and then a click event will be fired on the mouse-up event.

As an example, you can right click (hold the click down) to bring up a context menu, and then release the click while hovering over a menu item, and the menu item will be clicked.

Is there a way to force the OS to wait for a mouse-up event before it fires another click event?

It's frustrating coming from Linux and Windows environments that wait until a mouse-down AND mouse-up complete before firing a click.

  • You need to clarify exactly what the undesired behavior in OS X is. As far as I can tell, OS X and modern Windows use the same menu behavior. You can click to open and then click to select, or you can drag-select a menu. It would help if you described step-by-step with "mouse-down" and movement terms.
    – user71659
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 20:52
  • No problem! If you're on the desktop of both MacOS and Windows, I can explain exactly what I mean. Right click on the desktop and hold it down. On MacOS, the contextual menu pops up, and it doesn't on Windows. Letting go of the mouse on MacOS also counts as a click, just like when originally clicking down. Windows waits until you release for anything to happen. The same happens with left clicking, it's just easier to illustrate with a right click. TL;DR: MacOS fires a click event on both mouse-down and mouse-up, while Windows waits for both to have occurred before firing a single click event.
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 21:24
  • I forgot to add something. If you're on MacOS and are still holding down the right click after the contextual menu has popped up, hovering over any item and releasing will trigger a click on that item. It affects trying to move around fast with the mouse while clicking. You'll end up clicking more than a single thing, which was never the intent.
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 21:27
  • You are talking about a specific edge case, a right-drag. In the normal case, OS X triggers on mouse up. Hold your button down on a Finder icon, it doesn't highlight until it is released.
    – user71659
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 21:51
  • Ah, it seems you are exactly right. I'm going to update the question to reflect this, and to see if anything can be done about that edge case. Thanks!
    – Josh
    Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


It's timing-dependant.

If you click & hold, then mouse-up will activate the currently-selected menu choice, or move outside the menu & release to dismiss.

If you click & immediately let go, it will then stay open waiting for a new click, either on your menu choice, or outside the menu to dismiss.

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