Some questions I found that I think are similar just not asked in the same context and the answers are not too promising:

Can I remove the useless click when switching monitors?

macOS windows requiring an explicit click to make active, before UI elements inside can be clicked

For simplicity, from here on out I'll refer to "primary" click events as left clicks and "alternate" click events as right clicks. Sorry, I don't use a magic mouse.

The problem: In OS X, when right-clicking, within an application that does not have primary or top-most focus, the right-click context menu for said app is still provided and even left-clicking a menu option provided within the right-click context menu executes, but it does not bring the app to focus and often has dangerous results (more on that in a sec).

For example, coming from windows/linux environments of 30 years I have now have a habit that is terribly difficult to break. Typing after I click in an app window because I assume it is now focused because I clicked within it.

In OS X, it doesn't work this way. One has to explicitly left-click in the application window to gain it's focus first to be able to pass keyboard input.

The most common mistake I make is between my email client and my web browser.

Example: I'm working in my email client (it has the top-most focus) and I move the cursor into the web browser and right-click on an open tab and choose the option "Open a new tab" of which immediately opens a new tab and is present with a fresh new url field.

So, in review real quick, I right-clicked, then left-clicked, then began typing...in the browser...or so I thought.

I quickly realize after a bunch of flashing non-sense going on in my email app that I have inadvertently devastated my inbox with unknown shortcut keys because I never truly had focus of the url field in the web browser to begin with even though it had the last 2 click events, both right and left, before I began to type. Now I have the unfortunate task of troubleshooting what I've done to my inbox and where all those messages are, considering I archived some, deleted others, marked some with special importance and God knows what else. Undo to the rescue right?...well sometimes, really depends on how long I was typing before I realized what I had done. Sometimes the undo history doesn't go back far enough. This is terrible folks!

I realize this is a long read, but I've yet to find anything of a preference or app alternative to specifically address this exact issue and I can't fathom that I am the only one. Again, I'm not asking for "click-through" or "focus follows mouse", I simply want focus to follow all "clicks" right or left. Does this even exist in OS X as a customizable setting?

Also I realize many fanboiz will likely jump in and tell me I'm doing it wrong and everything Apple is always right from the get go and that I should truly focus on fixing my bad habit behavior. Trust me, I've tried but failing hard even after a year because my brain just expects "clicks" to focus the apps and for some reason I cannot un-learn this!!!

Those of you with patience and understanding, knowing that software's only real purpose is to assist humans in the first place, thank you for being kind to me and offering any suggestion(s)...or condolences otherwise. TY

  • If I could upvote this a thousand times, I would. This is the single most frustrating thing about OS X. The amount of wasted time I’ve spent dealing with this in the years I've been using OS X is probably measured in hours. It is a frustration many times a day. Apr 16 '20 at 17:38

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