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I'm migrating from a late 2012 to a new 2020 MacBook air and having difficulty right clicking. Sometimes when I push with the side of my right thumb:

  1. a light touch works perfectly and I feel some haptic feedback or "give" or "click"
  2. it feels solid and unyielding and nothing happens
  3. I feel some haptic feedback or "give" or "click" but it's interpreted as a "left click"

I've try clicking around and making a map manually but I get strange results and I'm thinking there is something more complicated going on that I don't understand. After eight years of using one trackpad it's all in "muscle memory" and I'm struggling now that I have to think about it. I'm so tired of the wrong thing happening that now I'm afraid to right click.

I think if I could see a map of the track pad's sensitivity for right-vs-left click and for haptic-feedback, or better yet some engineering-like testing of their spatial variability, that might help me to interpret what I'm doing wrong and how to improve it.

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The options for right-click are configured in System Preferences > Trackpad. You can either initiate a right-lick with two fingers, or in the bottom right or bottom left corners.

I don't know what the default is, so perhaps it's set to use two fingers, and there is no 'sweet spot'. Personally, I prefer using two fingers, as it prevents accidental right-clicks if you happen to be 'in the zone'.

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  • Thanks for this; I checked and it's definitely configured to "Click in the bottom right corner". It works much of the time but not always, sometimes I feel the haptic feedback "click" and depression, and sometimes I don't. I really do just need a spatial map of the trackpad in order to build up some muscle memory for my new laptop. But I will explore the two-finger option out of interest.
    – uhoh
    Aug 2, 2020 at 7:38
  • A hardware fault might be unlikely if it works for left-click but not right. But it's certainly worth ruling out.
    – benwiggy
    Aug 2, 2020 at 8:21
  • ya, there is now an official Apple store in Taipei so maybe I will just go there and ask for "trackpad lessons" :-)
    – uhoh
    Aug 2, 2020 at 8:23

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