Just upgraded to Mac OS X Mountain Lion, and I'm loving it so far.

One thing I don't care for though is that now, three-finger tapping links—or anything, for that matter—brings up popups with the definition of the word that was tapped.

This is less than convenient since I'm using MiddleClick to set that particular tap gesture to act as a middle-click.

Is there any way that I can disable this behavior?

  • What version did you upgrade from?
    – Daniel
    Jul 26, 2012 at 5:13
  • Just as a note, this feature existed in Lion.
    – daviesgeek
    Jul 26, 2012 at 5:34
  • 1
    Thank you all for your responses. Upgraded from Lion, but I never really noticed the feature, nor any problems with it interfering with MiddleClick (which yes, is a third party app). Disabled the look up feature, and verified that MiddleClick indeed doesn't work, which is a shame. MagicPrefs is an option, but the three-tap middle-click seems to be a bit wonky. Jul 26, 2012 at 10:13
  • 1
    Weird. As a side note, I've removed the "macbook-air" tag, as it really isn't a relevant tag for your post.
    – daviesgeek
    Jul 27, 2012 at 23:45
  • 3
    I stumbled upon the exact same problem, then found out that BetterTouchTool includes MiddleClick's features and works with Mountain Lion. Jul 28, 2012 at 19:41

3 Answers 3


In System Preferences under Trackpad then Point & Click, uncheck Look up.

enter image description here

  • This, combined with MagicPrefs, seems to have done the trick. Much obliged! Aug 1, 2012 at 5:26
  • Still works in Yosemite Jan 20, 2015 at 14:56
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    In Sierra it's now called "Look up & data detectors" and is the top option.
    – nerdwaller
    Mar 27, 2017 at 17:13

I am not sure what "middle click" is, it sounds like some third party utility, so until we know what you mean by this and what it is supposed to do, I can't really help on that front.

One thing I would say though is that there is a difference between a 3 finger tap, and a triple tap, Most people would mean a triple tap to mean tapping 3 times, in the same way as double click means clicking twice. For clarity, I am sure you mean a 3 finger tap (all three fingers in one go with one tap) - it's a minor point, but will help you to define the problem better.

If, after disabling the 3 finger tap lookup feature in Daniel Lawson's answer this stops the dictionary lookup, but doesn't then allow your MiddleClick utility to use it, then is might suggest that it is simply not compatible with Mountain Lion, and I would check with the developer for support.

  • 1
    "middle click" has been standard since Douglas Engelbert invented the mouse. Apple was pretty much the only vendor not to ship a three button (or more!) mouse. Nowadays, you have left click, right click, and then press on the scroll wheel for middle click. Fun fact: scroll up and scroll down are the fourth and fifth buttons on standard mice.
    – djeikyb
    Sep 15, 2014 at 4:39

Just discovered this glitch going from Lion to Mavericks. A good work around is to map it to 3 finger click. That seems to work fine.

Note, I'm using BetterTouchTool which is a much more powerful gesture and keyboard binding tool. Since it experiences the same issue, it's likely this is a bigger problem than just buggy software.

  • MagicPrefs did the trick for me. BetterTouchTool stopped working for three-finger-tap after disabling the lookup feature. Of course, MagicPrefs disabled three-finger-drag. :/
    – djeikyb
    Sep 15, 2014 at 4:47

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