I enabled the System Preferences > Trackpad > Tap to Click which causes it to work while I am logged in. However, in the login screen, it does not work. How can I get this setting enabled in the login screen as well?

  • Do none of the answers work for you? Apr 10, 2012 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


Open Terminal and enter the following commands

  1. defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  2. killall Finder

Show Files

In Finder

  1. open Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences
  2. Ctl+click/right-click a file called .GlobalPreferences.plist and click 'Get Info'
  3. Change the permissions to allow you to alter it but make a note/screenshot of what they are first. (be careful here!)
  4. open the file by double-clicking

.GlobalPreferences.plist permissions

Property List Editor will run and open the .plist file

  1. Click 'Root' at the top of the window
  2. Click the 'Add Child' button
  3. Add an entry called com.apple.mouse.tapBehaviour
  4. Make it a Number type
  5. Set the value to 1
  6. Save the file enter image description here

Back in Finder, reset the permissions to what they were

In Terminal enter the following commands

  1. defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
  2. killall Finder
    Hide Files

Reboot and the next time you login you should be able to use Tap to click

If you run into issues with Terminal commands or with the plist file make sure your capitalization is correct, case matters!


The latest method:

sudo defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad Clicking

  • Hi Kirby - welcome to Ask Different! On this site, we're looking for high-quality answers that are more than just one-liners. Please elaborate on your answer, explaining why it works and what it does. Thanks, and happy answering! Dec 21, 2017 at 2:08

I think that this is impossible but I find below post (but didn't test myself)
according to fds post:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.tapBehavior -int 1

I don't know if this is still the case, but the login window's session used to be run as root. So if you enabled the root account, logged in as root, and set whatever trackpad or mouse settings you liked in System Preferences, they would be applied to the login window.

  • 1
    I dont think this is true, at least as of 10.6 or later. Just tested it to be sure :-)
    – Nivas
    Jan 29, 2011 at 4:37

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