I recently moved to a new MacbookPro and migrated my old computer's files/settings over to the new one.

For some reason I am unable to disable the ability to look up the definition to a word by using a three finger tap gesture.

  • I have unchecked the "Look up" option in the Trackpad preference pane.

  • I also disabled option to "Look Up in Dictionary" within Keyboard
    preference pane > Keyboard Shortcuts > Searching > Look Up in

I typically use BetterTouchTool to turn a three finger tap gesture into a middle click, I have disabled this feature for now and continue to have the issue where if I tap something with three fingers the text becomes highlighted and I am greeted with a definition to the word. This happens in all applications.

Is there any other way to disable this feature? Is there a terminal command I could try?

2 Answers 2


Have you tried deleting ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad.plist or running defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad TrackpadThreeFingerTapGesture -bool false?

  • I found the file and deleted it. Did not help. Even after I tried setting the settings to the desired false. I even tried the terminal command - when I view my trackpad settings they appear to be how I want them (this feature set to false), but I still get the ability to do so when I three finger tap.
    – Ecnalyr
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 7:17
  • wanted to echo Ecnalyr's experience. These commands sure look like they should work, but they don't work. Perhaps somebody else knows the correct setting names for these defaults? Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 22:54

The laptop I migrated from was a Macbook Air that was running OSX 10.8.2. When I migrated over to my new Macbook Pro 13" with Retina - the Retina only had 10.8.1 installed. I learned that the update to 10.8.2 had been pulled after initially being released by apple because of misc issues on a few of their models - my 13" Retina included.

Apple re-released a 10.8.2 version of OSX today that repaired my issue.

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