How to use MacBook trackpad gestures

Numerous multitouch gestures are constructed into your MacGuide’s touchpad. In this article, we’ll identify the 1 it is best to know.

Note that not all of those gestures work with each MacGuide: you want a multi-touch trackpad. Apple has an archived article that lists the multi-touch laptops right here. You additionally get the complete vary of gestures if you happen to use considered 1 of Apple’s Magic Trackpads.

Finally, observe that you would be able to develop and customise your set of gestures more simply utilizing a third-party software like HigherTouchTool, which we clarify in a separate article: How to Open a Mac App or Folder With Custom Shortcuts.

Basic gestures

These are those everybody ought to know and are important for controlling a MacGuide through the trackpad (as opposed to the generally useful USB or wi-fi mouse choice).

Left and proper clicks

A trackpad works like a mouse in most methods, however, the trackpads on MacBooks haven’t got buttons. Instead, faucet wherever on the trackpad with 1 finger to left-click and faucet (or click on) 2 fingers without delay to right-click.

You can really click on 3 fingers at a time, which performs the identical actions as urgent onerous on a Force Touch trackpad: wanting up phrase definitions, and so forth.


You can scroll up and down (in web sites, textual content paperwork, and so on.) by swiping up and down with 2 fingers.


You can zoom in and out by pinching and loosening similar to you’ll on an iPhone or an iPad. But there may be additionally a gesture referred to as sensible zoom, carried out by double tapping with 2 fingers. This zooms in or out on a web web page or PDF.


In some apps – picture modifying apps and the like – you’ll be able to rotate photos by twisting 2 fingers (or more possible a finger and thumb). Again, that is per the gesture you understand from iOS.

Advanced gestures

Without wishing to sound like a clickbait headline, most individuals do not know this gesture management (you imagine quantity 3!), But they’re extremely helpful instruments to add to your repertoire.

Message heart

Swipe in from the left fringe of the trackpad with 2 fingers and you will see Notification Center seem. Make it disappear once more by swiping again in the other way.

Mission Control & Launchpad

Likewise, you’ll be able to simply make Mission Control and Launchpad seem with comparatively easy gestures.

Swipe up with 4 fingers (or often 3, relying on the model of macOS you are utilizing – experiment) to open Mission Control.

Launchpad could be accessed by pinching together with your thumb and 3 fingers.

Exposé and Show desktop

The basic F3 and Cmd-F3 actions that the majority Mac customers rely on can be invoked with trackpad gestures.

Activate Exposé – which shows all open home windows for straightforward navigation – by swiping down with 4 fingers. Again, in sure variations of macOS, 3 fingers are sufficient.

To present the desktop (with all home windows briefly eliminated, so you’ll be able to simply seize a file from the desktop or drag it to it), make a ‘launch’ gesture together with your thumb and 3 fingers – allow them to clump collectively on the trackpad after which transfer them aside.

Adjust trackpad actions

Here’s a vital final level: You can customise the best way gestures in your trackpad work and switch off some altogether by making a couple of fast tweaks in System Preferences.

Click on Trackpad and scroll via the totally different controls, check the choices or take away the check marks you need to activate or deactivate.