How To Right-Click Without a Mouse on Windows & Mac

Key Takeaways
  • Right-clicking without a mouse is possible on both Windows and macOS, useful when facing mouse malfunctions or using a laptop trackpad.
  • On Windows, right-click using the keyboard shortcut Shift+F10 or the Menu key; on macOS, use Control+click or enable Mouse Keys for keyboard-based cursor control.
  • Mouse Keys, available on both Windows and macOS, allow cursor movement and mouse clicks using keyboard keys, offering an alternative when a mouse is not available.

The right-click is one of the most essential features that is present on desktop operating systems. It is used to bring up a menu that offers additional options with regards to where, or on what, you have clicked. So, if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate and extremely frustrating situation where you don’t have access to the right-click function, here’s how you can right-click without your mouse.

Right-clicking without a mouse can be quite a pain | Unsplash

Why Would I Need to Right-Click with My Keyboard?

There are a lot of unfortunate scenarios where you could find yourself needing to right-click without a mouse:

  1. Your mouse’s right-click isn’t working or is malfunctioning.
  2. You’re on a laptop and finding it hard to right-click with your trackpad.
  3. Driver issues are not allowing your mouse to function.

Can I Right-Click without A Mouse?

Right-clicking without a mouse is completely possible through your keyboard. While right-clicking through a keyboard is simple enough, doing it with the mouse is more preferable and efficient, as you can right-click instantly and at the exact spot you want. At any rate, let’s look at how you can right-click with your keyboard.

READ MORE: How to Drag Click with Any Mouse – Detailed Guide with Easy Steps ➜

Right-Clicking without A Mouse

Most operating systems have considered the possibility of users facing this dilemma. Therefore, they’ve added quick keyboard shortcuts and some other options that can be used as a substitute in the absence of a mouse. Here’s how you can right-click without a mouse on Windows and macOS.

On Windows

There are 2 ways of right-clicking with a keyboard on Windows:

  1. Shift+F10: This is a quick shortcut much like Ctrl+C for quickly copying something you’ve selected. Simply hold down the Shift key and press F10 to open up the right-click menu.
  2. Using the Menu key: Most modern keyboards and laptops have a Menu key that allows you to access the right-click menu with a simple press.
The Menu key is found on the right side of the keyboard next to the right Windows key | groovyPost

On macOS

On macOS, you can simulate a right-click by holding down the Control key on your keyboard and left-clicking with your mouse or your trackpad.

Hold down the Control key and left-click to perform a right-click | Apple

In order to right-click purely through your keyboard on macOS, you’ll need to make use of the Mouse Keys option.

READ MORE: What Does Scroll Lock Do on a Keyboard Today? Explained ➜

Simulating Right-Click with Mouse Keys

Mouse Keys is a feature available on both Windows and macOS, that allows you to simulate a mouse through your keyboard. While this won’t allow you the free-hand movement of operating a mouse, it can really help out when you don’t have access to a mouse or if you’re facing any of the problems mentioned above. Anyways, here’s how you can enable Mouse Keys on macOS and Windows.

↪ On macOS

Follow the steps below to enable Mouse Keys on macOS:

1. Enabling Mouse Keys

  1. First off, use the Command+Spacebar shortcut to open up Spotlight. Search for “mouse keys” and press the Return key on the default Settings search result.
    Hit Return on the first default option
  2. Next, press the Spacebar to enable Mouse Keys, as by default the cursor has selected the Mouse Keys option. Press Tab and Spacebar again to enable Alternate pointer actions. Use the Command+W shortcut to close the window.

    Enable “Mouse Keys” and “Alternate pointer options”

  3. Now, use the Command+Spacebar shortcut to open up Spotlight once again. Search for “mouse keys” and press the Down key to navigate to the second option that is labelled “Mouse Keys (Shortcut)“. Press the Return key.
    This time, use the Down arrow key to navigate to the second option and press Return
  4. On the menu that appears, press the Spacebar to enable the shortcut option for Mouse Keys. Use the Tab and arrow keys to adjust any other settings you want Using the Tab and Spacebar keys, select OK to save your changes.
    Enable the first option, make the desired changes and use Tab to navigate to “OK” and press Spacebar

2. Using Mouse Keys

One thing you should be aware of when using Mouse Keys on macOS; it will not allow you to use your keyboard in the traditional way. Only when Mouse Keys is disabled will you be able to use your keyboard for typing again. Regardless, here are the controls for Mouse Keys for macOS. Mouse Keys on macOS uses both the QWERTY keypad as well as numeric keypad keys:

FunctionQWERTY KeysNumeric Keypad Keys
Moves the cursor to the leftU4
Moves the cursor to the rightO6
Moves the cursor upwards88
Moves the cursor downwardsK2
Moves the cursor diagonally upwards to the left77
Moves the cursor diagonally upwards to the right99
Moves the cursor diagonally downwards to the leftJ1
Moves the cursor diagonally downwards to the rightL3
Performs a left-clickI5
Performs a right-clickControl+MControl+0
Hold the mouse buttonM0
Release the mouse button..
Disable Mouse KeysPress Option 5 timesPress Option 5 times
A diagram representing the cursor movement as per the input from the keys when Mouse Keys is activated | Apple

On Windows

Mouse Keys is also available on Windows. To enable it, follow the steps below:

1. Enabling Mouse Keys

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and begin typing “mouse keys“. Press Enter on the default search result, which will redirect you to the Settings.
    Press “Enter” on the default search result
  2. Then, press the Spacebar on the Mouse Keys settings page. The default selected option will be the the Turn Mouse Keys on switch. It will be activated.
    Press “Spacebar” to activate the default switch
  3. Use the Tab key and make sure that the “Only use Mouse Key when Num Lock is on” and “Show Mouse Keys icon on taskbar” is enabled. Adjust the other options to your liking. Use the Alt+F4 shortcut to close the window and return to the desktop.
    Ensure that these checkboxes are checked
  4. Now, press the Num Lock key to turn it on. The Mouse Keys icon should appear on the taskbar.
    The Mouse Keys icon should show up on the taskbar once enabled

2. Using Mouse Keys

The Mouse Keys are operated on the numeric keypad. Here are the functions each key on the numeric keypad will perform when Mouse Keys is enabled:

Moves the cursor to the left4
Moves the cursor to the right6
Moves the cursor upwards8
Moves the cursor downwards2
Moves the cursor diagonally upwards to the left7
Moves the cursor diagonally upwards to the right9
Moves the cursor diagonally downwards to the left1
Moves the cursor diagonally downwards to the right3
Performs a left-click5
Performs a right-click5
Configures the 5 key to perform a left-click/
Configures the 5 key to perform a right-click
Performs a double-click+
Drag selections0 (hold down)
Drop selections.
Disable Mouse KeysNum Lock
A diagram representing the cursor movement as per the input from the numeric keys | Wikipedia

READ MORE: Filter Keys – What Are They & How to Enable Them? ➜

Why is My Right-Click Not Working?

There could be multiple reasons why your right-click may not be working:

  1. Your mouse is faulty.
  2. Your mouse has reached the end of its life.
  3. Your mouse has dust clogging up inside.
  4. Your mouse has faulty switches.
  5. Driver issues with your device.

In most cases, the problem usually stems from dust accumulating inside the mouse. Modern mice are easily openable, so you can clean them out with compressed air. If your left-click works, but your right-click doesn’t, faulty switches are your culprit. Most mice nowadays have replaceable switches. You can easily replace them if you have experience soldering parts. Otherwise, get a professional to do it for you.

Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts that will allow you to carry on with your work while your mouse gets repaired or a new one arrives:

Shortcut FunctionWindowsmacOS
Rename the selected file/folderF2No macOS shortcut
Switch windowsAlt+TabOption+Tab
Make a new folderCtrl+Shift+NShift+Command+N
Open a new tab on a browserCtrl+TCommand+T

READ MORE: Best Mouse for Fortnite in 2023/24, Recommended By Pros ➜


The mouse, or any similar pointing device, is an essential part of any computer now. These workarounds are meant to be a temporary solution; only until your new mouse arrives or your current one gets fixed. At any rate, we hoped this helped you out and we hope that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you have to look this up again.


Why would I need to right-click without a mouse?

If your mouse is faulty or malfunctioning and you don’t have a spare one at hand, you’ll be looking to right-click without a mouse.

Can I right-click without a mouse?

Yes, you can right-click and perform all of a mouse’s functions through your keyboard.

Does Mouse Keys allow me to use my keyboard in Windows?

Yes. Unlike macOS, you freely use your keyboard for typing and other functions while simultaneously operating it as a mouse through Mouse Keys.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.