How to Double Click on Mac Without Mouse

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 11 Min Read
11 Min Read

Hey there! Are you using a Mac but don’t have a mouse handy? No worries! You can still do all the cool stuff like double-clicking, even without a mouse. It’s like learning a magic trick for your Mac. So, I know a thing or two about these gadgets.

Sometimes, we get super used to doing things one way with our tech. But hey, life throws curveballs, and suddenly, we need a Plan B, right? That’s where I come in. I love exploring and finding new ways to use technology. Today, I’m going to be your guide in discovering how to double-click on your Mac in some pretty neat ways, even if you don’t have a mouse. Stick around, and let’s dive into some cool alternatives! 🌟🖥️

Why Do We Double-Click

Ever wondered why we double-click things on our Macs? Well, it’s mostly to open apps or files. It’s like saying “Hey, I wanna see this now!” But guess what? There’s more than one way to tell your Mac to do that.

You’ve probably used the trackpad on a MacBook to double-click. But there’s a cool thing called the context menu. It’s like a secret menu that pops up when you click on something. Normally, the first thing on this menu is what happens when you double-click. So, all you really need to do is open this menu and choose the first option. Easy, right?

Method #1: via MacBook Trackpad

Okay, let’s talk about using the MacBook’s trackpad for double-clicking. If you’re using a MacBook, you might already know this, but it’s super important. The key is to press down on the trackpad twice, quickly. It’s not just a light tap; you’ve got to press down until you feel a click. It’s like knocking on a door twice, fast. This is how you tell your Mac, “Hey, do the double-click thing!” without using a mouse.

Method #2: via Context Menu

Remember how we talked about the context menu? It’s like a secret toolbox that pops up with a right-click. So, here’s a neat trick: you can actually double-click without really double-clicking. Sounds cool, right?

Here’s how: when you right-click on something (like a file or app), the first option in the context menu is usually what double-clicking does. So, just right-click using your trackpad or another way, and then pick the first thing on the menu. It’s like taking a shortcut! If you’re wondering how to right-click without a mouse, there’s a bunch of ways, and you can find them in this helpful article.

Method #3: Using Mouse Keys

Now, let’s get keyboard savvy! If you want to go all-keyboard, no mouse or trackpad, you’ve got to try Mouse Keys. This awesome feature turns your keyboard into a mouse. You can move the cursor, click, double-click, all with your keyboard!

It might sound a bit tricky at first, but don’t worry. Since Mouse Keys is an accessibility feature from Apple, there’s a lot of good info out there on how to use it. So, if you’re curious about turning your keyboard into a mouse wizard, definitely check it out! 🎹➡️🖱️

Method #4: Using Spotlight

Alright, let’s talk about another super cool way to open apps and files without needing a trackpad or Mouse Keys. It’s using something called Spotlight. Think of Spotlight as your Mac’s personal assistant, ready to find and open anything with just a few keyboard taps. Here’s how to make Spotlight do the double-click work for you:

Step 1: Summoning Spotlight

  • First up, press COMMAND + SPACE. This is like the magic spell to bring up Spotlight. Just hit these keys on your keyboard, and voilà, Spotlight appears, ready to help.

Step 2: Tell Spotlight What You Need

  • Now, type in the name of the app or file you’re looking to open. It’s like telling Spotlight, “Hey, find this for me!”

Step 3: Choose Your Item

  • Got a list of items from Spotlight? Use your arrow keys to move through this list. It’s like scrolling through your options with the keyboard. Find the one you want to open.

Step 4: Make It Happen with Enter

  • Here’s the final step. Once you’ve selected your item, just press Enter. This is like saying, “Okay, Spotlight, open this up!” And there you go, the app or file will start up or open, just like if you had double-clicked it with a mouse.

So, there you have it, a super easy and quick way to get things done on your Mac without even touching a mouse or trackpad. Give it a try and see how Spotlight can be your go-to tool for opening stuff!

Method #5: Using Terminal

Let’s dive into something a bit more tech-savvy now – using the Terminal on your Mac. Think of Terminal as a backstage pass to your Mac’s inner workings. It’s super powerful and can do a ton of things, including opening apps and files, just like double-clicking. Here’s how to use Terminal to do the double-click job:

Step 1: Opening Terminal

  • First, you need to open Terminal. If double-clicking is off the table, don’t sweat it. You’ve got two cool options:
    • Use Siri: Click the Siri icon at the top right of your screen and say, “Siri, start Terminal.” It’s like asking a friend to open it for you.
    • Use Spotlight: Remember our friend Spotlight? Just search for ‘Terminal’, select it, and hit Enter to start it up.

Step 2: Find Your Way to the Right Place

  • Now, you need to tell Terminal where to look for the file or app. Use the cd command to go to the directory where your item is. It’s like giving directions. If you’re not sure where the item is, you might need to find its location first.

Step 3: Time to Open!

  • You’re almost there! Once you’re in the right spot, use the open command. For example, if you want to open a file named test2.txt, you’d type open test2.txt. This tells Terminal, “Hey, open this file with the default app, please.” It’s just like double-clicking on the file.

And there you have it! With Terminal, you’ve got a powerful way to do the double-click thing without actually double-clicking. It’s a bit more technical, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel like a Mac pro!


And that’s a wrap! If you find yourself without a mouse and need to double-click on your Mac, don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of options. Remember, your Mac is like a treasure chest of tools and tricks, and you’ve just unlocked some really cool ones. Let’s quickly recap:

  1. Trackpad Tricks: You can double-click using your MacBook’s trackpad. It’s simple and handy.
  2. Context Menu Magic: Right-click to open the context menu, and select the first option. It’s a neat workaround.
  3. Keyboard Wizardry with Mouse Keys: Use your keyboard as a mouse. It’s a cool skill to master.
  4. Spotlight Superpowers: Summon Spotlight with COMMAND + SPACE, type, select, and hit Enter. It’s like having a digital assistant.
  5. Terminal Tactics: Get techy with Terminal to navigate and open files. It’s for those who love a bit of a challenge.

So, even if your mouse takes a break, or you just want to try something new, these methods have got you covered. Your Mac is more versatile than you might think, and now you’re equipped to navigate it like a pro, mouse or no mouse. Happy clicking, or should I say, non-clicking adventures on your Mac! 🌟💻👍


What can I do if I don’t have a mouse to double-click on my Mac?

If you’re without a mouse, you can use your MacBook’s trackpad, the context menu, Mouse Keys, Spotlight, or Terminal to perform double-click functions.

How can I double-click using a MacBook’s trackpad?

To double-click using the trackpad, press down on the trackpad quickly twice. Remember, it’s a firm press, not just a light tap.

Is there a keyboard-only method to double-click on a Mac?

Yes, you can use Mouse Keys, an accessibility feature that allows you to control the mouse pointer and click using the keyboard.

Can I use Spotlight for double-clicking functions? How?

Definitely! Just activate Spotlight with COMMAND + SPACE, type the name of the item you want to open, use arrow keys to select it, and hit Enter to open it.

What role does the context menu play in double-clicking without a mouse?

The context menu, which appears with a right-click, often contains the same default action as a double-click. By opening the context menu and selecting the first item, you can mimic a double-click.

How can the Terminal be used to open files or applications as if double-clicking?

In Terminal, navigate to the directory of the file or application using the cd command, then use open followed by the item’s name to open it, which simulates double-clicking.

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