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How to enable Tap to Click on Mac trackpads using Mac OS X.

The tap-to-click capability is enabled by default on most PC laptops, while it is usually disabled by default on the Mac side. For the stranger, tap-to-click means that a tap or tap on the MacBook trackpad or Magic Trackpad is registered as a click. This avoids having to press the trackpad to click an item on the screen.

Many users like the touch-tap feature for its lightness and low intensity, but it's certainly not for everyone and other users find it annoying. Since it's off by default in Mac OS X, you'll need to manually adjust the setting to show you how to easily adjust system preferences. The feature works on most of the trackpads found in relatively new MacBook Pro and Air models, including those with multi-touch support.

Enable tap-to-click using the Mac OS X trackpad settings

Most users can enable touch tapping on their Mac through System Preferences:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and open "System Preferences"
  2. Select "Trackpad" and go to the "Point and Click" tab
  3. Check the box next to "Tap to Click"

The setting takes effect system-wide immediately. You don't have to restart apps or restart your Mac. You can test the setting right away by hovering the cursor over anything and then simply tapping (instead of pressing) the trackpad to click.

By default, this also enables the touch-to-click setting for the system-wide secondary click, which is done with two fingers instead of one, or by literally right-clicking on the lower-right portion of the trackpad as a tap target instead.

(Via animated GIF was captured from the animation played in the OS X System Preferences trackpad settings by Mavericks)