This article explains where and how to use the right-click function on an iPad.
Since its introduction in the 1980s, the mouse has become an essential computer accessory. One of its best features is the right-click, which provides a context menu and informs us of our options for an app or operating system action. Do you however understand how to right-click on an iPad? Yes, the iPad provides this lovely feature as well, albeit not fully-fledged like our computers do, but it can be useful in some circumstances. Let’s examine the iPad’s right-click functionality.
If you’ve been wondering how to “right-click” on an iPad, the easiest method is to press one finger on the screen and hold it there for a second or two (unmoving). Any app or object you’re trying to interact with will display a menu as a result. An iPad’s right-click functionality differs from that of a PC or a Mac, which allow you to use the right mouse button in any location. On an iPad, many times a double-finger tap also serves as a right-click.
Table of Contents
How to Right-Click on An IPad
When using an app or browsing the Web, you might occasionally get stuck for whatever reason, in which case bringing up a right-click menu to see your options is your best bet. Alternatively, you might not be stuck and simply want to test your iPad’s capabilities to perform a particular action, like copying and pasting or moving something.
Unfortunately, the right-click menu on an iPad does not display as many useful options as it does on a PC or Mac. Although there are many intriguing options tucked away in that menu, you will frequently find yourself using the right-click feature.
Text can be highlighted with the right click, and you can then use options like Copy, Look Up, Translate, and Share. Instead of bringing up the system-wide translate feature that will translate the word for you, look Up allows you to use iPadOS to look up the word that you have highlighted. The Share function enables word-of-mouth sharing through a variety of apps, while the Copy function is self-explanatory.
Objects like text boxes, bookmarks, hyperlinks, and address bars can also be interacted with in Safari, allowing you to carry out operations like copying and pasting or opening a link in a new tab. When you right-click inside a specific app, you can see actions that are only available within that app. For instance, if you’re using an iPad drawing app, you can add shapes, JPEG files, or rotate the canvas in addition to seeing brush options.
When you right-click on text or any other white space, a ton of options are also loaded in text editors. You can use formatting tools like Bold, Italics, Strikethrough, etc., as well as the Select All option to select everything you’ve typed. You can insert hyperlinks and add comments in Google Docs, for instance.
Since Apple recently added the feature, you can now right-click on an image and see options to copy text as a choice. Any text that can be copied is highlighted when you tap the Scan Text button in the bottom right corner of any open image.
Additionally, a right-click can be used to access various system tools like the clock, calendar, Control Center tools, and more. As a matter of fact, you’ll find that using the right click actually saves you a ton of time because AI adapts the options you see to the tasks you perform frequently.
Right-clicking is possible with on-screen controls, a touchpad, or a Bluetooth mouse. Let’s examine each of these choices in more detail.
Right-click With Your Finger
Simply place a finger on the screen of your iPad and keep it there for a few seconds (without moving) to perform a right-click. Whatever application you’re using, this gesture displays the contextual menu.
On the iPad, right-clicking is app contextual, which is one thing to understand. Meaning, the “right-click” depends on the app you are using.
For instance, you won’t see a contextual menu if you attempt to right-click on an empty space on your home screen while holding your finger down on the screen. Instead, your icons begin to move. This is due to the fact that when you ‘right-click’ on the Springboard app’s home screen, you are given the option to rearrange or remove the icons and apps on your screen.
However, if you tap-and-hold (effectively a right-click) on a link in your web browser, this opens a different menu which includes options like Open in New Tab, Open in Incognito, Open in New Window, Add to Reading List, and Copy Link.
However, you get a right-click menu that is focused on text if you tap and hold on unlinked text. That menu includes text-related functions like Copy, Look Up, Translate, Speak, Share, and Spell. That command will be activated if you slide your finger from the right-click menu to one of these choices.
Right Click With Trackpad Or Mouse
With the release of iPadOS 13 in 2019, support for peripheral devices like trackpads and the reliable mouse was added to iPads. So, if you have an updated iPad and a trackpad or mouse connected to it, you can use the right click feature.
The procedure is the same as on a PC or Mac: locate the item you’re looking for, move the pointer to it, and then tap and hold for a second if you’re using a touchpad or right-click if you’re using a mouse. When using a mouse or trackpad, you have the same options as when using the tap and hold technique. You can right-click on an iPad if you happen to have a keyboard attached to it by holding down Control while clicking the mouse’s left button.
After connecting your trackpad, you might need to enable the right-click feature on your iPad. Let’s look at how to do that.
Enable Right-click in IPadOS
Let’s take a closer look at your Settings menu and activate it if you can’t see a menu using the right-click techniques we’ve discussed above.
- First, open up your Settings app on the iPad.
- Navigate to General and look for the trackpad that you’ve connected.
- Here you will see options to adjust tracking speed, toggle natural scrolling (which lets you scroll naturally or invert the scrolling so that the screen moves upwards when you scroll downwards), and a toggle button for Two Finger Secondary Click, which is Right-click is an Apple term. Toggle the feature on by tapping the toggle button.
- You also have a toggle button to activate Tap to Click, which you can turn on if you like.
We advise turning on tap to click because it will help you use your iPad more efficiently. Once you’ve enabled the Two Finger Secondary Click, you can also use the double-finger tap on your touchpad to bring up the right-click menu on your iPad.
Also, here’s a great video about iPad gestures that we found can make using your iPad more enjoyable:
Configuring Right Click for Mouse in IPadOS
Say you want to disable right-clicking or would rather use the right-click button for a different purpose than the context menu by default while your Bluetooth mouse is connected and running on your iPad.
- Navigate to Settings > General.
- Here, scroll down to Trackpad or Trackpad & Bluetooth Mouse settings.
- Tap it and look for the Mouse section, under which you will see Secondary Click.
- Here, you have an option to enable or disable the right-click. So go ahead and select your choice.
If you hold down the control key and click the mouse button at the same time, you will be able to use the right-click functionality. Visit Apple’s website for more information on configuring pointer devices.
Read more: How Old is My IPad?
Do All Apps Support Right-Clicking?
Since right-clicking is a feature of the iPad OS, all apps can use it if their developers include contextual menus. You can check to see if an app supports this feature by tapping and holding on the item you want to do more with, such as a menu icon, a word or words, another element within the app, etc.
Also read: Why is My IPad Dying So Fast
Benefits of Right-Click on An IPad
The ability to right-click on an iPad has a lot of advantages. Let’s examine a few of them.
- With a right-click menu available, iPadOS allows for a lot more actions.
- The ability to copy and paste sentences or words, look up words, and format them using the right-click menu has greatly improved text editing in particular.
- You can save time in many situations because iPadOS pre-populates common actions in the right-click menu, saving you the time it would take to find the action inside the app.
- Try right-clicking a few different iPad apps to get an idea of the functionality that right-clicking can reveal. You might be shocked by a brand-new feature the app has that you weren’t aware of!
Because we anticipate that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much better the experience is, we recommend pairing a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard with your iPad. The iPad has advanced considerably, though it’s still not quite at the same level as a computer.
Conclusion: Right-Click on An IPad
We’ve now finished our article on right-clicking on an iPad. As you can see, the procedure is fairly easy to complete. All you have to do is either press and hold for a brief period of time to see a right-click menu or double-tap on your screen to bring up the context menu. Simply leave your questions in the comments section and we’ll get back to you if you have any more inquiries about how to use the right-click function on your iPad.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Right-click on An IPad Touchpad?
Simply tap and hold a text or link for a second before selecting the right-click option. Your iPad should now show a context menu.
How Do You Right-click on a Tablet?
To perform a right-click action on a tablet, tap and hold for a second or long-press on the object you want to see a right-click menu for.
How Do I Copy and Paste on An IPad?
To copy text on iPad, tap and hold until the first word is highlighted, drag to highlight all the text you want, then tap Copy. To copy a link, tap and hold the link, then tap Copy. To paste, double-tap or tap and hold, then select Paste.