XDA Basics: How to right click on a Chromebook in three ways

XDA Basics: How to right click on a Chromebook in three ways

If you recently moved from a Windows PC to a new Chromebook, you might have noticed a few key differences. There are several design differences between the two operating systems, but there’s also a bit of a usability learning curve. In addition to a different list of settings, there are keyboard touchpad changes on Chrome OS. On Windows, right-click functionality is fundamental to the operating system itself, as you can access several important options within the right click menu.

Chrome OS also has a version of the right click menu, but it’s accessed in a slightly different way on the touchpad. In this article we’ll look at three easy ways to right click on a Chromebook, Chromebox, or other Chrome OS device.

Right click using touchpad with two finger click

Most Chromebook touchpads look a little boring. They don’t have any buttons and there isn’t much going on otherwise. Luckily, there’s plenty of functionality baked into this basic setup. Obviously you can use it for a single click mechanism like any other touchpad, but there are lots of other gestures available as well. Right click is just one of the many gestures you can access from your touchpad.

See below for the entire list, including right click functionality.

Right click on chrome OS

Move the pointerMove your finger across the touchpad.
ClickPress or tap the lower half of the touchpad.
Right-clickPress or tap the touchpad with two fingers.
ScrollPlace two fingers on the touchpad and move them up and down to scroll vertically, or left and right to scroll horizontally.
Move between pagesTo go back to a page you were just on, swipe left with two fingers. To go forward to a page you were just on, swipe right with two fingers.
See all open windows

To see all open windows, swipe up with three fingers. To close it, swipe down with three fingers.

Close a tabPoint to the tab, then tap or click the touchpad with three fingers.
Open a link in a new tabPoint to the link, then tap or click the touchpad with three fingers.
Switch between tabsIf you have multiple browser tabs open, swipe left or right with three fingers.
Open or close overviewTo open overview, swipe up with three fingers. To close it, swipe down with three fingers.
Switch between virtual desksIf you have multiple desks open, swipe left or right with four fingers.
Drag and dropUsing one finger, click and hold the item you want to move. Drag the item to its new spot, then release your finger.

Right click using the touchpad and the Alt key

Are you not a fan of the two finger click method? Well, you can also use a single click combined with the Alt key to generate a right click. To do this, simply hold down the Alt key on your keyboard while performing a single click on the touchpad. This generates the exact same menu as the two finger click discussed above.

Right click using a traditional mouse

Perhaps you just hate any kind of change? The good news is that you can still use a traditional external mouse with your Chromebook. When you use a mouse, absolutely nothing changes with right click options. You can still enable the right click menu by actually clicking on the button on the right side of the mouse (hence the name ‘right click’). If you’re in the market for an awesome mouse for your Chromebook, check out our list of the best mice for Chrome OS.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. You can right click on a Chromebook using any of the above methods. In addition, you can use your touchpad for a number of other useful gestures. Using a Chromebook takes a little getting used to, but at the end of the day it’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use. If you want to get familiar with keyboard shortcuts on Chrome OS, check out our full guide. Drop any questions in the comments and let us know of any useful touchpad gestures you use on your Chromebook.

About author

Jeff Springer
Jeff Springer

Applied mathematician with a love for Android. I am interested in inverse problems for imaging and integration with camera software for mobile phones.