How to Right-Click on iPad

How to get right-click functions on iPad without a mouse

What to Know

  • To right-click on the iPad, tap and hold your finger on or near text to open the right-click menu.
  • You can't right-click everywhere on the iPad.
  • The right-click menu has fewer functions than performing the same option on a computer.

This article provides information on how to right-click on an iPad and where you can use that function.

Can You Right-Click on iPad?

Yes, you can right-click on an iPad, but only in a limited capacity.

If you've become accustomed to using the right-click menu on your computer, you know it can open a world of options you wouldn't be able to access with the left-click. But clicking is inherently a mouse function, meaning it was built into the computer mouse and desktop operating system to open contextual menus.

You can still perform some of the functions you would use a right-click for on your computer, but not every function is available, and those that are, are typically specific to working with text. For example, you can tap and hold on a text item on your iPad or in your web browser on the iPad, and it will open a right-click menu containing a few features.

You can also use a Bluetooth-connected mouse to right-click on your iPad. You'll still receive limited right-click menus when you use it, but a mouse might be the easier way to work if you have space and a mouse to use.

How Do You Right-Click on an iPad Without a Mouse?

If you want to right-click on your iPad, all you need to do is press one finger on the screen and hold it there for a second or two (unmoving). This gesture opens the contextual menu for whatever application you're using.

However, there's one aspect to understand about right-clicking on the iPad: It's app contextual. Meaning, the "right-click" depends on the app you are using.

For example, if you try to right-click on an empty spot on your home screen by holding your finger down on the screen, you don't get a contextual menu. Instead, your icons start jiggling. That's because the 'right-click' on the home screen (which is an app called Springboard) activates the ability for you to rearrange or delete 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.

A screenshot illustrating the 'right-click' menu on iPad when you tap-and-hold on a link.

But if you tap-and-hold on unlinked text, you get a text-centric right-click menu. That menu includes text-related functions like Copy, Look Up, Translate, Speak, Share, and Spell. Sliding your finger from the right-click menu to any of these options will activate that command.

The contextual menu that appears on an iPad when you right-click (also called tap and click) on a text word that doesn't contain a link.

Do All Apps Support Right-Clicking?

Because right-clicking is built into iPadOS, all apps can be capable if app developers add contextual menus to their apps. It's safe to assume apps do support this feature, and you'll know by tapping and holding on whichever item you'd like to do more with: menu icon, word(s), other things inside the app, etc.

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