Recent laptops “hide” some functionalities in the trackpad. These functionalities are gestures that can be used to accomplish different tasks.

Everybody may be familiar with the single tap to click or the double-finger scrolling.

There is more to it, based on the operating system and the hardware available. You may also want to check your settings to enable them.

Some may be familiar because are used on phones and tablets.

macOS

With a Multi-Touch trackpad or Magic Mouse, you can tap, swipe, pinch, or spread one or more fingers to perform useful actions.

Credits for this content to apple support, click here for the original article.

Trackpad gestures

For more information about these gestures, choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Trackpad. You can turn a gesture off, change the type of gesture, and learn which gestures work with your Mac.

Trackpad gestures require a Magic Trackpad or built-in Multi-Touch trackpad. If your trackpad supports Force Touch, you can also Force click and get haptic feedback.

Tap to click
Tap with one finger to click.

Secondary click (right-click)
Click or tap with two fingers.

Smart zoom
Double-tap with two fingers to zoom in and back out of a webpage or PDF.

Scroll
Slide two fingers up or down to scroll.1

Zoom in or out
Pinch with two fingers to zoom in or out.

Rotate
Move two fingers around each other to rotate a photo or other item.

Swipe between pages
Swipe left or right with two fingers to show the previous or next page.

Open Notification Center
Swipe left from the right edge with two fingers to show Notification Center.

Three finger drag
Use three fingers to drag items on your screen, then click or tap to drop. Turn on this feature in Accessibility preferences.

 

Look up and data detectors
Tap with three fingers to look up a word or take actions with dates, addresses, phone numbers, and other data.

Show desktop
Spread your thumb and three fingers apart to show your desktop.

 

Launchpad
Pinch your thumb and three fingers together to display Launchpad.
 

Mission Control
Swipe up with four fingers to open Mission Control.

App Exposé
Swipe down with four fingers3 to see all windows of the app you’re using.

Swipe between full-screen apps
Swipe left or right with four fingers to move between desktops and full-screen apps.

 

Mouse gestures

For more information about these gestures, choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Mouse. There you can turn a gesture off, change the type of gesture, and learn which gestures work with your Mac. Mouse gestures require a Magic Mouse.

Secondary click (right-click)
Click the right side of the mouse.

Scroll
Slide one finger up or down to scroll.

Smart zoom
Double-tap with one finger to zoom in and back out of a webpage or PDF.

Mission Control
Double-tap with two fingers to open Mission Control.

Swipe between full-screen apps
Swipe left or right with two fingers to move between desktops and full-screen apps.

Swipe between pages
Swipe left or right with one finger to show the previous or next page.

Windows Trackpad Gestures

Many of the advanced gestures available in Windows 10 depending on the hardware. Some are available only on Precision Trackpads.

Here are the gestures that Windows 10 supports:

  • Tap one finger on the touchpad:
    Select an item, the same as left-clicking on a mouse.
  • Tap two fingers on the touchpad:
    Show more commands the same as right-clicking on a mouse.
  • Swipe up or down with two fingers:
    Scroll a page up or down.
  • Pinch or stretch out two fingers:
    Zoom in or zoom out, magnify or shrink.
  • Swipe up with three fingers:
    Show all recent activity and open windows via Windows Timeline.
  • Swipe down with three fingers:
    Minimize everything and show the desktop.
  • Swipe left or right with three fingers:
    Switch between all windows that are currently open (same as Alt+Tab).
  • Tap three fingers on the touchpad:
    Open Cortana/search.
  • Tap four fingers on the touchpad:
    Open Action Center.
  • Swipe left or right with four fingers:
    Switch between all virtual desktops.

It’s also possible that your touchpad supports additional gestures or even the ability to create your own.

Remember to check the settings and see what can be done. Some of the gestures may require activation and can also be customized.

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