How To Use The Hidden Third Mouse Button On Your Laptop

Working on a laptop with only two mouse buttons and miss your middle-click button when surfing the web? This might just be the solution you're looking for.
Published: Jul 18, 2007
Author: Jordan Running
Related OS: Windows

Here's the quickest of quick tips: If your laptop only has two mouse buttons and you miss the middle button functionality of a desktop wheel mouse, pressing both mouse buttons at the same time often simulates a middle-click.

That's it.

Laptop inputNow, in case you're scratching your head and wondering why anyone cares, here's some background: The scroll wheel, i.e. the little wheel in the middle of modern desktop mice that can be used to scroll up and down in windows, usually doubles as an extra mouse button. A lot of people don't realize this, but that button comes in handy, especially in the most popular web browsers where it will open links in new tabs as well as close tabs.

Here's how it works: When you want to open a link in a new tab in, say, Firefox, place the cursor over the link and depress the scroll wheel without turning it. Click! The link will open in a new tab. That's called a "middle-click." Likewise, if you want to close a tab, just middle-click on it.

But, if you're used to being able to middle-click in your web browser and then find yourself using a laptop with only two mouse buttons, you'll find having to Ctrl-click all the time a drag, hence today's quick tip. I don't know if it works in all laptops (please leave a comment naming the kind of laptop you have if you discover that it does or does not work for you), but I've tried it on three laptops from three different manufacturers so far and been pleased see it work every time. So if you're suffering from the two-button blues, give it a shot!

About Jordan Running

Blogger since 1999, Jordan Running went pro in 2005 and never looked back. Sometimes programmer, occasional photographer, and serial tinkerer, he decided to to switch to Linux in 2001 but just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.

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