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I have a wireless USB mouse by Anker (https://www.anker.com/products/98ANWVM-UBA) with a few extra buttons that I would like to take advantage of on my Macbook Pro (running OS X 10.11.6). On their website, it says that these buttons can only be used in Windows browsers. Is there a way I can use a third-party tool or something else to allow me to use these extra buttons on my Mac?

Thanks.

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If you just want the side buttons to do back/forward in ANY app/environment, this app is the most basic, streamlined one I've found for this purpose on Mac OS X, and completely free (donate!). http://sensible-side-buttons.archagon.net/

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  • 5
    Thank you very much: This is what I needed... Downloaded, tested it, and worked perfectly! Deserved a tip for sure!
    – herrera
    Feb 20 '18 at 4:12
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    It works on my Tecknet BM307 Bluetooth mouse. Thanks.
    – sargas
    Jan 31 '19 at 19:59
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    What's this, a free app for Mac OS? Am I dreaming?
    – levesque
    May 2 '19 at 17:58
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    Works for Logitech M500 (M-U0007) as well. Btw Logitech software didn't.
    – Nighto
    Sep 16 '19 at 14:31
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    I'm using a Microdigit vertical mouse (very cheap). Sensible Side Buttons (forward-backward buttons) work on MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra) :') Free and light. With option for donation. Sep 28 '19 at 19:59
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A solution that comes builtin with Mac OSX (without third-party apps nor workarounds) is setting the mouse three buttons within Settings, Mission Control, Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts. Here you'll be able to select the action for each of the buttons.

Mission Control, Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts

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There are a few apps that can do this task. I use SteerMouse [$20] which can handle mice with up to 15 buttons.

The latest v5 can now use 'chords' [multiple buttons to generate a separate action] & modifier keys - that gives a potential 24 actions for every button, different for every app if you wish... if you can ever think of that many ;)

USB Overdrive is another I can think of, but I've never used that one, so can't comment.

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  • Just what I needed, thanks! I gave USB Overdrive a shot and it works perfectly.
    – Logan
    Oct 30 '16 at 22:37
  • SteerMouse worked great after discovering Logitech lied about their driver support for MacOS High Sierra (to be fair, it's only been a mere 4 months since 10.13 was officially released).
    – Hayek
    Dec 28 '17 at 4:27
  • Neither USB Overdrive nor Sensible Side Buttons worked for my vertical mouse (J-Tech V628); however, SteerMouse is working amazingly so far. Oct 17 '18 at 17:37
  • @MuffinTheMan - Since posting this I've actually moved from a dearly-departed MX-518, for which SteerMouse was ideal, to an MX Master... which only works properly with the Logitech panel. I miss my chords :/
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 17 '18 at 17:56
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If you don't want to use extra software, one funny workaround is to connect a Mighty Mouse (not a Magic Mouse) and go to the mouse preferences. The Mighty Mouse has buttons 3 and 4, the scroll wheel click and side buttons squeeze respectively, and you can map those to custom actions. Then you can connect your third-party mouse, and those buttons on it will still perform the actions you set. Haven't done this in a while, so can't confirm it works in the latest macOS. There must be a defaults write command to do this instead, but I can't figure it out; the mouse prefs files just have integer values for buttons 3, 4, and 5 that don't seem to affect anything when changed.

If you just want the extra buttons to control Exposé/Mission Control, you can do that in the Mission Control prefs without connecting a Mighty Mouse.

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