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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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6 Answers 6

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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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  • 6
    Thank you very much: This is what I needed... Downloaded, tested it, and worked perfectly! Deserved a tip for sure!
    – herrera
    Feb 20, 2018 at 4:12
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    It works on my Tecknet BM307 Bluetooth mouse. Thanks.
    – sargas
    Jan 31, 2019 at 19:59
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    What's this, a free app for Mac OS? Am I dreaming?
    – levesque
    May 2, 2019 at 17:58
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    Works for Logitech M500 (M-U0007) as well. Btw Logitech software didn't.
    – Nighto
    Sep 16, 2019 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, 2019 at 19:59
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I made Mac Mouse Fix.

It lets you remap your side buttons to back and forward among many other cool features that make your mouse better.

On top of that it's open source, lightweight, easy to use and 100% free.

Download | GitHub

Mac Mouse Fix UI

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    This is perfect, thanks so much for sharing! 🙏 Feb 21 at 10:03
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    works as advertised! macOS 12.2 w/M1 chip
    – Chad
    Mar 14 at 13:51
  • Exactly what I needed. Jul 13 at 6:16
  • This is great software and solved all my mouse issues. Aug 25 at 11:09
  • This is amazing stuff, Noah. Thanks a ton!
    – Sankalp
    Sep 6 at 12:46
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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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  • one note, I used virtualbox on a linux machine (old computer) and reprogrammed my "button 4" with the native software [KLIM AIM], Mac will not recognize it now, I need to revert it back to the default. Otherwise, this works great! Thanks.
    – Chad
    Mar 14 at 13:29
  • This was exactly what I was looking for. This should probably have more visibility as it's built in. Oct 6 at 20:29
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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, 2016 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, 2017 at 4:27
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    Neither USB Overdrive nor Sensible Side Buttons worked for my vertical mouse (J-Tech V628); however, SteerMouse is working amazingly so far. Oct 17, 2018 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, 2018 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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I was able to enable the "previous" and "next" mouse buttons with these commands.

defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse Button3 1
defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse Button4 1

You can see your settings with defaults read com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.

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