I'm using OS X Snow Leopard, on a Macbook Pro.

Is there any way to "tap to click" (on the trackpad) instead of pressing down on the trackpad when interacting with the login screen?

It's not really that big of a deal, but I'm curious.

  • 1
    Do you want to improve on the speed you login? The fastest is to type in your username, press tab, type in your password, hit enter. Pretty fast, no need to even touch the mouse ;)
    – Felix
    Apr 6, 2010 at 19:04
  • True. It's just a matter of personal preference for me though. :) Right now I type the first letter of my user name, press enter, type my password in, press enter, voila! But I'm not used to doing that when logging into other accounts (like a standard account which I often use for testing things), and other users aren't accustomed to "press to click" on a trackpad as much either, which is why I asked this question :)
    – Vervious
    Apr 6, 2010 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


This Mac OS X Hints article explains how to do this.


After some digging, I found it in a hidden preferences file called .GlobalPreferences.plist in my user's Library/Preferences folder. I found the same file in the top-level /Library/Preferences folder, and then added the com.apple.mouse.tapBehavior setting as a class of Number with a value of 1 and saved the file.

EDIT: Or, a user suggestion:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.tapBehavior -int 1

EDIT2: Since I don't have a Mac with a trackpad and OS 10.5 or later (The only Mac with a trackpad I have access to is a Powerbook running 10.4), please let me know what the output of

ls ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.driver*

is. Hopefully you'll have a file like /Users/jnet/Library/Preferences/com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist which you can copy to /Library/Preferences to make this behavior work.

EDIT3: I'm playing with a MacBook Pro at an apple store right now. I think the file is ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.systempreferences.plist -- Try copying that file to /Library/Preferences/...

  • This doesn't seem to work for me. I manually opened it with a plist editor and changed it and eventually saved it... didn't work. Then I ran the terminal command... didn't work. I've rebooted too... Does it work for you? Or is it just my computer on which this trick doesn't work? Thanks for answering though :)
    – Vervious
    Apr 6, 2010 at 23:51
  • I read the article and it doesn't seem to work for OS X Leopard. Is this possibly also true with Snow Leopard, which is what I use?
    – Vervious
    Apr 6, 2010 at 23:53
  • I don't have a Snow Leopard macBook to test this on... I'm on an iMac. I'm googling a bit more to find a solution for you.
    – Josh
    Apr 7, 2010 at 0:23
  • Thanks for your help. Just wondering: it does work for you right? What version of OS X do you use if any?
    – Vervious
    Apr 7, 2010 at 0:26
  • I user 10.5.8. But that's on an iMac with no touch pad. The only Mac with a touchpad I have access to is a Powerbook running 10.4... Try my edited solution, let me know if you have any plist files which might help
    – Josh
    Apr 7, 2010 at 0:36

yes, Open - settings, - trackpad - there should be an option listed that allows taps for clicks.

  • I've already tried that, but it doesn't affect the login screen, only my own user account. Thanks for answering though!
    – Vervious
    Apr 6, 2010 at 18:05
  • Just a thought, will doing that as a root user work? Let me test it out...
    – Vervious
    Apr 6, 2010 at 18:05
  • No, unfortunately it doesn't. I have heard that changing the login screensaver works via root though.
    – Vervious
    Apr 6, 2010 at 18:09
  • Oh man...sorry -I miss the "login screen part" - I do not know of a way to change that. sorry
    – fady
    Apr 6, 2010 at 18:17

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