Enable three finger drag on your Mac trackpad

September 10, 2021

You can achieve a lot more on your Macbook Air using simple Mac Trackpad gestures. Moreover, when you drag or rotate objects to align them, you feel a subtle vibration. This aids your working process and enables greater precision over things you want to execute. A simple way to move a window, or to make a selection in macOS is to enable three finger drag. Find out how it’s done!

How to enable three finger drag for your Mac Trackpad?

The 3-finger drag gesture for your Mac Trackpad is an accessibility feature. When configured, the setting lets you tap with three fingers to simulate a click and drag. In my honest opinion, it does a lot more than just making it easier to move windows around the screen.

  1. On your Mac, click Apple menu.
  2. Select System Preferences option.
  3. Go to Accessibility. 
  4. Select Pointer Control in the sidebar.
  5. Switch to Trackpad Options button.
  6. Select Enable dragging.
  7. Check three finger drag and click OK.
  8. Kindly note that the ability to drag items using a three-finger gesture works only for trackpads that support Force Touch.

Big Sur Three Finger Drag

On your Mac, click the Apple menu visible in the upper-left corner of your Desktop screen.


Then, choose System Preferences option.

Mac Accessibility Settings
Mac Accessibility Settings

When the System preferences window opens, move to Accessibility setting in Mac.

From the sidebar of the Accessibility window, scroll down to Pointer Control (In earlier versions of macOS, select Mouse & Trackpad).

Pointer Control Mac

Hit the Trackpad options button, adjacent to Mouse Options.

Enable Dragging
Enable Dragging

Check the Enable Dragging box to configure the new mac trackpad gesture.

Mac Trackpad Three Finger Drag
Mac Trackpad Three Finger Drag

and from the drop down-menu next to it, select three finger drag option.

In the end, hit OK to apply the settings.

Mac trackpad not working?

If you are not able to click on your Mac Trackpad or find the pointer doesn’t move when you use the trackpad, make sure the options you set in Trackpad preferences are for one finger only. Using more than one finger (Tap with three fingers) on the trackpad may not move the pointer. To do so, choose Apple menu > System Preferences.

Then, click Trackpad and switch to Point & Click tab.

Force Click with One Finger
Force Click with One Finger

Enable Force Click with one finger.

Apple Software Update
Apple Software Update

Also, check for any updates available. You can switch to Automatic updates by going to System Preferences > App Store and checking the Automatically check for updates box.

Hope that makes sense!

Also read - How to use Mac Automator.


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Hemant Saxena
(342 Articles Published)

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