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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default Laptop Macs
I prefer having tap-to-click enabled on my MacBook Pro. However, it's always been annoying to me that when I was at the login screen, I had to use the trackpad button. I asked one of the Geniuses at the local Mac store, and he told me it wasn't possible. Not believing that it wasn't possible, I spent some time googling and looking around for the setting.

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.

Now my login screen works the way I expect it to, and as an added benefit, new user accounts now default to having tap-to-click enabled.

[robg adds: The easiest way to add this key to the global file is to have Apple's Xcode Developer Tools installed. Then in Terminal, you can cd /Library/Preferences and then type open .GlobalPreferences.plist, and the Property List Editor will open.]
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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: fds on Feb 27, '07 08:24:41AM

Isn't it much easier to just use the "defaults" tool? I always find that the easiest way to change preferences, and it doesn't even require installing Xcode Tools.

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



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What about arrow keys and enter?
Authored by: nickv2002 on Feb 27, '07 09:09:11AM

Isn't it easier just to use the arrow keys to move the selection up and down on the login list? Once you've selected the account you want you want just hit enter. No prefs to enable and no mousing required.

You can also try typing the first few letters of the login name you want to select the desired account.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: sharien on Feb 27, '07 10:43:03AM

Another easier way: temporarily log in as root, go to trackpad preferences and enable tapping.

You may need to enable the root account first since Apple leaves it disabled by default (using NetInfo Manager), just remember to disable it again after you've made your preference adjustments.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: rhowell on Feb 27, '07 11:16:06AM

Semantics really, but just so new users (especially those coming from another *nix) are not confused:

The root account is not disabled by default. It is enabled and present, and you can escalate your privileges to root at the command-line.

The root account does not have a password assigned to it by default. Thus, you cannot log in as root. "Enabling" root is really just assigning the root user a password.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: boredzo on Feb 27, '07 11:43:02AM

No, it is disabled by default. Having root disabled means that you can't login as root (even if you set a password for it), but you can still use sudo. You'll need an administrator account to use sudo.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: sharien on Feb 27, '07 12:04:09PM

Apple specifically says in the documentation that root access is disabled by default. In addition, the menu items in NetInfo Manager related to this use these terms.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106290#four

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.4/en/mh1549.html

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/MacOSX/Conceptual/BPFileSystem/Articles/BSDInfluences.html



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: JadeNB on Mar 02, '07 08:38:25AM

Thanks for this hint! I've wondered how to do this for a long time.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: allanj37 on Nov 08, '07 11:17:32AM

Has anyone gotten this working in Leopard? Doesn't seem to do anything for me.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: sjf on Nov 13, '07 06:23:04AM

Yeah, It didn't work for me in leopard, either.



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: robg on Dec 08, '07 08:11:43AM
I managed to get it working, but here's what I had to do...first, I deleted the key that had been written when my machine was in 10.4:
defaults delete /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.tapBehavior
Then I recreated the preference:
defaults write /Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.tapBehavior -int 1
When I first activated the login screen, this didn't work ... but when I logged in then returned to the login screen, it was working fine. -rob.

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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: hmelman on Mar 11, '08 08:22:43PM

I tried this on 10.5.2 and it didn't work for me. I ran the two commands, logged out and back in, twice, and still a trackpad click doesn't work. Any ideas?



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Use trackpad tap-to-click on login window and by default
Authored by: SirPavlova on Sep 19, '11 02:39:55AM

I think it's probably because you're on a newer Mac than Rob wasódoes yours have a multitouch trackpad?

For old trackpads (tested on Snow Leopard):

sudo defaults write -g com.apple.mouse.tapBehavior -int 1

For multitouch trackpads (tested on Snow Leopard & Lion):

sudo defaults write com.apple.driver.AppleBluetoothMultitouch.trackpad Clicking -int 1

You don't need to explicitly address the plist files if you use sudo. The defaults system looks in ~/Library/Preferences, /Library/Preferences, & /System/Library/Preferences in that order, stopping early when the preference is found. When writing a preference, it always puts the preference in ~/Library/Preferences. root's ~ is /private/var/root, so defaults under sudo writes to /private/var/root/Library/Preferences. And finally, the login screen runs as root, so when it starts up & looks for the preference, it looks in root's ~/Library/Preferences first.



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