Mac OS X Maverick: Re-enable Tap and Drag on a Trackpad or Touchpad

   Posted November 25, 2013 by Jimmy Selix in Apple Mac


Apple laptops have one of the best trackpads in the industry.  However, after OS X Lion, Apple decided to hide tap and drag options deep within the Preferences. This technique is an alternative method for moving icons, windows, and other items by just tapping on an item and then moving your finger on the trackpad.  This is very useful if you do not have a clickable trackpad or if you just miss this feature.

Prior to OS X Lion, you could tap and drag to select text, move icons and windows in any app where you had to select items.  For power users, this is a very handy feature and is useful for those users with Macs that do not have a multi-gesture capable touchpad or trackpad.

1. Go into Preferences.

2. Go to Accessibility.

3. On the left pane, go down to Mouse & Trackpad.


4. Click on the Trackpad Options.


5. Now, click on the Enable dragging box. You can also select whether to enable without Drag Lock or with Drag Lock.

Without Drag Lock, dragging stops immediately after you lift your finger after dragging. With Drag Lock, dragging continues even if you lift finger and one tap on the trackpad is required to stop.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
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  • K

    This was driving me nuts. Why the hell did they put this under accessibility?! Thanks a bunch.

  • John


    I’ve been looking for this function everywhere. Why the heck did Apple hide it there?

    Thank you VERY much.

  • Amogh Masur

    Thanks a ton! I was getting really irritated! Really, thanks a lot!

  • MacMerlotMan

    thanks so much – perfect solution – my wife and I share this laptop for travel, each with our own Identities, and the Drag Lock worked perfectly on my Identity, but not on my wife’s Identity. Talk about really strange. I just new there must be a solution. Funny, I had some other problem a few years back that was solved with Accessibility Preferences. That must be the place to go when things don’t work as expected…. PS – I love how Mavericks works, and my wife hates it. I think because she resists implementing the features and benefits. Thanks again.

  • RAW

    I had no problems using tap to drag after upgrading from Snow Leopard to Mavericks, everything worked just as before the upgrade. But yesterday I disabled single tap to click, because someone who prefers using the button click needed to work on my MacBook Pro. When I reactivated tap to click again, I could no longer tap and hold to drag. This tip solved the problem, but I checked: every time you switch off tap to click, dragging is switched off as well, requiring an extra trip to Accessibility.

  • whytevee

    thanks so much for this! i hated the three finger drag. such a drag!