How to enable three finger drag on Mac Trackpads in OS X El Capitan


The ability to perform a three-finger drag gesture on Mac and MacBook trackpads allows users to move windows and items on-screen with a gesture rather than the usual click and drag, this feature is well liked by many Mac users and has been in OS X for quite some time.

Once residing in the normal Trackpad settings of System Preferences, the latest versions of OS X (El Yosemite and Capitan 10.11 and newer) has moved the dragging gesture settings for Trackpad elsewhere though, and so if you want to enable this feature or just try it out on your own Mac then you need to follow the steps given below.

How to Enable three finger drag on Mac Trackpads in OS X EI Capitan:

In OS X 10.10.x, OS X 10.11.x later versions you need to find out the option under Accessibility as follows:


  • Initially, open the system preferences from the Apple menu.
  • Choose the accessibility preference panel.
  • Now scroll down the list on the left side and select Mouse and trackpad.
  • Click on the trackpad options button.
  • Check the box next to enable dragging and pull down the menu along side to select three finger drag then click on ok to set the preference.
  • Close out of system preference as usual and try the feature out.

Three finger drag is quite literal, meaning you hover the cursor over a window title bar and place three fingers on the trackpad surface and drag them around to move the window, no clicking or pressing down on the trackpad surface is required.

While you’re in that settings screen you may also want to adjust the scrolling speed of the trackpad, which is also in the Accessibility portion of Trackpad options.

This feature works with a Magic Trackpad, 3D Touch Trackpad which is similar to Force Touch, and standard multi-touch trackpads built into any MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. Once enabled it should work flawlessly though every once in a while you may encounter issues with dragging which requires specific troubleshooting methods to resolve.

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based out of Bangalore, India, Rajesh has been instrumental in building the base behind The iBulletin. He has been with the portal since beginning and has overseen the initial content building for years.


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