How to Use Trackpad Gestures to Navigate macOS

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One of the areas where Macs beats PCs is gesture support. The MacBook trackpad features a wide range of gestures that allow you to quickly perform actions, such as switching between apps, zooming and seeing all of your notifications. Use these gestures to start zipping around macOS like a pro:

View Mission Control: Swiping up on the trackpad with three fingers causes your open windows to explode outward, allowing you to see all of the windows simultaneously. Apple calls this Mission Control. Swiping back down with three fingers collapses the windows, placing the window you last viewed at the top. 

mission control

Swipe between full-screen apps: Swipe with three fingers to the left or right to switch between any apps that you have open in full-screen mode.

full screen swipe

Tap to zoom: Tap the trackpad with two fingers simultaneously to zoom in on a page in Safari or a PDF.

zoom tap

Swipe to navigate: Swipe with two fingers to the left or right to flip through Web pages and documents.

navigate safari

Open Launchpad: Pinch toward the center of the trackpad with your thumb placed in either the bottom left or bottom right corner and three fingers in the opposite corner above. The Launchpad lets you see your installed apps and launch them with a single click.


Show desktop: Spread your thumb and three fingers apart to show the desktop. This gesture is the exact opposite of the previous gesture.

show desktop

Look up: Tap a word with three fingers to immediately look up the word’s definition, synonym and more.

look up

Three-finger drag: Slide three fingers around the trackpad when you've positioned the cursor at the top of the window to drag the window around the screen.

Slide3Fingers 318x400

Notification Center: Swipe in with fingers from the left to open the Notification Center.

notification center

Show Safari tabs: Pinch with two fingers to see all of your Safari tabs simultaneously, and then swipe left or right with two fingers to scroll between the tabs.

PinchSafari 317x400