3 finger middle click (not 3 middle fingers)

With multi-touch trackpads something I’ve always missed since I lost my Macbook Pro is a three finger tap to middle click. I used this to open up new tabs in the browser without having to do the “right click – open in new tab” thing. The quickest way to figure out if you have ELAN or Synaptics, is to go to Control Panel, Mouse, and then check the last tab probably called “Touchpad”. The presence of the text Synaptic or Elan will guide you in the right direction.

ELAN Touchpad

Here is how you enable 3 finger middle click on ELAN touchpads. This applies to my Samsung Series 7 but should apply to most new Samsung’s as well.

  1. Windows 7 – Start, Run, regedit.exe
  2. Windows 8 – Go to metro, type ‘regedit’ and click on it
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Elantech > SmartPad
  4. Double click “Tap_Three_Finger” and set it to 2. By default mine was set to 7.
  5. Restart your computer (actually necessary)

Synaptics Touchpad

If you have a Synaptics touch pad. Follow these instructions:

  1. Windows 7 – Start, Run, regedit.exe
  2. Windows 8 – Go to metro, type ‘regedit’ and click on it
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Synaptics > SynTP > TouchPadPS2
  4. Double click “3FingerTapAction” and set it to 4. By default mine was set to 0.
  5. Restart your computer or log in and out (actually necessary)

This shouldn’t mess with anything. If you notice anything weird happening, go in and reverse it. Otherwise revel in your three fingered glory.

  • Kitty

    WORKS! Bless u! Bothered me for 2 hours

  • Hasan Zia

    Hello Im using synaptics on windows 8, i tried your solution for middle click but whenever i try the three finger tap it freezes my pointer and then i have to three finger tap again to go back to normal. Plz help

  • mikemurko

    Hi Hasan, I don’t personally have a synaptics but have tested it on a friends’ laptop and these instructions worked. What laptop are you using? It’s possible that it just won’t work on your machine.

  • mikemurko

    “Until about 5 minutes ago, I had the same problem with my Lenovo IdeaPad U410 and Windows 8. What they have to do is essentially what you have written, plus: 1) find 3FingerTapPluginID and clear that string and 2) find 3FingerTapPluginActionID and set it to 0.”

    From helpful reader Freddy in Germany!

  • Paul

    Just what I needed. Seems the latest versions of the touchpad drivers have these regkeys set, whereas the previous versions did not. This solved the issue of freezing pointers, after assigning the triple tap as a right click

  • Wendal

    Thanks, mein.

  • Jimmy clourk

    Thank you! Finally works! 🙂

  • nod

    wow thanks God it really works!
    been frustated to right click -> open in new tab all the time.

  • James Smith

    It solved my freeze problem on Lenovo G580 and worked as promised. Thx MikeMurko.

  • Dominik Rabatin

    doesn’t work for me, after restart the values change to default, what’s wrong?

  • Stackor

    Thanks a lot for this short and precise guideline! With your help, I was able to finally get the 3-finger tap to go as the middle mouse button both on a Synaptics and an ELAN touchpad.

    Addendum: At first, the Synaptics only recognized a DOUBLE 3-finger-tap as a click. I then did what mikemurko suggested and now it works as it should.

    I just don’t get why the producers don’t include this basic feature in their drivers. Just stupid. Anyway, thanks a lot to you guys for your helpful hints!

  • ripix

    I have a Lenovo S300 with the latest Synaptics drivers installed. I tried to search the “3FingerTapAction” string through regedit, but there are only “3FingerTapPluginID” and “3FingerTapPluginActionID”. What do I have to do? I tried to modify these strings, and even to add the missing one, but at every reboot they go back to default… Please help me 🙂

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  • mgutt

    Middle button = open in new tab = Thank you 😀

  • Crissaegrim

    ripix you need to change another key from “0” to “1”, named “twofingertapaction enabled” or something like that. and acutally you don’t need to reboot, juste disable and re-enable the device and it will work :p

  • andy

    i had to create a new DWORD = “Tap2_Press_Enable”, and set it to “1” to get this to work on my ux31a

  • Ryan N

    Thank you so much for this.

  • Jeremy

    If you want an alternative to opening a link in a new tab, you can also hold the “ctrl” button while clicking any link and it will open in a new tab or hold shift button while clicking a link to open in a new window.

    Or another alternative, is that you can tap link with 2 fingers (opens right-click dialogue) and click the letter “T” to open your link in a new tab, or the letter “W” for new window.

    My synaptic’s options allow me to assign a few things to the 3 finger click, but I have never been able to get the 3 finger click to work on my PC so I stick to the more traditional stuff. I can still open a link in a new tab just as quickly as you can.


  • Jose Paul

    I’m having TouchPadPS2_1 and TouchPadSMB2c both contains 3FingerTapAction
    which one should i change and can you tell me what other values are possible and what action does that do.

  • mikemurko

    Sorry Jose, I don’t know. What model laptop are you using?

  • Sergio Gamillo

    I did everything you said for Synaptics but instead of doing a middle click, it opens my Start Menu. I’m using Windows 8

  • John Lofgren

    I have an Elan touchpad. Recently updated to Windows 10. When I change Tap_Three_Finger_Enable to 1 and reboot, the value is reset to 0. An ideas why my change is not sticking?

  • Pablo Nicolas Disalvo

    Hi, I’m having some issue. In W7 had touchpad V7.5 (i guess) and it emulates middle click by pressing both left and right buttons.
    Today upgraded to W10 but can not find that option anymore, and “three finger” neither works.
    I searched on regedit but there’s no option for buttons.

    Any help is welcome.
    Sorry for my english!

  • fred

    what about with an alps glidepoint touchpad??

  • kutukcu

    My regedit doesn’t have SynTP > TouchPadPS2 directory and this problem gave me cancer

  • josepaul99

    Sony Vaio SVF15319SNB

  • Anri Orlow

    It works! ??