Maybe you’re locked out of some important function or maybe you just want to know how to use your Mac without touching a mouse.
Regardless of your reason, there are plenty of great ways that you can access system preferences or any other application without needing a mouse.
How do you open system preferences on a Mac without a mouse?
To open system preferences on a Mac without using a mouse, use Siri’s voice control or a program called mouse keys. Many Apple computers also come with a touchscreen. Another solution is to use a cursor controlling devices, such as a trackpad or another mouse.
Here’s a summary of all of the options that you have for opening system preferences without a mouse on your Mac.
Opening System Preferences With Siri or Voice Control
To help the functions on your Mac be more accessible, Apple has added numerous voice control features which allow people to do anything on their Mac that they could do with a mouse.
In 2016, Mac computers started including an independent form of Siri that could answer questions and perform simple tasks on your computer.
If your computer has Siri enabled, you can open System Preferences by simply saying, “Hey Siri, open system preferences.” Siri will be able to understand and perform this task without difficulty.
However, her functions are limited, and while you can probably open System Preferences, there isn’t much you can do there without a mouse.
For that reason, Apple added voice control to their computers released after 2019.
Voice control allows users to control every aspect of their computer using only their voice.
This service can open apps, click on buttons, type sentences, and more.
You can enable this service by going to the Voice Control tab in the Accessibility section of your System Preferences.
Once you have Voice Control enabled, toggle it on or off by saying, “Wake up” or “Go to sleep.”
With voice control on, you can issue commands like “Open System Preferences.” You can also use voice control to click on specific buttons or open other things.
If you are having difficulty, you can divide your screen into a grid to make it easier for you to specify what you want your computer to do.
For example, with the grid applied you can say, “Drag the window from 4″ to 7” on the grid.
Voice control has a lot of applications, so it is a good idea to educate yourself on everything that voice control can do.
Enable and learn how to use it now before the time comes that you need its services.
Opening System Preferences With Mouse Keys
Another way that you can open system preferences on a Mac without using a mouse is by using a service called Mouse Keys.
Mouse Keys allows you to use buttons on your keyboard to move around the cursor and to interact with things on your screen.
You can enable this service under the Accessibility tab in System Preferences.
You can find it under the Pointer Control tab inside of Alternate Control Methods.
When Mouse Keys is enabled, you can unlock it by pressing the Options button 5 times.
Once you have done this, you can then control the mouse by using either the number pad on the right of your keyboard (if you have one) or by using the letter “I” as the clicker and the keys around it as navigators.
When you are done with it, press the Options button 5 more times to disable mouse keys so you can type and use the number pad normally.
Using Mouse Keys, you can use your computer’s cursor without a normal control device, though with less efficiency than a mouse offers.
There are several other ways to control your computer apart from mouse keys.
For example, you can enable keyboard control, which allows you to use specific commands to perform any function on your computer.
There is also software on your Mac that can let you control your computer with facial expressions and head movements.
These services, while interesting, are difficult to use so they are not recommended.
However, they do provide a solution to people who have no other option.
You can learn about this software here.
Opening System Preferences By Connecting Other Devices
If you are having problems accessing apps like system preferences without a mouse, you are probably not using a laptop.
After all, all Mac laptops come with a trackpad that you can use to move the cursor and open System Preferences.
If you are using a desktop computer from Mac, you still might not need help here as Mac has been making touchscreen monitors for years.
If your Mac is not a touchscreen and you don’t have access to a trackpad, you can still hook up devices that let you control the cursor.
The most obvious of these options is a mouse, of course–you can find a Bluetooth mouse extremely cheaply from just about any store that has electronics.
You can also find one that has a USB connection- all you have to do is plug it in and you are set.
Remember, MacBooks do not have USB ports.
If the mouse does not have a USB-C plg, you’ll need to purchase a port converter.
Even if you don’t want a mouse, you can easily find a trackpad device that you can either plug in or connect to your computer with Bluetooth.
These are a little less common, as people don’t prefer using the trackpad, but they are still easy to find.
It is generally a good rule of thumb to always have a spare cursor controlling device, just in case the one you have been using runs out of battery or has other problems.
All in all, there are many ways that you can open System Preferences, even without a mouse.
Mac users should learn about these options now and enable some of them (like mouse keys) before the time comes that they need to use them.
Learn how to use mouse keys and voice commands, and always keep a spare cursor controlling device with you so that your laptop or computer is always useable.