How to fix the single most annoying thing in OSX Lion: Bring back tap-to-drag

Want to bring back the double-tap-to-drag gesture on your MacBook? We'll show you how.

The new gesture controls in Apple's OS X Lion operating system update can take a little getting used to on a MacBook (such as the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs ). The reverse "natural" scrolling, for example, has its fans and detractors, and we've previously shown you how to roll back that particular change.

Potentially more annoying is the change from the tap-to-drag trackpad gesture to a new three-finger-drag gesture. In fact, it's probably the single most annoying Lion feature we've found so far.

Traditionally, one could could do a double tap, then hold on the second tap to drag a window or to highlight and select onscreen text. Now, that's been replaced by a three-finger gesture. Hover three fingers on the title bar of a window, or over the corner, and drag them along the trackpad to move or resize that window. The same works for selecting a block of text. Tap once with three fingers, then move over the items you wish to highlight. You can also click down on the trackpad with one finger and drag with a second for either of these moves.

But, especially for those of us who bounce between the Mac and Windows worlds on a regular basis, a little consistency goes a long way. If you want to reactivate the classic double-tap-and-drag gesture, it's possible, but the option is well-hidden. Instead of being in System Preferences under Trackpad, it's actually under System Preferences > Universal Access > Mouse and Trackpad > Trackpad Options. Click the check box that says "Dragging" and you should be all set. The screenshots below show you the menu pages you'll need to find.

Double-tap-to-drag and the three-finger drag can be active at the same time, if you want to acclimate to the new OS X Lion gestures but keep the old ones active in the meantime. What's driving you crazy so far about OS X Lion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Universal Access is in the upper right corner.
Now click the tab that says 'Mouse & Trackpad,' then the button that says 'Trackpad Options.'
Finally, check the check box next to 'Dragging.'

 

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